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“Could be much better”
Review of The Begging Bowl

The Begging Bowl
Ranked #4,076 of 23,023 Restaurants in London
Cuisines: Thai
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Could be much better”
Reviewed 17 June 2014 via mobile

I'd heard good things about this place but unfortunately my experience wasn't so great. As with other reviews here, we felt that the menu is confusing and many items are overpriced. It'd be clearer if the different priced items were in separate sections of the menu (rather than one long colour coded list) with clearer info about the size of the dish.

The idea of Thai style tapas is interesting but some dishes aren't suited to sharing. We had a dish (cost £12) with only one big prawn, one peeled it's not ideal to share between three.

The staff were friendly but had a few glitches such as running out of rice for a while and spilling a drink on one of our group with no offer of a discount or a freebie to compensate for the spillage.

The food was delicious though. Just need to adjust prices, portion size and improve service to be on the same level as the food.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank LondonLassE1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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280 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good food but some dishes over priced!”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Had a meal here on Fri evening with a couple of friends. We ordered a variety of vegetarian, meat and fish dishes. I didn't try the meat dishes but the vegetarian dishes - a salad, tofu and the curry were delicious. The fish cakes were also tasty. However, the Banana dish with a single (over cooked) king prawn was average and for any restaurant to charge over £10 for a small dish with salad and one king prawn is ridiculous.

Overall I would recommend the vegetarian options only.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MARKSH2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great authentic food”
Reviewed 12 June 2014

My boyfriend took me for dinner as he's been to Thailand a few times and loves Thai food. I was a bit skeptical at first as I read the bad reviews here but went for it because of him.
We absolutely loved the food and enjoyed the whole experience.
The only two things I would criticize is that they don't have the chopsticks and that they ran out of the 10% vouchers for Montpelier as advertised on the website (you get a discount in a local pub while waiting for the table).
We ordered 5 dishes as recommended on the menu but couldn't finish it so I'd suggest you go for 3-4 dishes and a side or two of rice and you'll be full.
Amazing experience, our favourite dishes were suckling pig and asparagus.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Zuzana V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Bad service, overpriced food”
Reviewed 1 June 2014 via mobile

As others have said, the 'concept' here is a problem. To me, the erratic way the food arrives is probably a symptom of bad communication rather than a deliberate choice.

Sat outside we were surrounded by smokers - not all of them solely on tobacco - which the waiter could at least have warned us about when we were seated as we were told it was policy to allow this. It might be policy, but it also appeared illegal, being barely outdoors at all.

The waitress didn't tell us there were any specials, let alone what they were. And most dishes were served with a scowl of contempt.

The food, £2 per dish cheaper, would actually be very good. But served with such little respect for the customers, we regretted going quite quickly. Rice is 'all you can eat for £1 each', which is a nice idea but then they're unbelievably stingy with the stuff and present it to you in small plastic bags.

The restaurant, and its staff, need to get over themselves.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank CyberCD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Delicious food, tiny portions and a bonkers 'concept'.”
Reviewed 29 May 2014 via mobile

I completely agree with many reviewers - The Begging Bowl could do a lot better. Four of us went for dinner last night, the restaurant was packed - and this on a Wednesday night! When we did sit down the waitress explained the 'concept' - choose 8 or so dishes and they'll come when they're ready. So far so good - I can get my head around a 'tapas' idea. What I didn't get was the colour coding of the menu. The dishes were written in either red, orange, blue or green according to price. In the dim light I couldn't differentiate between the red and
orange or the blue and green or the haphazard fashion in which it was arrived - first a (tiny) mango salad and braised shin of beef, then a prawn dish (we had asked if all dishes were suitable for sharing but this was one large prawn with a bowl of sauce - it was somewhat ridiculous to have to peel the prawn and cut it into four!). The last dish to arrive was the fish cakes - which I would have expected first. Service was ok. I rather felt the kitchen was overwhelmed and there wasn't much communication between it and the service staff. Wine - pricey. Would I go back? Probably but I would stagger my ordering and go with just one other person.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Maria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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