Reviewer's Reviews : Ian Bedford

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restaurant Dhaba Diner
review date April 2013
pre-starters
 3.5
starters
 4.0
mains
 4.0
sides
 4.0
service
 2.5
atmosphere
 3.0
value for money
 4.0
price £20 (including tip)
comment BYOB option

We opted for the 'Large Party' fixed menu.

The poppadoms appeared, rather optimistically, with just one dish of chutneys between 9 of us. It seemed to take some time for another couple of dishes to appear. The chutneys compreised what seemed to be Lime Pickle (excellent), Mango Chutney (average), Onion something (v. good) and a Raita (cooling!).

The Starters were dishes of a mixture of Fish Lahori (outstanding!),Chicken Tikka (good),Seekh Kebab (OK), and Vegetable Aubergine Pakora (Good). All were coated in batter which was still crispy.

Mains comprised Butter Chicken (outstanding - great flavours), Garlic Chilli Chicken (good), Lamb Malinder, Lamb Madras, and King Prawn Chattinad (great flavours in the sauce).
The lamb had obviously had a hard life and was consequently was pretty tough, and the sauces that they came in were average.

Side dishes were Allo Chana (good) and Garlic Nan (dripping ghee!) and Peshwari Nan (average).

All in all I thought the quality was good - the lower mark for the rubber lamb was offset by that for the Butter Chicken (probably the best I have ever had).

Sitting with my back to the rest of the restaurant, the atmosphere was whatever we created at the table.

The waiters were attentive but despite their apparent enthusiasm to please, they were hampered by the speed at which the food didn't arrive.

I would definitely go back there again if only for the Butter Chicken.
overall
 3.7

restaurant Guru Balti
review date August 2013
pre-starters
 1.0
starters
 4.0
mains
 2.0
sides
 3.0
service
 2.0
atmosphere
 2.0
value for money
 1.0
price £28
comment Poppadoms were not at all crisp and only required the application of any of the 'chutneys' for them to become soggy.
'Chutneys' comprised onion, onion with a red dye, and what appeared to be watered-down mango chutney.

Starter was Chan Tikka Puri. This was excellent. Flavour, texture, and spiciness were bang on!

Main for me was Balti Jaipuri Lamb. This looked exactly the same as all the other main dishes served, (ie orange!) and tasted the same as the Balti Jaipuri Chicken but a tad sweeter. Not good.

The side dishes that I tried were pretty good. Mushroom bhaji, aubergine bhaji, spinach something-or-other. Nice flavours and consistencies. For once I didn't try the tarka dal - it just looked too runny.

The huge naans looked impressive until you tried to manoeuvre them. Far too big and unwieldy to be practical.

Service was slow and erratic. I think a salad appeared at one end of the table a full fifteen minutes before the last main dish arrived at the other.

Also there were too many apronless people wandering in and out of the kitchen for my hygiene comfort. I'm not sure that work-shirts and baseball caps are kitchen apparel.

Overall impression: Poor. I wouldn't rush back there again, nor would I recommend it.
overall
 1.6

restaurant Ignite
review date September 2013
pre-starters
 4.5
starters
 4.0
mains
 4.5
sides
 4.0
service
 4.5
atmosphere
 4.0
value for money
 4.0
price £30 (including tip)
comment Nice, crispy poppadoms with the usual range of chutneys: onion - normal, mango - good consistency (for a change), lime pickle - mmmmmmm! limey and nicely pickley.

Mixed kebab starter was cooked well, very tasty, and just the right amount. Very good!

Simikot Lamb (although this morning it could have been Sennacot Lamb) was exactly as described on the menu. Very tasty and ample quantity. Excellent!

Tried some of the Chicken Dhansak. It seemed exceptionally good. Great flavours.

The sides - mushroom somethingorother, tarka dhal, and aloo ghobi - all very good and added nicely to the meal.

The service was spot on - waiters when you wanted them, and very efficient too.

We were a party of 14, seated as 6 and 8. This seemed to work very well with the ordering and delivery of the food. A lesson for future CTCT meeting?

Value for money (for food): Not bad really, especially when you factor in the overpriced beer.

Definitely worth a re-visit.
overall
 4.2

restaurant In Touch
review date May 2013
pre-starters
 4.0
starters
 4.0
mains
 4.5
sides
 4.5
service
 3.0
atmosphere
 3.5
value for money
 4.5
price £20 (including tip)
comment Plenty of really good poppadoms with three chutneys: Lime Pickle (excellent), Onion (well, just chopped onion really) & Mango Chutney (tasty but very runny).

Poppadoms and chutneys replenished quickly on request.

Starter: Potato Chop consisted of battered potato. Tasty!

Main: Bengali Green Lamb. Excellent flavours. The lamb was very tender and tasty. Highly recommended!

Service: Slow. From sitting down at the table it took more than 30 minutes before our orders were taken. However when the waiters got up to speed everything flowed very well.

For me, this beats the Spice Pavillion on food quality.
I would highly recommend In Touch, and readily return there.
overall
 4.1

restaurant Mezbaan
review date March 2013
pre-starters
 3.5
starters
 3.5
mains
 4.5
sides
 3.0
service
 2.5
atmosphere
 3.0
value for money
 4.0
price £25 (including tip)
comment Pappadoms were crispy albeit a bit greasy still from being deep fried.
Chutneys were unusual and included a couple with sweetcorn and broad beans and diced veg tipped out of the can into some spicy gloop. Surprisingly good though

The Fish Vada starter was quite good and tasty. Once again still greasy from the fryer which also seemed to case-harden its outer shell. Good though!

Main course was Lamb Nilgiri which once getting over the shock of its very green appearance, proved to be tasty chunks of lamb (which tasted of lamb!) in a really good blend of spices. Highly recommended.

The side dishes were pretty good but nothing out of the ordinary. The first dish of Tarka Dhal to go round the table was very runny but the second one was spot on. Good taste once again.

The service was a bit slow even after taking the orders but with a table of 15 or so I think the waiter did quite well. He even made a note of where to deliver each dish, avoiding that 'What the hell did I order?' moment.

I'd recommend Mezbaan and would certainly go back again.
overall
 3.6

restaurant The Himalaya
review date June 2013
pre-starters
 4.0
starters
 3.5
mains
 4.0
sides
 3.0
service
 4.0
atmosphere
 4.0
value for money
 4.0
price £28 (including tip)
comment Dry, crispy, fresh popadoms in suficient quantity without having to ask for more.
Excellent lime pickle, average onion, and lovely gooey mango chutney - just as it should be - also in sufficient quantity.

The Prawn Puri starter was good although the 'puffed bread' that accompanied it was a bit greasy. All very tasty and a good consistency.

The North Indian Chilli lamb dish was excellent. Although quite hot, the spiciness didn't mask the flavours, particularly that of the tender lamb.

The Chicken Rogan Josh was mild but again very tasty.

I found the side dishes uninspiring: Taka Dhal too runny for my liking, the mushroom and the aubergine Bhaji dishes were tepid at best.

The 'Galapagos' naans were pretty good - especially the Peshwari, but hideously large, difficult to place on an overladen table, and a two-person job to take a piece - one to hold the plate and one to tear. These, though spectacular-looking, would have been better smaller or pre-cut.

The atmosphere was good and of our own making, and the service was also good and attentive.

Licenced bar

Good value for money which included tip and drinks.
overall
 3.8

restaurant Tuk Tuk
review date February 2013
pre-starters
 4.0
tapas
 3.0
service
 1.0
atmosphere
 1.5
value for money
 3.5
price £22
comment > BYOB (there's a Co-op almost next door!)
> Strategy: Smaller "tapas" portions so order 3-4 dishes per person. That worked for me!
> Pappadoms good and the four small pots of chutneys shared between 3 people just about sufficient for 1 pappadom each. Good chutnetys though.
> Hakka Chilli Paneer (noodles) - V.good and chilli-ey albeit a little on ther greasy side.
> Keema Methi Mutter - Good taste. Could taste the lamb!
> Ginger Garlic Chicken - Chicken was tender and tasty but I think they forgot to put the ginger and garlic in mine.
> Tarka Dhal - Pretty nondescript ... and very runny. I've had far better almost everywhere else! This dragged my 'mains' overall rating down.
> Rice - 1 plate between 2 people just wasn't enough.
> Service - S l o o o w and erratic. Orders eventually taken and the dishes did arrive in batches, but not all together which, considering that the place was by no means full, wasn't acceptable.
overall
 1.8

restaurant Yak and Yeti
review date June 2013
pre-starters
 4.5
starters
 4.5
mains
 4.5
service
 4.5
atmosphere
 4.5
value for money
 5.0
price £21
comment Excellent papadoms - dry, crispy & fresh accompanied by a tray of four dips: Mango - average, Onion - average; Mint - excellent; Tomato & Garlic - excellent.
These were served soon after arrival and did not appear on the bill!

Starter: Aloo Tareko - two deep-fried potato croquettes. Great taste from something so simple.

Main: Bhuteko Bhat + Lasuni Kukhura. One of these is the chicken and mixed peppers dish in a hot (spicy) gloopy sauce, the other is a rice dish. Can't remember which!
The flavours were excellent.

No Side dish.

The service was really good even though the restaurant was by no means full. The single waiter was very attentive and the dishes arrived with just a little time between each.

This restaurant is certainly worth a visit. It's menu is by no means extensive, but the food quality is excellent.

Overall price excluded a side dish and tip but included a large beer.
overall
 4.6

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