Food review: Aniseed
IN A NUTSHELL
The name has changed but the former Rogue Trader restaurant in Westferry Road is still dishing up top quality curries.
Rogue traders have never been welcome in the banking world, particularly following the spectacular meltdown of the financial markets a few years back.
As opprobrium poured down on the casino bankers who had played roulette with the economy and lost there was bound to be some collateral damage.
However, it's a surprise to find that one consequence was a change in name of one of the area's most popular and longest-established Indian restaurants.
But according to Mohammed A Hussain, owner of Aniseed on Westferry Road, his newly re-christened restaurant kept attracting crank phone calls because of its former name of The Rogue Trader.
He said: "We would get at least one call a week and it was becoming a bit tiresome. We'd been here since 2001 and I thought it was time for a change."
The name has changed, and the restaurant is also set for a revamp, with the bar substantially reduced and more covers put in, reflecting the shift in priorities of the clientele.
That the customers are coming here for the food is in no small part due to the excellence of the cooking. While the usual curry suspects are all present and correct it's worth heading off the beaten track at Aniseed to explore the house specialities.
This is a restaurant with an interesting menu, and even more helpfully they will conjure up the occasional dish that's not even on the card, such as the paneer tikka our vegetarian snapper requested "because she likes it".
Another recommended starter is the reshmi roll, hot and spicy but flavoursome, although be warned that it's quite filling.
For mains head for the house specialities. Mogule khana (£9.95) was first class. Marinated tender chicken served with mixed peppers, red onion and paneer, served with pilau rice it's a meal in itself. You certainly won't need any bread to go with it.
Vegetarian snapper declared her Aniseed special niramishi "very good, very filling and not too spicy". At £5.95 for a generous plateful of mixed vegetables with mustard seeds and cottage cheese, it was good value too.
If you have any room left there's a short sweet selection, but if it's coffee you are after to perk yourself up before heading back to the office they do an excellent floater here. And it's all served up by attentive and knowledgeable waiting staff.
Perhaps the only drawback for Aniseed is that it's a few minutes walk from Canary Wharf. Our desk jockeys, rogue traders or not, have never been the best at heading off the estate, but a visit to this excellent - and excellent value - Indian is well worth the effort.
25 Westferry Road
London E14 8JH
0207 517 9233