As the Akash in Wellingborough had been recommended to us by two different friends, we thought we'd pay a visit. It's a fairly sizeable restaurant with about 16 4-seater tables distributed across three levels. They could fit a few more tables in the centre of the lower tier but opted to leave a vast expanse of emptiness instead. The walls were plainly decorated with a few Indian prints but we didn't notice any fake plants or fish tanks. The service was a little slow to start - IanD had to wait almost 10 minutes before his drinks order was taken but this may have been because he had intimated (obviously over-optimistically!) that the rest of the party wasn't very far behind.
Unusually, the shami kebab was served reshmi-style with an omelette covering the single patty. This was a bonus but didn't really add anything to an already acceptable dish. The arrival of the sheek kebabs was a bit of a let down. The traditional sizzler did not materialise and they were a little on the small side. They tasted fine but would have benefited from a bigger dose of spices. The onion bhajis consisted of four small balls which were very dense. They were slightly overcooked on the outside but tasted fine. Again, they were a little on the bland side. The splatter looked very watery and we were a bit wary of trying it. Fortunately, it was excellent and went a long way to liven up the starters.
There was an impressive choice of main courses. In the end we opted for a Chicken Jalfrezi which was near perfect. The sauce was just short of mouth-numbing and as the chillies were whole they could easily be removed on approach to complete meltdown. The Chicken Ceylon was also hot with a good helping of coconut. The Chicken Bhunas had an excellent thick sauce - not the pureed fare we've encountered before. All the non-meat ingredients and spices could be seen and tasted. The only disappointment with all the dishes was that the chicken was a little dry. The garlic nan was declared the best ever tasted by PhilS. It looked good, had a nice texture and didn't crisp up. SteveB and IanD were a little less enthusiastic over their garlic nans but they were still above average. The plain boiled rice was, once again, rice which had been plainly boiled.
Once the service had speeded up, we were quite impressed with the Akash. A couple of the beers tasted a little iffy but that was the only major complaint of the whole evening. It's a little difficult to judge the ambience of a restaurant on a quiet night but we found the atmosphere extremely relaxed. We're not sure if the bill presented was correct - everyone had a go at adding it up and reached a different total. If anything, we were undercharged slightly. All things considered, the Akash was well worth the trip
Which gives an overall rating of 4 bhajis.