onionbhaji
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 Silk Route, Northampton
 Tuesday, 3 January 2006
  restaurant factfile
  also reviewed 2 March 2006
  also reviewed 21 December 2005

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

Guest review
by Paul Motley, Northampton

Having read your review on the Spice Route I do think you are being a little unfair. You seem to be comparing it with usual so-called Indian Restaurants around the town who all seem to serve the usual formula heat graded Euro-Asian food, with normally the main ingredient and amount of chilli and a few additions which barely distinguish one dish from another. These "Indian" restaurants are normally not Indian at all but owned and staffed by Bangladeshis usually from the Sylhet Region of that country, however they do seem to have captured the imagination of the UK with their spicy food and so called curries for which is a success story in itself, and not to be underestimated. Unfortunately when reporting on the Spice Route you are not comparing on a level playing field as the restaurant has gone all out to cook authentic Indian regional food, a task that very few restaurants have achieved outside of London. Not all Indian food is served in a thick spicy gravy and certainly the main ingredients taste is not usually masked by over generous spices but does differentiate one dish from another by different combinations of spices, something the standard curry house as we know it cannot do when using a general masala gravy which is used in almost every dish, but that is why it can produce a menu that appears very extensive.

Whilst you have an advantage over me in respect that you have eaten in the restaurant and I at this stage can only comment on what the Spice Route is trying to achieve. After dining at the Jeera Masala last night we did call into the Spice Route out of curiosity and to pick up a menu and were quite disappointed that we had not dined there in the first place. We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of who we think are the owners who know they are introducing something new to Northampton. I personally wish them every success and think they might give the Mem Saab a bit of healthy competition.

I do agree that they have somewhat of an uphill struggle with the location, as the Sol Centre seems to have all the warmth and charm of an un-flushed toilet, but good reputation can overcome this I'm sure. By the way, the reason an onion bhaji was not on the menu was because there is no such item on an Indian menu. It is purely an invention of the trade, cooked albeit with Indian spices and is very similar to a pakora which is Indian more subtlety spiced. I look forward to giving a balanced and informed review when I have dined at THE SPICE ROUTE. Watch this space. My rating for which your page demands is for the concept of which I salute the new owners.

Paul rated this 10 out of 10.