Tuesday 24 November 2009

Lalbagh, Swindon

Looking for a decent meal in windswept Swindon, I turned to Google which found me the Lalbagh restaurant. Somewhere, I saw the claim that it's the best Indian restaurant in Swindon, a town which isn't short of these establishments. The web site said 'National Curry Chef - Swindon Finalists', and Cobra has declared that this week (22 - 28 November) is National Curry Week, so what more excuse did I need?

The restaurant can be found in Rodbourne Road, Swindon, which is something of a takeaway strip - fish and chips, kebabs, Chinese, two other Indian places, but Lalbagh is a proper restaurant, if not big.

Tonight I needed to avoid heavy fried food, so I started with dal soup - lovely lentil taste, warming and a just the right thing on a cold evening. Then I chose Lamb Darjeeling Special - cooked with hot chillies in lemon flavour sauce - with pilau rice. This was really good - lots of meat, fresh tomatoes and onions, with a subtle tang of lemon. The chilli crept up on me slowly - by the end, I needed to mop my brow. But amazing - the plate showed no trace of grease or fat, and even though I'd left some of the sauce in the serving dish, none there either. Very good food, very flavourful, and this is a restaurant that I'd visit again. Soon.

Details: 171 Rodbourne Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN2 2AY. 01793 535511/535577

Sunday 22 November 2009

November meeting report - Gurkha Chautari, Liphook

We had a good turnout and enjoyed fine cooking at the Gurkha Chautari in Liphook on Wednesday 11th November. The restaurant seems to be evolving in its style, quite distinct from the Gurkha Durbar in Grayshott, its sister. These are definitely not clones of each other.

The starters were the usual favourites - chicken livers, choila (peppery lamb), potota cakes and momo (steamed dumplings). They were all delicious - even one of our group who didn't normally eat liver agreed that this was the case.

Main courses were Khasi Bhutuwa (lamb), hot prawn curry, a medium chicken curry, sizzling tandoori chicken and a mixed vegetable curry that was so good and full of distinct flavours that it wouldn't disappoint as a main course dish (and I'm no vegetarian). Side dishes included rice, naans and bombay-style potatoes.

The cooking was interesting because we couldn't detect any garlic or heavy coriander tastes - instead, there was delicious cooking without heavy sauces. Others commented that maybe there had been too much rice, and maybe we should have had one more meat dish. But the overall impression was of enough spice - some real highlights from sensible use of chili - and everything very good and tasty.

This was a very good evening and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Highly recommended.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

November meeting - Gurkha Chautari, Liphook

The table is booked! Our November meeting takes place on Wednesday 11th, and the venue is the Grukha Chautari restaurant in Liphook.

Aperitifs will be from 19:30 at the Links Hotel, Portsmouth Road, Liphook and dinner will be at 20:30.

More details of the restaurant can be found here. We last visited in June 2009 - the report is on our blog.

An e-mail reminder/invitation will be sent to members of our mailing list. Please let me know if you expect to make it, either by replying through our feedback page or by e-mail.