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 The Akber, Stony Stratford
 Tuesday, 30 October 2001
 Closed in April 2002
  also reviewed 14 April 2000

It was two years since our very first review, so to celebrate this anniversary we chose to revisit Akbers. Despite making a reservation, they had no record of this (a repeat of our last visit) and had to hastily push a couple of tables together - luckily the place was quiet. As one of our group said they would be a little late, we hung back with the orders. Eventually we realised that they wouldn't be turning up, so proceeded with our orders. This delay perhaps annoyed the staff, as the service that followed was extremely slow.

The mixed starter, although a little pricey, tempted IanD and MikeE but was a bit of a rip off due to the small portions. MikeE thought his was very tasty whereas IanD thought the lamb tikka to be tough, the samosa to be soggy and the sheek kebab to be half a portion. Despite this the chicken tikka was near perfect. SteveB also thought his sheek kebabs were half the normal size and a little too tough, but reasonably spiced and tasted good. In comparison, PhilS' onion bhajis were massive and despite looking burnt on the outside were a little undercooked inside. The onion chunks could have been smaller, but nevertheless the taste was OK. Plenty of splatter was supplied which helped improve the below par starters.
No big surprises for the main courses. SteveB's Balti Chicken Bhuna had a good tasty and slightly thick sauce - just how a bhuna should be. The only fault was that the chicken was slightly tough. Some rather dry and overcooked chicken was to be found in PhilS' Chicken Dhansak but the nice and spicy, but not overly hot, sauce helped to obscure this. The portion was also of a reasonable size. A Balti Chicken Jalfrezi was IanD's choice, which contained lots of chillies and a thick 'bhunaesque' sauce. Very tasty and very filling was how MikeE described his Balti Chicken Dopiaza. The meat was well cooked and the sauce was of a nice consistency.

There was a bit of a mixed bag when it came to the nans. SteveB and IanD both went for plain nans but had differing opinions - SteveB's was just about right in the middle, too thick and doughy at the edges, whereas IanD thought his to be too thin and too crispy. The garlic from PhilS' nan could for a change be seen, smelt and tasted. Unusually, all nans were cut in half.

Although it was slow, the service was generally friendly. As a special offer, we were entitled to a 20% discount, but had to ask for the bill to be changed to reflect this. Even with the discount, the prices were still a little steep (especially the mixed starter). Patron parking is available directly outside, but this didn't seem to deter someone running a key down the length of SteveB's new car. The overall scores were identical to those of our previous visit with some scope for improvement. Another visit wouldn't be out of the question, but there are plenty of other restaurants to visit beforehand.

The Scores

Food3.5
Service3.5
Ambience3.5
Value3.5

Which gives an overall rating of 3.5 bhajis.

DishRatingBy
Balti Chicken Jalfrezi4IanD
Balti Chicken Dopiaza3.5MikeE
Chicken Dhansak3.5PhilS
Balti Chicken Bhuna4SteveB