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 Blue Spices, Newport Pagnell
 Sunday, 17 July 2005
  restaurant factfile
  also reviewed 23 December 2006
  also reviewed 7 January 2006

Please note that we are unable to verify the impartiality of guest reviewers, so readers should use their own judgement.

Guest review
by Simon Middleton, Newport Pagnell

We've been to the Blue Spices during all its previous incarnations and we were so impressed that it was once our sole source of takeaways. I'd been shortly after its current rebranding with a couple of mates and were quite impressed. So, as our youngest was at a birthday party it seemed the obvious place for the rest of the family to kill the 2 hours we had spare.

The decor had had a makeover but the tables were still crammed into the awkward layout. We were seated at a round table in the corner and the waiter obligingly closed the blinds to stop us being blinded by the sun streaming through the window.

Instead of starters we had popadoms which were pretty good although a bit pricey. They were accompanied by no less than 6 chutneys, the best of which were the mango and sweet red onions. (When the bill came, we found out that the chutneys had been charged for in addition to the popadoms which we believe is outrageous - restaurants should make this extra charge clear. We didn't ask for chutneys, they just arrived with the popadoms.)

The main dishes were a big disappointment. The Chicken Korma sauce was ok but the chicken itself was very dry and had obviously been reheated. Conversely in the Lamb Bhuna the lamb was OK but the sauce itself contained too many raw onions which left a nasty after taste. Our final dish was Chicken Balti. The sauce was dreadful - it tasted like it had come from a jar and not even a premium brand jar, perhaps something like Tesco's value brand - and obviously it contained that same dried out, reheated chicken. The pilau rice was overpowered by the cardamom flavouring. The nans were OK, slightly undercooked but at least they stayed soft. We also had some onion bhajis as a side dish which were the highlight of the main course.

Drinks were pretty expensive - £6.50 for a short pint of lager (here's a hint for the barman - the line on the glass indicates a full pint) and two not even half pint glasses of diet coke. We also ordered a glass of water and were served with a bottle of mineral water and were charged £1.50 for the privilege.

Scores for the main dishes:
Chicken Korma 2
Lamb Bhuna 1
Chicken Balti 1

Which I believe (if I can understand your calculations) gives an overall bhaji rating of 1. It would have been 0.5 had it not been for the bhajis and the nans.

Simon rated this 2 out of 10.