As it was SteveB's turn to choose the venue and PhilS's turn to drive, we headed for the twilight zone known as Bletchley. The Rose of India is in a strange, isolated location sandwiched between a Chinese takeaway and another Indian restaurant and overshadowed by a huge railway viaduct. There's a few free parking spaces on the street outside but these were all taken so we had to use the public car park where charges apply until 9pm! The Rose is quite small inside with only 7 tables. The décor was minimalist with a couple of pictures, a fish tank and none of the customary fake plants. The few people that were already there left promptly when we arrived and we had the place to ourselves for the rest of the evening.
On this occasion, the onion bhajees were two large balls. They were pleasantly surprising - we often find that this type and size of bhajee tend to be undercooked in the middle but not this time! The outside was crisp but not burnt and the spices had been added with a delicate touch. The sheek kebabs were a bit spicier and tasted pretty good. The accompanying salad was not the usual fayre as it contained radish and spring onion bulbs. The mint splatter was frothy but good nonetheless.
There was an extensive choice of main dishes and it took a long time to make our selection. In the end we opted for Balti Garlic Chicken which for a balti contained very little sauce, leaving very little for the nan to mop up. However, the tasty dish was packed with onions, sliced garlic and tender pieces of chicken. The Balti Chicken Pathia also had lots of onions and plenty of coriander in a very spicy sauce. The Balti Chicken Bhuna had a generous, thick spicy sauce with plenty of onions and chicken. The chicken wasn't of the highest quality - definitely not breast. There may have been an option to upgrade at a small charge but we didn't notice it. The baltis all came with a free plain nan but we decided to pay the supplement and have flavoured nans instead. The kulcha nan was fairly thick but managed to remain light and had a good filling of a variety of vegetables. Both keema nans were a bit doughy in places with an uneven consistency.
We finished with kulfis. Only pistachio was available although they had an almondy taste towards the end. They were also frozen solid which pleased both IanD and PhilS but not SteveB who struggled to make a dent despite hacking away with both the fork and spoon provided!
The Rose of India is a reasonable venue. The lone waiter was very attentive and even steered SteveB away from his first choice of a pint of Kingfisher (£4.70 as it would have been made up of two bottles!). It's a haven for train spotters as trains pass by (though not on the viaduct) every few minutes. We must end on a cautionary note - the hot towels were VERY hot and had to be left for quite a while before they could be used.
Which gives an overall rating of 4 bhajis.