Thursday 9 July 2009

July meeting - Spice Lounge, Petersfield

We had a great turnout for our meeting at Spice Lounge, Petersfield, on Wednesday 8th July. The restaurant was very busy, and possibly this meant the staff were under pressure. We even struggled to get some hot pickle with the papadums, though to be fair, service picked up towards the end of the evening.

We enjoyed a mixed starter, comprising chicken chat puree, lamb kebab, chicken tikka, bread-crumbed chicken and onion bhaji. Then the main courses arrived. At our end of the table, we had lamb balti, CTM, lamb dhansak, prawn dhansak, chicken bhuna, vegetable curry. At the far end of the table, lamb jalfrezi and chicken chilli massala were briefly seen but never made it to us. Kulchi lamb came as promised, and was as tasty as ever. Sadly, my overall impression was that there was not much variation between the dishes - most things were suspiciously the same sort of deep red colour, mild to medium (not what we wanted) and very little spice.

All in all, the social side of the evening was far better than the food, and we'd rather have fewer dishes with a focus on doing the cooking right.

Reminder: Bryan Frost and the Ravons are doing a gig in aid of MND charities at the Festival Hall, Petersfield, on 1st August.

Tuesday 7 July 2009

Tiffin - Canon Street, E1

Tiffin has a ringing endorsement from the Cobra Good Curry Guide, and though of late my faith in The Good Book has wavered a little, it deserves praise. I actually ate there, which is more than the editors of The Guide are sometimes capable of, and so can pass reasonable judgement - not that I am in anyway Pontius Pilate.

Yes, Tony and I enjoyed a good meal, ordered plenty (Tony drives an ice cream van during the day so he's dying for something savoury come 9pm). BYO Kingfisher washed well and starters included smokey Chicken Tikka, gristle free, savoury Sheekh Kebab's, great persuasively cumin flavoured Lamb Chop's, Veg Samosas and Aubergine Bhajia's - fatty batter tends to make these somewhat predictable.

In between planning a Nineteen Thirties themed party with new Grammarphone as the centrepiece (it has one volume: LOUD), main courses were eagerly set upon. Dahi Murgh comprised chunks of Chicken in a fresh, light, paprika orange yoghurt sauce, Tandoori Vegetables, two delicious skewers, ever so slightly charred, the pumpkin exhibiting an extraordinary raw, sweet, yet tart lemony flavour, as well as rice and a doughy desert bread, doused in toothsome organic honey, proved highly satisfactory.

The owner was very personable and kept assuring us they were usually much busier - they are only about six tables so presumably an orderly Saturday-Night-In-Tower-Hamlets queue forms on such occasions. He also apologised several times for the fact they'd run out of After Eights, I didn't think it fair to tell him I prefered Ferrero Roche. But Trifles and Eton Mess aside, I will pop in again, forgot to mention the food is cheap.

FOOD (& DRINK): 3.5

Willp2328 score: 7/10

Thursday 2 July 2009

Sea Raj has closed

Grayshott's innovative Sea Raj restaurant is now displaying a notice saying that it has gone out of business and that the restaurant is closed. Whether that's down to the recession, or to a lack of people wanting to try Indian fish cuisine, is a moot point, but it was an interesting experiment. No idea whether the owners have persisted with their larger premises in Farnham, but the lack of any web presence suggests not. Shame.