Friday 12 September 2008

Indian Cottage - Albert Road, Southsea

Having felt vindicated in deciding to watch England play Croatia this time rather than go to curry club the weekly fix was postponed.

Wanted to try somewhere new. It’s getting increasingly difficult but I managed with sister number 2. Unfortunately the following report will make me sound like a whingeing footballer (you know the type, wear red and white…play in a new fangled, branded stadium with more space for Execs’ than real fans somewhere in North London…N5?!).

So to the Indian Cottage, one of Albert Roads most established curry houses. In the past it has won local awards and, around Portsmouth at least, enjoyed a reputation similar to the Madhuban at Liss. Yet recent visits to the Madhuban and Thursday’s trip to the Cottage suggest their culinary powers are waning.

Both restaurants offer plenty of decently priced alternative dishes, satisfactory portions, reasonable service (the Madhuban, quick but a little ingratiating, Indian Cottage, competent if rather sombre) and a pleasant dining environment – the Cottage is truly exotic with its royal blue and gold design, thatched bar, varnished wooden elephants, Indian vases and pankas, flapping in the gentle breeze of the air con. However, while the Madhuban has of late served me up flavourful but cloying fare, the Indian Cottage provided the opposite.

After good poppadoms (warm, crisp not over salty) there came bland, watery Chicken Tikka without smokiness or spiciness followed by Gujaratie Lamb. Essentially a particularly iron tasting, savoury spinach curry sour with whole green chillies, it wasn’t bad but not outstandingly moreish either. Sweet and tangy Aubergine, plus extra if not entirely necessary texture from creamy cashews worked the taste buds where Pilau, devoid of aromas, like boiled rice and a vague hint of cinnamon bark, did not.

Overall…not really.


Willp2328rating: 6/10