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 The 4 Pillars, Fosters Booth
 Monday, 25 July 2005
  restaurant factfile
  also reviewed 12 April 2006

Rumour had it that there was a new restaurant in the Fosters Booth / Pattishall area so that left us with no choice but to go and investigate.

Upon arrival at the reception / bar area, there were two members of staff who were otherwise occupied and kept us waiting for what seemed an eternity. That time did allow us to spot that they had 2 varieties of Kingfisher on sale. It was a rather upmarket place, but they still let us in. Considering its remoteness and it being a Monday night, there were quite a few customers. There were 3 rooms - one was a waiting area with large wicker seats, and the other 2 were dining areas. Even the toilet area was larger than some restaurants. Some dodgy Michael Bolton music was played all evening.

Unusually, the options on the menu were sorted in descending price order, which suited IanD as he just had to look for the item at the bottom of the list. No onion bhajis on the menu, but they were called piyazi instead. So we ordered 2 piyazis and a sheek kebab. The former had a perfect texture, taste and constituency although PhilS thought they could perhaps have been a little spicier. Unfortunately the latter didn't arrive on a sizzler, but nevertheless, they were perfectly spicy. The starters were accompanied by a spicy mint sauce, which had a bit of an after kick.

SteveB ordered a Chicken Tikka Dopiaza, IanD a Chicken Pathia and PhilS a Chicken Madras. There was a bit of a mix up in that IanD's and SteveB's dishes got swapped, but luckily for SteveB, the pathia wasn't as hot as it could have been. It had a sauce that was excellent, thick and fruity, although the chicken was slightly dry, but more than acceptable. The dopiaza's sauce was also excellent, thick and perfect for mopping up with a nan. Chicken was tikka'd so not too dry but it did detract from the overall taste of the dish. The madras was well hot which made the ears tingle. It also had what the waiter described as a 'bullet' chilli on top. Portion perhaps a little on the small side, but it was of good quality. A garlic keema nan (thick and fluffy and was crammed full of keema - they don't come much better than this), plain nan (looked slightly too thick and doughy but that was deceptive - it was a very good nan) and special fried rice (lots of egg, peas and other bits and not fried back to crunchiness) were ordered by PhilS, SteveB and IanD respectively to go along side their main dishes.

Despite being left waiting when we arrived and 2 of the dishes being swapped around, it was a very pleasant experience. The prices did reflect the fact that it was a more upmarket place - around £50 in total. This is a sister restaurant to the 4 Pillars in Olney and there are some striking similarities (kept waiting on arrival, mix up of orders, and bad taste in background music). However this shouldn't put you off visiting as the food was of very good quality.

The Scores

Food4.5
Service3.5
Ambience4
Value4

Which gives an overall rating of 4 bhajis.

DishRatingBy
Chicken Tikka Dopiaza4IanD
Chicken Madras4.5PhilS
Chicken Pathia4.5SteveB