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 Sylhet Dynasty, Newport Pagnell
 Monday, 24 June 2002
 Sylhet Dynasty is now Blue Spices

It's difficult to keep track of this restaurant as it changes its name every other week. The current name is The Sylhet Dynasty (we believe this is the same as the one before the one before last or perhaps the one before that) and apart from that little else has changed since our last visit - the décor's the same, the staff look remarkably familiar but perhaps a few new dishes have appeared on the menu.

The starters got a mixed reception - especially the mixed starter of Chicken and Lamb Tikka and one length of Sheek Kebab, apparently reasonably priced at £3.50. It was all served straight from the sizzler so should have been fresh but the chicken tikka tasted a little undercooked and was pink in the middle - the sheek kebab was bland and tasteless. According to ChrisN, the lamb was more akin to pig's liver. The small portion of aloo chat turned up lukewarm but was reasonably tasty. Small balls this time for the onion bhajis - four of them but again quite bland. Pick of the starters was the mushroom chat - not on the menu yet cooked to perfection (perhaps there's a lesson here, if you order something not on the menu, there won't be tons pre-prepared so they'll have to make it fresh). The mint sauce was bright orange, too cold and as thick as treacle - too thick to splatter even.

Next up, the main dishes. Another varied selection. IanD opted for the Chicken Jally Jully just for the pleasure of saying the name. This was a very hot dish, almost unpleasantly so. Another unfamiliar dish, Chicken Rampan had an excellent sauce with a little spicy kick to it. The chicken was a bit better cooked than the starter. The Chicken Bhuna was too runny - no sign of the 'thick sauce' we'd have preferred. The Chicken Korai was also overly liquid but nevertheless tasted OK. Although not as spicy as the menu suggested the Chicken Tikka Rogan tasted good. Conversely, The Garlic Chilli Chicken was hot rather than the 'fairly hot' on the menu but this didn't ruin it's taste. Its chicken had been tikkad and was very tender and juicy. You could certainly taste the garlic and there were a few whole green chillies thrown in as well. Well, not much could be said in favour of the Chicken Tikka Massala - the sauce was essentially just a liquidised coconut with red colouring. We found no evidence of the promised "selected herbs and spices". On the whole the rice and nans were fine. As there were no Mars Bars available, Scot PhilS opted for the Batera (deep fried) nan - not bad but probably not worth repeating. We also sampled a couple of side dishes - Bombay Aloo and Tarka Dhall both of average quality.

The staff at the Sylhet weren't too unfriendly but considering the place was empty, they could have been a bit speedier. Rather disconcertingly, although we'd used the side plates for popadoms those that hadn't had the pickles on them were simply wiped with the waiter's dry cloth and put back on the pile for the next unsuspecting customers! Once again, the cheaper draught lager was 'off' so we were forced to buy the overpriced bottled variety. On the whole, the food at the Sylhet was overpriced and cold - probably due to the time taken to dish up 13 main dishes and assorted rices, nans and side orders. An unacceptably large proportion of the dishes didn't match their descriptions and although we asked and paid extra for breast meat, we evidently didn't always get it. Next time they change their name, perhaps they'd like to change the chef as well.

The Scores


Which gives an overall rating of 3 bhajis.

Chicken Bhuna2.5ChrisN
Chicken Tikka Rogan4HazelB
Chicken Jally Jully2IanD
Chicken Rampan3.5IanD2
Chicken Korai3IanM
Chicken Tikka Rogan4JezC
Garlic Chilli Chicken4.5PhilS
Chicken Tikka Masalla1.5SteveB