We chose to go to Scarlet Dot more out of convenience than anything if truth be told. Having worked in this area, I knew that Scarlet Dot did two for one cocktail and so my penchant for cocktails really had this locked down for a while. This was originally an Indian restaurant but has now turned its hand to Thai so is a mixture of the two. I have to say when it just served Indian it was better as the waiters and management are Indian so as the old saying goes ‘if it’s not broke why fix it’.
We were going out in Brick Lane and chose this place to get a good sturdy dinner before we laced our stomachs with alcohol. Although the Indians in Brick lane are cheaper we wanted somewhere that was a little more… um shall we put it; formal than Brick Lane Indian’s (for a start you don’t have to barter).
We ordered a Tandoori sharing platter to start with, which consisted of tandoori salmon, chicken, a shish kebab and butterfly king prawns. All were delicious especially the thick juicy chucks of salmon. If you ever walk by this place in the day’s time, it is hard not to salivate over the salmon and chicken kebabs they serve al fresco for lunch – this was part of the reason we ordered the platter.
The food came out swiftly with the polite Indian service; the manager of the restaurant at one point came out to check if we were happy with our meal, which proved their focus on customer service. It was after 7pm and so cocktails were not on happy hour and in the cold light of full price cocktails the cocktail menu is not up to scratch. Intriguing cocktails names but all very watery and lacking taste not to mention thought.
For main course we ordered the green Thai chicken and the lamb dupiaza, which is the house special. I ordered the lamb curry (as I knew that Indian dishes were the strong points of this restaurant) and this was served with pilau rice and lentil dhal. The lamb was moist and spicy in a rich tomato sauce. The dahl was delicious and was almost a meal in itself. The Thai chicken curry was watery although full of flavour and had Thai aubergines and courgettes. This was served with the coconut rice in black plastic bowls.
It is worth noting not just that they do awesome kebabs, but at lunch on Sundays they do an ‘all you can eat’ option which has a number of curry etc. served in hotel metal dishes; although not my ideal choice it is cheap and the Indian dishes so completely outshine the Thai options. The restaurant almost feels as though its roots are Indian so its expertise and skills lie here but then it thought that it would jump on the Hoxton or Shoreditch bandwagon of Thai/Vietnamese and therefore wanted a fusion of Thai and Indian. In my opinion this didn’t work not only because Thai is more delicate in flavour than Indian but also because the Indian heritage of this restaurant shines through therefore weakening the Thai influence.
At Scarlet Dot, diners have the option to sit inside or outside, it is in Spitalfield market, which has a glass roof if it rains however despite the heaters it is still quite cold outside. The Al fresco element does work in its favour as an ideal spot for people watching in the market, however when it is not too cold.
For location and Indian service and dishes this is a great spot but I feel it tries to hard with the Thai element and cocktails. As a result Sex Drugs and Rolls gives Scarlet Dot:
Food Atmosphere Service