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 Aroma of India, Northampton
 Saturday, 11 January 2003
  restaurant factfile

After a curry and night out in Northampton to celebrate PhilS' birthday last year, we decided to organise a similar night again. Due to all of our busy schedules, a whole year had lapsed and it was PhilS' birthday again (so he was forced to pay for the drinks once again). Aroma Of India was chosen as it wasn't far off route on the way to town, and also gave IanD a chance to check out some ladies of the night. This wasn't our first visit to this establishment, although on the previous visit it was known as the Spice Garden.

Being mid-January it was rather cold outside and not much warmer inside despite sitting next to a radiator. We're greeted by a very under aged waiter and shown to a large dining area which was void of any customers on our arrival and not many more on our departure. There were however signs of takeaways being ordered and home deliveries being made.

The usual mixture of onion bhajis and sheek kebabs were ordered for starters. A portion of onion bhajis consisted of 4 Ritz sized discs, some being slightly undercooked while others were rather crunchy - very disappointing for the price. The overall opinion was that they had no flavour and weren't particularly warm. The kebab wasn't favoured much more. Nevertheless, it did arrive on a sizzler with plenty of raw onions (of which half went back despite telling the waiter we wanted to keep them), but again lacked any flavour.

A bhuna, pathia and dopiaza of the chicken variety made up the main courses. Portions were generally big but the large copper pots they were served in made them seem smaller. Dry, not tender, tough and stringy was how the chicken was described. Luckily the standard of the sauces saved the dishes from total disaster. The dopiaza didn't show much signs of having onions - the menu did say "a strong onion flavour" rather than actual onions - but had a good consistency and was more lively than expected from a medium curry. The bhuna's sauce was thick and reasonably tasty and the pathia's was well flavoured and spicy. A mixture of nans complemented the main course - plain, cheese and garlic. The texture was rated well, being generally consistent across all of the nans, but the cheese hadn't melted and there wasn't much garlic evident.

Not the best of reviews we've had the pleasure of doing and certainly not in the warmest of surroundings, but saying that it's not the worst either. The quality of meat used in the main dishes could be improved and more flavouring is required in the starters. The level of service wasn't too bad, but then again the place was deserted.

The Scores

Food3
Service3.5
Ambience2.5
Value2.5

Which gives an overall rating of 3 bhajis.

DishRatingBy
Chicken Dopiaza2.5IanD
Chicken Pathia4.5PhilS
Chicken Bhuna3.5SteveB