For various reasons, it had been almost a month since our last review curry. We'd planned to go to Bedford again but a last minute emergency changed that and we found ourselves on the doorstep of the Mysore without a table booked at what should have been quite a busy time in the curry trade. As it turned out, this particular week was very quiet. Our chatty waiter asked if we preferred smoking or non-smoking tables and we opted for the latter. However, all such tables were in poky corners so we ended up in the very roomy and high ceiling smoking area. As it was near deserted (just two other parties) this wasn't a problem. The décor was pink and bright in keeping with the upmarket reputation the Mysore strives for. Numerous awards were displayed in the bar area so we were looking forward to some good nosh.
For starters, we ordered onion bhajis, sheek kebabs and shammi kebabs with the intention of splitting everything between us. The waiter tried to steer us in the direction of the mixed starter for two but as this was more expensive than our choice and everything came in pairs, we decided to stick with our original choice. The bhajis came in fours. They had a good texture but were a little bland and quite greasy. The sheek kebab was excellent although we were disappointed not to have it served on a sizzler. If we were handing out awards for the worst starter ever then the shammi kebabs would be first in line. They were disgusting. They were tasteless and had the look and texture of cheap tinned cat food. We mentioned this when our waiter returned and he agreed that they weren't the best dish the restaurant had to offer - if only he'd mentioned this when we ordered.
There's a generous selection of main dishes from which to choose and a fair proportion of them are in the specials or recommended section. The hotter dishes are indicated by two chillies on the menu whilst the very hot dishes merit four chillies. However, the Mysoree Acharee Chicken was rated a no-chilli dish although the description said it was quite hot. We reckon the menu should be amended as it turned out to be quite spicy. It had a tasty thick, dark brown sauce with a dollop of lighter coloured whole lime pickle in the centre (easily removed) and was heaving with chicken chunks. The Chana Murgh Bhuna contained several tough chicken pieces and (as the name suggests) lots (and lots) of chick peas in a very dry sauce. It wouldn't be a good choice for someone who didn't like chick peas but a gabanzo freak would be in heaven. The Chicken Zallander had a good thick sauce smothering a massive heap of not-so-tender chicken pieces. For the first time, IanD complained that he'd been given too much chicken. The nans were the usual mixed affair. The massalla kulcha nan had a good texture but was seriously deficient on the filling front. The keema nan was slightly burnt in places and was only stuffed in one quarter whilst the plain nan was quite pleasant.
As a last minute choice, the Mysore wasn't too bad - apart from those shammi kebabs. The waiters were all friendly although the one who took our order was a bit on the pushy side. He did make sure that he'd got IanD's order correct as it sounded similar to the hottest dish on the menu. At one point, the waiter knocked over a glass with the dregs of a pint and immediately rushed off and returned with a complimentary full pint! Overall, the prices were a bit high but the portions were quite generous. All tables had a feedback questionnaire on them. We didn't have a pen with us and forgot to take a form to fill later - but feel we've gone one better by writing this review!
Which gives an overall rating of 3.5 bhajis.