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The double, or even triple fronted restaurant is located just about 100 yards away from the town centre, the décor is simple dual colours of green and a dark peach with a few pictures and basic furnishings and probably resembles 80% of other standard Indian restaurants within the UK. Whilst the interior is to a budget, every effort has been made to make it as appealing as possible with crisp white table linen and matching linen napkins attractively folded to a fan design plus every table was adorned with a fresh flower. I have passed this restaurant several times within the last few weeks as its location is just 25 yards away from my place of employment. I had not given it much attention but an Indian colleague of mine had mentioned in passing that he had eaten there recently and the food was of a good standard. On Wednesday nights the restaurant offers for £6.95 a starter, main course, side dish plus rice or naan bread. On this basis it seemed a good excuse to break the week up and eat out midweek at a reasonable expenditure.
Four of us arrived at around 8pm and the place was quite busy, enough people to give a good atmosphere and mainly all families, the £6.95 offer had obviously achieved its goal in respect to making a traditionally fairly quiet night into a reasonably busy one. We were greeted promptly and warmly on arrival and shown to a table so as we could order drinks and peruse the menu. On ordering the drinks I queried the fact that we were given the standard A La Carte menu when we were taking advantage of the Wednesday night special offer. What we all expected was a very limited menu with a few choices only of the various courses but were pleasantly surprised that their offer was to choose from any of the main menu including all specials and chefs recommendations. The only stipulation was that King Prawn was an extra £3 which wasn't unreasonable. Another bonus of the night for me was that they served draught Cobra. Whilst I have drank the bottled variety on several occasions I was very much impressed on how good the draught variety is, which more than overcame my disappointment that there was no draught bitter available.
Between the four of us we ordered Rashmi Kebabs and Chicken and Lamb Ticka. I and another of the party had the Rashmi Kebabs which were two large very succulent lamb patties wrapped in a thin omelette, the spicing was fragrant and not overpowering and were served with the usual green salad. The remaining two in the party had the Tickas which were apparently also of a high standard. A reasonable time was left before the main course was served; I had chosen the Aachaari Lamb, which is lamb cooked in pickling spices and presented in rich spicy gravy enhanced with garam masala, of which the tartness of kalonji and fennel was evident. Plus they were quite happy to present the dish with a little more chilli and split green chillies on request which lifted the dish from a medium heat and gave it a little bit of a kick without overpowering the flavours with too much chilli heat. My wife chose a dish described as chicken with cashews and honey which was called Jali. She was a little disappointed in its blandness but admitted in hindsight that she had perhaps chosen the wrong dish, but the main ingredient was moist and tender. The two remaining ate Lamb Dopiaza and a rich chicken dish, the title of the latter cannot be recalled but both were more than satisfied with their choice. All dishes chosen were contrasting colours, flavours and textures layered with different spicing combinations. Whilst it may have been a standard formula curry eating place the chef had used his expertise and imagination to make the various dishes unique and prove that his menu was more than a one sauce does all. Included in the package was a side dish for each diner, all of which were a little different in their spicing. The dal tarka was rich thick and flavoursome, rice and breads were as expected.
Overall the restaurant had paid attention to detail, the service was polite, attentive and unobtrusive and the young English waitress who's first night it was, seemed to be coping with her new roll with considerable ease. Whilst the fittings and décor were not expensive or state of the art it was thoughtfully and comfortably laid out making the most of what they could offer and they did offer considerably more than the average. Even though the food promotion was to a fixed price the portions were not scaled down, and in fact they were very much on the generous side. I look forward to a return visit which will probably be in the very near future.
Paul rated this 9 out of 10.