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 Blue Moon, Northampton
 Friday, 21 April 2006
  restaurant factfile
  also reviewed 13 November 2006

As a relative newcomer to the curry house scene in Northampton, it was about time we paid Blue Moon a visit. We went on a Friday evening, and the restaurant was around two-thirds full. It's not a particularly large place by any means, long and thin, and has a bright modern décor with the predominant colour being, unsurprisingly, blue. This is accentuated by the large recessed ambient blue lighting in the ceiling. The background music was modern soul, not to my taste but fortunately it wasn't loud or obtrusive. Slightly more unpleasant was the smoke drifting across from one of the other tables, there was an air-con unit separating smoking and non-smoking but it wasn't switched on.

The restaurant doesn't have a licence to sell alcohol so encourages customers to bring their own, and they are quick to supply any glasses that might be needed. Our orders were taken and shortly afterwards our starters arrived. As usual it was a combination of Onion Bhajis and Sheek Kebabs. There were three bhajis per portion, which had perfect texture and tasted excellent, if a little greasy. The kebabs arrived on a sizzler with plenty of onions. These too were near perfect, very tasty but also very spicy. A large jug of mint sauce was provided straight away without us having to ask, and the waiter even asked if we wanted to keep it for the main course.

All three main courses arrived served on huge oval plates, and thus all portions were equally large too. IanD chose the Chicken Xacutti, which comes free with two mounds of rice in the centre (the waiter was happy to substitute the rice for a nan if requested). There were plenty of chicken pieces, all well tikkaed. The sauce was tasty and spicy, not too cinnamony, but the coconut more than balanced this. It also contained lots of woody bits, which were easily removed once their flavour had infused. Just watch out for the dried red chiilies! The only problem was that there was so much curry, the 2 mounds of rice weren't nearly enough to soak it all up.

PhilS chose the Peri Peri Fire, which also comes with free rice but swapped it for a keema nan instead, at no extra charge. The curry had plenty of lamb and chicken pieces, which were all well cooked. The sauce was tasty and spicy, but not too spicy and had the odd chilli thrown in for luck. SteveB went for the Khaas Roast, which was a very tasty curry sauce containing no shortage of perfectly tender chicken pieces. It was also very spicy. Again, this too comes with free rice but a keema nan was asked for instead. Both nans were well cooked and contained plenty of evenly distributed keema.

We all finished with kulfis, one mango and two pistachio varieties. These arrived upside down in bowls, and had a slightly different taste to the usual kulfi you get in restaurants. Presumably from different suppliers. The shape of the bowls weren't ideal for kulfis, it wasn't possible to get the spoon down into the bottom.

Overall the food was excellent, if generally quite spicy, and the waiters were keen, friendly and helpful. For a bring-your-own restaurant the prices were higher than you'd expect, but then the quality and quantity was higher too. It's certainly a restaurant we'd come back to, and perhaps more often than its name suggests we should.

The Scores

Food4.5
Service4.5
Ambience4
Value4.5

Which gives an overall rating of 4.5 bhajis.

DishRatingBy
Chicken Xacutti4.5IanD
Peri Peri Fire4.5PhilS
Khaas Roast4.5SteveB