By pure coincidence, exactly a year later to the day we find ourselves in Balti King, Northampton. Nothing seems to have changed except a few of the tables have been rearranged. Although we'd booked a table and arrived in plenty of time, the waiters had decided to apply a "whoever's nearest gets their table first" policy allowing two other groups who had turned up on spec to grab tables before we were allocated ours. Once again, there were a few largish groups in (some larger than others) so we knew service would be on the slow side.
We had the usual starters. As usual, the onion bhajis were flat but their quality varied. PhilS declared his to be average whilst the rest thought they were quite good. The sheek kebabs were once again very spicy. In a change from the normal, the aloo boras were flat and resembled fishcake in both taste and appearance. The mint sauce was as spicy as ever but the red sauce (outstanding on our last visit) tasted more like a bolognese sauce.
We'd requested a Balti Chicken Tikka Chilli Masalla but got a Chicken Tikka Chana Massalla instead but we guess there's no harm in trying a different dish for a change. It wasn't as hot as had hoped and very few pieces of chicken. The sauce was not too bad, though rather thick but then that's chick peas for you. The Balti Chicken Tikka Rogon (breast) had plenty of reasonably tender chicken pieces, in a tasty thick tomatoey sauce - decent quantity of it too. Once again, the Chicken Pathia was excellent as was the table garlic nan (although it would have benefitted from a bit more garlic).
A year on and not much has changed. The food is still pretty good but the service is extremely slow - although a bit speedier than our last visit. The waiters weren't openly hostile this time so that was a bit of an improvement. It's still a great place to eat and we'll certainly be back again - probably the first Friday next February.
Which gives an overall rating of 3.5 bhajis.