Sunday, December 14, 2014

As I was going to St Ives (Part 2)...PR Massala

As part of my journey through the Indian restaurants of St Ives. We decided to hit PR Massala after a recommendation from a friend who had lived in the town for quite a while. I had never heard of the place myself and neither had my father who was joining us tonight. It sounded like a bit of a hidden gem so naturally it appealed to us.

PR Massala is easily missed down a small alleyway just off the market by the main church. Even if you walked right past the restaurant you wouldnt be blamed for missing it. It doesn't look like a restaurant, especially an Indian. 
Despite its small size from the outside, the place is very big and can fit almost any amount of people you desire. The place is spacious and has its own bar at the entrance.

My father and I were taking our girlfriends out for a nice meal so it was a bit of a special occasion. No, scratch that, it was a MOMENTOUS occasion as we were also being joined by my son who was going for his first ever curry! 
A real proud father moment! 

The restaurant really gets in to the spirit of things with the Christmas decoration. Not only that but the more traditional Indian decorations were very tasteful too. The staff were very warm and friendly and were very chatty. They were particularly good with my boy and gave him a lot of attention.
I would recommend this place for families, which is an important thing to note as Indians aren't always perfect for kids in my opinion. The atmosphere and general feel of the restaurant was fantastic!

Looking at the menu we came to the conclusion that the place was respectfully priced in nearly every sense of the word. Quite a refreshing change as some Indian restaurants in the outer towns of Cambridge tend to be that little bit steeper. 

We ordered some papadums while we waited. The papadums were of reasonable thickness and flavour, which was fine. Where PR Massala let me down however was with the sauces. I got excited when they brought out the sides of mango chutney, lime pickle, onion salad and yoghurt in the large metal containers, but sadly they were only filled up about 1/4 way, so between the 5 of us they all ran out incredibly quickly.
Not only were the portions stingy, but the lime pickle was incredibly dry (a theme I started to see through the night), the yogurt was quite watery too. The mango chutney and the onion salad were fine, though nothing inspiring. A bit of a mixed bag really.

I decided to go for the Bombay Duck Massala which is a fairy hot dish which uses Banglashi's famous Naga chilli with chunks of duck in a fresh herb and spiced sauce. My girlfriend went for the lamb tandoori with salad, and my boy had egg rice, saag aloo and a Peshwari naan. 

Once we were done the staff were quick to clean up and bring out our mains. Everything looked incredibly well presented and very delicious. My Bombay duck massala was full of flavour and had a good kick to it. The duck was very nice though a little dry, nothing which bothered me that much as the meat tasted fine and the chunks were large and numerous, I would have liked to have seen a bit of sauce to help me with the rice I ordered, but overall I was quite satisfied!

 Bombay naga duck massala with egg rice and saag aloo. 

My girlfriends lamb tandoori was incredibly tough and dry which was a damn shame as it looked fantastic by the eye. I wouldnt recommend it to anyone as it was incredibly hard to cut and the work which went in to cutting it up nearly exhausted you! The saag aloo tasted great and had some good texture to it, so much so I stole some for my plate too!

 Lamb tandoori with saag aloo and salad.

 Egg rice portions looked small but were quite decent once they were on your plate. 

The peshwari naan was absolutely fantastic and a very generous size, it was stuffed full of peshwari and was very sweet and very succulent. Highly recommended!

Once we were finished opinions were quite divided on the food. The general consensus was that the food was good, though PR Massala seems to struggle with getting the texture right with their dishes. It might be worth noting for anyone coming here to make sure they ask for their dish in a particular way! 

Either way, my boy certainly loved the food there!

PR Massala has certainly impressed me more than Montaz across the road. It seems warmer, welcoming and with much more space for parties and large gatherings. 
There was a good selection on the menu and it was all reasonably priced. Its just a shame the food is very inconsistent, especially the meat and texture.
The staff are all very approachable, friendly and great with kids. They were one of the best things about the overall dining experience.
So far I would say that PR Massala is my favourite out of the two Indians restaurants in St Ives, both PR Massala and Montaz offer a nice establishment with a good selection of food but sadly that food doesn't quite keep up to the quality in Cambridge or London. PR Massala seems to tick every box but just struggles with the main reason we come here, the food. Until it gets that right it seems unfair to give it anyone over a 7/10.

 My next target for me is The Sultan across the river, lets see if it can take the crown! 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cocum - The best value South Indian cuisine in Cambridge.

Boy, it has been a long wait.

I have been dying to try the South Indian restaurant known as Cocum for many years now. I often  work across the road on Castle Street and have to stare at it all evening, calling me. Tonight, my long wait was finally over and I managed to see what all the fuss is about with the Curry Crew 19's visit to Cocum. 

Located next to the two juggernauts of Indian cuisine in Cambridge, both down Castle Street too (The Maharajah and Cafe Naz), Cocum offers something different with a selection of more traditional South Indian cuisine rather than the usual British Indian food you are probably used too in 95% of other Indian restaurants in the UK.

Upon entering we were warmly greeted by staff and seated at our table. The place looks small on the outside, and the inside is no exception. Though it can still sit a large party if need be. The places goes with the "green theme" of the outside of the restaurant with the decoration on the inside. The place is warm and cosy with no complains on the lay out or decoration of the place. 

Upon looking at the menu we noticed that things were more expensive than traditional British Indian restaurants, though certainly cheaper than its only other rival in South Indian cuisine, the Rice Boat. Things like the mix pickle platter which is usually served along side poppadoms came to £2.95, which is something often offered for free in other places. Poppadoms were 50p each on top of that. Ouch!

That being said, the selection was impressive with 5 different selections of pickles, fish, vegetables and yogurt. Each one incredibly delicious and well prepared and presented. I was quite disappointed with the size of the portions. Personally I didnt think it was enough for me alone, especially sharing it with 8 people. We ordered two plates and it still ran out too early. Considering we had spent £6, and that didnt even include the poppadoms, I was quite unfulfilled. 

When they took our orders we decided to try something different. A friend recommended the Masala Dosa, a flemented crepe of black grain lentils served with ginger flavoured potatoes and side sauces. The dish came to just under £6 and if anything was a fantastic novelty and incredibly fun to eat. The rich flavour, incredibly crackly texture with a creamy center really wow'ed everyone who tried a bit. The sauces were a nice touch though not really needed as there was so much flavour in the Dosa alone. 
I will certainly be having this again and a great dish to share with friends. It was big enough to have as a main course or starters. 

It took quite a while for our food to come out. We put this down to the restaurant being quite busy, which is always a good sign. Not to mention we were a reasonably large group. We ordered a fish Biriyani, which is traditionally served in my experience with a curry sauce. This one however, came with none and was just a rice dish. After seeing the look of disappointment on my friends face the waiter, obviously quite used to this from other customers, offered to give us a curry at no extra charge. 

Ah, thats better!

The fish in the Biriyani was incredibly dry, though the rice itself tasted fantastic and full of flavour I think if anyone orders this to make sure they order some sort of sauce with it or they will be left disappointed. 
Make sure you get the curry sauce with this dish as it is not included with the order. 

 Lamb Cheera Curry

I went for the Lamb Cheera Curry which was a sublime dish. The meat, something which I feel is often scrimped upon in a lot of restaurants because they think the sauce covers the taste and texture, was done to near perfection. The sauce was rich and full of flavour. It went down a treat and was the envy of the table. I couldnt recommend this enough, really!

The rice, which I am sad to say cost nearly £3, was of decent quality and of an average size. As you would expect for the price. 

The plain naan was a very generous size and cut up in to four slices. It made the perfect companion to the Cheera Curry and was one of the  better value dishes on the menu, though nothing you cannot order from any other Indian restaurant in town. I really enjoyed cleaning the sauce from my plate with them! 

We were given some mid ranged hot towels in microwave packaging rather than the hot wet wipes I am seeing more and more now days. They did the job fine, though Cocum doesn't really serve anything hot enough to warrant using a hot towel but they are always nice to have.

Once we had finished, the staff were still too busy to take our plates away. We even had to wave them down to ask for the bill. 
We got our bill and it came to a reasonable price, though again, more expensive than a regular Indian you are probably used too. Its worth noting that Cocum maybe more expensive than that the average "curry consumer" is used to, but it is also cheaper than its rival South Indian restuarant, The Rice Boat. So for what it does, it offers good value. Remember, this is different cuisine all together.

The service was friendly and of a respectable quality considering how busy it was. You can tell this place is very popular as it was packed. All the food tasted fantastic, if you ignore the fish being a little dry on the Biriyani, but I am just being picky here.
Its certainly a place which considers itself more of a delicacy rather than the usual spicy slop in a bucket we are all used too. I highly recommend it for anyone who is a little tired of Indian food and fancy trying something a little different. I especially recommend the Masala Dosa and Cheera Curry and Lamb.  The quality was probably a little shy of The Rice Boat though it is noticeably cheaper. A very good balance of quality, value and cuisine. 

Good work guys!

See you again soon!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Curry Palace - Cottenham

I had the pleasure of being treated to a meal out by my friend at Curry Palace in Cottenham the other night.

I have often felt that the north of Cambridge has struggled to compete with the east (Tamrind, Sitar), the south (Kaz's, Rang Mohol and Zara) and the west (Lalbagh, Montaz) for decent restaurants. Offering nothing other than a few basic or mediocre Indians in the neighouring villages, which do the job but offering nothing too different or inspiring.

That is, until now.
I have always had the Curry Palace pegged as a very decent place to eat but until the other night I had forgotten the kind of quality they provide here.

The restaurant is much bigger than it looks from the front and in the back it is able to seat any amount of people required. Once you walk in you are presented with an incredibly beautiful bar which has a lovely water feature backdrop, similar to the one in Lalbagh in Bourne. This is not only a gimmick though as the restaurant has this as a common feature throughout the restaurant.

It should be noted that the restaurant has appalling wheel chair access which let the experience down for us a little. My friend, who just so happened to be a wheel chair user, had a terrible time trying to get in to the restaurants back door as there is a massive step and two very close doors in the entrance which makes access very difficult.

Once we were in, the staff were overly apologetic and were keen to make it up to us. We were given the menu and we took our drink orders. While waiting for our drinks and poppadoms we took in the decoration and admired the art work on the walls. The place looks great with the numerous water features which are bound to be the main focus of discussion, but they also had some beautiful canvas art on the walls too. 

Once our poppadoms arrived we decided to get stuck in. We were presented with four sides. Red onion chutney, mango chutney, onion salad and lime pickle, all in a large metal container which gave us excellent portion sizes.
Each one of them was more delicious than the last. I really couldnt get over how nice the lime pickle was in particular. The onion salad was perfectly chopped and the mango chutney was incredibly sweet, smooth and full of flavour. I asked the gentleman serving us about the sauces and he told us that they get theirs from an Indian wholesaler in London, where as many of the others get their from the Cash n Carry in Cambridge. Whether this is true or not, I dont know, who knows. What I do know is that they were the most delicious side sauces with poppadoms I have had in a long time.
The poppadoms were of a good size and average thickness too.
Bravo guys!

Once we had finished we took our orders. My friend went for a prawn korma and rice. I decided to go for a Curry Palace special called the Bengal flame, a lamb masala dish with rice. We decided to order some peshwari naan for good measure.  Looking at the menu prices were about standard for most Indian restaurants in the city, so was quite happy with that.

 Prawn Korma and rice.
Lamb bengal flame with rice.

The food didnt take long to come out and when it did it was well presented. My Bengal flame looked very similar to a jalfrezi in colour and texture, though it lacked some sauce which made it quite dry with the rice, but the lamb was very tender and had a very nice kick to it. I recommend eating this with bread next time rather than with rice as the meal was a little dry.

The rice was incredibly fluffy and done to perfection. No complains all round. The portion was respectable and didnt break the bank either.

My friends prawn korma was very well done. It certainly went down a treat and hardly anything was left on the plate. My friend said it was very good and had no complaints. I tried a bit of the sauce, and though I am not a huge korma fan, it did taste very good. Not too sweet either which is something I find in some places.

The peshwari naan was absolutely stuffed. I was so pleased with the size, texture and flavour. Once I tore open the bread there was so much of the sweet peshwari inside that it nearly came to the edges. 

I was very pleased to see that we were presented with traditional hot towels rather than those cheap microwaved ones you are usually palmed off with which are just warmed up wet wipes. Just what you needed after an incredibly spicy Bengal Flame!

Our bill came to roughly what we expected, no nasty surprises here. The waiter was very chatty and really made us feel welcome. The place has lots of open space, lots of beautiful art work and water feature decoration throughout. I really love this restaurant, especially the marvelous sides portions which came with the poppadoms.

The Curry Palace has won me over completely and utterly, and has won the crown for best Indian north of Cambridge. 

Keep up the good work!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

As I was going to St Ives (Part 1)...Montaz

As you may or may not know, I recently moved to the fine city of Ely. Naturally one of the first things I did was go around and sample all the Indian restaurants to see what the city had to offer. The conclusion I came too was that Montaz was the best all round Indian restaurant for dining in.

While doing some research on Montaz online I noticed that it has many sister restaurants located all around the orbital area of Cambridge.

As you can see by the website, they are located in St Ives, Brampton, Newmarket, Bourne, as well as Ely. So I took it on myself as a bit of a challenge to try them all. 

Over the past few months I have been in the St Ives area visiting family or my girlfriend, who all live in the area. This for me was the perfect opportunity to check out one of the Montaz restaurants and see if the chain had a consistent quality.

One I had found the place, located in St Ives town center, the first thing you notice is how different it looks compared to the Montaz of Ely.
Where the Ely restaurant was in an old Tudor house with wooden beams across the interior ceiling and with a very traditional Indian feel too in presentation, the Montaz St Ives comes across as very sleek, modern and very warm, inside and out. So in a way polar opposites.

I think I preferred the style of Montaz St Ives to the one in Ely, St Ives has a very warm feel to it with low lighting and orange and brown walls. I like the style and feels good being in there and the places comes across as very clean and new. The one in Ely is quite cramped, old and the English Tudor house just seems to clash with the exotic theme of Indian restaurants. Thats just me though, it might not bother most people. 

We were seen quite quickly once we arrived. The staff were very friendly and welcoming. We were given a table right near the window which was great for people watching. Upon looking at the menu the place seemed to be roughly average prices, probably a bit more expensive than normal. 

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the prawns were only approximately £4.25, which was a nice change from the £9 I experienced at The Rice Boat the other week. 

They had a selection of Cobra and Kingfisher beer on tap, which is good enough. 

There was a modest selection of food on the menu, nothing which would blow you away like at Lalbagh in Bourne, but the basics. They seem to do a lot of fish on their specials menu, which was a little out my price range to try tonight. 

I ended up going for the boring old curry, though I decided to go for the tandoori prawns too. I had the chicken tikka vindaloo with rice. My father went for the Biriyani. We also went for poppadoms (as you do) and some naan bread. 

The poppadoms: 

We were presented with some poppadoms. They were of average texture, but that wasnt where Montaz excelled. Their yoghurt was incredibly thick and full of flavour. It was served in a white china jug so the quantity was decent too. 

The Onion salad tasted nice, though nothing amazing. The mango chutney and lime pickle looked home made and were fantastic. I tend to find a lot of the chutney and lime pickle are the same most places you go, but it seems like the Montaz chain makes their own or gets it from a different supplier. Its worth a look for anyone who loves their poppadoms like I do!

The Prawns: 

The service was fast and effective. They were out within about 20 minutes. The first to come out were the prawns. Though I was pleased to see that they were under half the price that they were at The Rice Boat, we only received 2 very large ones, rather than 6 large ones. The Rice Boat was easily the better value for money here as they also tasted nicer than they did at Montaz. Thats not taking anything away from Montaz here, they were very nice too and went down lovely, there is no shame coming second to The Rice Boat.
I would recommend them to anyone. They were also presented with a nice salad too.

The Main Course:

Once our meal came out it was presented on a hot metal tray. All the food was well presented, especially my fathers Biriyani. I got a decent portion of rice and my vindaloo looked sublime. I really couldnt wait to get stuck in!

 My chicken tikka vindaloo didnt taste right. It had a very huge taste of tomato in the dish. It was very hot which was great, though hot in a different way, it almost felt like it was made spicy with hot sauce or some sort of chemical. It was not very appealing. In fact it was the first curry I havent finished in a long time. 
In their defence, the chicken was beautiful, its was succulent and had good flavour, its just a shame it was soaked in a horrible sauce. 

 The Keema Naan is always a treat, something my dad always liked to order when eating out at an Indian. I am more of a Peshwari Naan guy myself. That being said, compared to others I have had I did feel the meat stuffing inside was stingy, The bread itself was of good size and tasted great though. 


My dad was not too keen on his biriyani. He didnt like the texture and the flavour. Being his usual dish I tend to agree that he knows what he is talking about so I felt his word was enough to put in this review. The dish was very well presented if thats any consolation. 

The hot towels were provided, which was defiantly needed after that hot vindaloo!

Overall I was disappointed with the Montaz. For a place which blew me away in its sister restaurant in Ely, this place just lacked the quality of the food. The service and style of the place was great but without a decent meal, what is the point? 
I like to think that the place was just having a bad day, but sadly I have too many other places to try to go back and try again any time soon. I would love to hear feedback from anyone else who has been before or goes again soon. 


Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Rice Boat - Authentic Indian Cuisine from Kerala.

Aaaaand I am back

A place I had been longing to try for quite some time now is the Rice Boat on Newnham Road.

Described by their website as "Indian food, but not as you know it". The Rice Boat is not like the usual standard of British Indian cuisine you find in Cambridge, but more of a traditional Keralan style of Indian food. 
Popular for its king fish and craft beer selection, you can see why this place is often spoken so highly of when reading any Indian cooking review or blog. Sadly for me I have never been on this side of town to give it a go, so tonight, i thought I would finally change that! 

Located right next to the Mill Pond and the beautiful Granta pub, this area can be a night out in itself. Also sitting next door is one of my favourite Indians in the area, India House, which always gets high marks every time I visit. Luckily they arent rivals as they take two very different approaches to Indian cuisine. 

The first thing I notice about the Rice Boat is how easy it is to miss. Its not very big or imposing like India House, or the Granda Pub, which both stand out so much. In fact, the Rice Boat could easily be mistaken for a small shop while walking past. 

Once you walk in you are greeted by warm atmosphere. The walls are orange/yellow and there is lots of Indian art work. The place has numerous books about Kerala and south India to help customers get a feel of the place they are about to experience through food. 

I was the first to turn up out of the four of us meeting here. The two staff looked quite busy despite there not being too many people in there at the time. Even though I made a booking for a table they had no record of me coming. Luckily they managed to find us a spare table anyway and put us at the front of the bar. 

While waiting for my friends to turn up I took a look at some of the books about Kerala and also examined the menu. The thing which first jumped out at me was the prices, the Rice Boat is by no means cheap in any sense of the word. Now I understand that some of these dishes are made from scratch, are specialist foods and are made to the highest standards, but even things like a 660ml (just over a pint) bottle of Cobra was £6.50. Something you could get from a supermarket around the corner for £2, I dont see why this had to be the same price as the food.

Once my friends arrived they all agreed that the prices were certainly above average but were impressed by the selection of cuisine on the menu. One of us in particular liked the selection of numerous craft beers and ale available. Personally I think a lot of Indian restaurants are probably better just letting you bring your own alcohol in, its cheaper and you can chose exactly what you like, however it was good to have a selection of beers to try and sample which I may not have tried otherwise. 
I was pleased to see a Czech beer on the menu called Konrad, which was one of the more cheaper beers at around £4.50 a pint. Sadly they were out, so I had to settle for an Aspal Cider. 

Once we had made our orders we decided to discuss what we had chosen. One of my friends ordered the Kerala Red Fish Curry with Onion Vada for starters. 
My other friends ordered the Kerala Chicken Curry and a the other a BIRYANI. I myself ordered a starter and went for the Fried Tiger King Prawns and then a Lamb Ularthu for mains.

As a group we ordered a good mix of everything so we got a good idea of what the Rice Boat is all about.

Our starters came out while we waited for our mains. My tiger king prawns were out of this world. They were so big, juicy and full of flavour.The mustard seeds and chili really blew me away too as they had a mild kick to them. I would go as far as to say that they were the best prawns I have ever had in my life. Easily worth the £9. 

My friends Onion Vada arrived at the same time as the prawns. Basically Kerala’s version of Onion Bhaji (but a whopping £4.50). It was a nice snack to enjoy while waiting for our food. The sauce was a nice touch and had a good kick to it. A great sharing platter. 

We ended up waiting a little while for our food, nothing which bothered any of us. The staff were quite busy when I came in to a half empty restaurant, by this point the place was full, so my sympathies were with them. 
My friends Biriyani come out with two eggs, some poppadoms and a pickle. This dish comes across as the better value of the dishes as it seems to have a more complete set...

...As you can see by my Lamb Ularth, it looks quite lonely on the plate. 

Dont let that fool you mind, this Lamb was absolutely incredible. I just wish I had gotten a little more for £11. The lamb is slow cooked until it soaks up the sauce so the taste is unbelievable when you take a bite with such intense flavour. 

My friends fish curry for me was the star of the show. Not only because it was the only dish which had a spicy kick to it (which for me is a big deal), but also the huge chunks of King Fish looked delicious. This will defiantly be what I will be ordering should I come here again! I managed to sample the sauce were tasted sublime, and the dish received two thumbs up by my friend.

The chicken curry was equally nice in terms of flavour, you could really taste the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon in there. Boasted as the spiciest chicken curry on the menu the dish didnt really have much of a kick to it but the flavour was great and went down a treat. It reminded me a  mix between a traditional Indian and a Thai curry because of the coconut milk. 

We were presented with the bill in a what I would presume is a Keralan style box which came with some lolipops and anniseed sprinkles (for some reason!?). No hot towels or chocolates at this restaurant I am afraid. 

                                     My bill came to about £25, which was expected. 

I couldnt help but think that £25 is usually the standard price for two people at a lot of Indian restaurants around Cambridge. You would get more for your money too and never leave feeling like you could eat more. You pay for quality I suppose!
That being said, we experienced something which can only be found at one other place in Cambridge (that I have yet to try), and every single dish we ordered was incredible and well presented. I am so glad I made the effort to try the Rice Boat, though thanks to its awkward location (for me) and its high prices I cannot see myself coming back here for a while. Though I am left with a pleasant memory and an education on real Indian food and culture. 

This is a place which I recommend to everyone if they enjoy Indian food in any shape or form. This is the authentic South Indian food experience. Just be prepared to spend a little more, though I am confident you will not be disappointed by any of the dishes. My other only warning is towards people with a big appetite like me, you may come out feeling a little hungry later. 

4/5 - A unique selection of fantastically prepared south Indian cuisine. Just be prepared to pay for quality. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Megnah

The Maghna down Victoria Road has always been a place I haven't looked at with the most fondness over the years. The last time I visited I felt like I was sitting in a cheap conservatory eating less than average food. It also has the rotten luck of being incredibly close to Castle Street, which for me, is the best place in Cambridge for Indian cuisine

That was quite a few years ago though and the place has had a make over since. The place may look the same on the outside but has had a lot of work done on its interior, which for me was really needed.

I decided to treat my dad to a curry a few weeks back so decided to give the Meghna a bash. He lives in Bar Hill so it was a choice between some of the restaurants on the west side of Cambridge for travel purposes. I had already done a lot of the gems on Castle Street recently and I was invited to the Meghna by some of the staff on the Cambridge Curry Crew Facebook group a few weeks back. It had been a long time since I had tried the place and I had heard of its fresh new look, so why not, eh?

Upon entering we were greeted by a friendly member of staff who seated us immediately. You can see that the place has had a good lick of paint and the place had been decorated with a couple of beautiful bits of artwork and sculptures. They still have the tile floors which still makes it feel like a bit of a conservatory but its certainly a step up from how it was before.

We ordered poppadoms (as you do!) and had a look at the menu. We noticed that the menu was competitively priced, which I was expecting. I have heard a lot about the Meghnas take away special, a curry and rice for £5.95, which beats any pizza or take away delivery deal around that I have seen!

As your poppadoms came out we were presented with yoghurt, mango chutney, onion salad and I think, a tamarind sauce. Sadly the lime pickle was missing but they were more than happy to bring it out. All four sauces were presented excellently and tasted fantastic. Not a single flaw in any of them. I could have done with some extra mango chutney and lime pickle but personally I think this was more down to my own gluttony.  The poppadoms themselves were of average texture and thickness.

 I decided to go for the chicken tikka vindaloo and saag aloo. A classic dish which you simply cannot go wrong with. I usually order a saag aloo mainly because I dont get as many potatoes in my curry as I would like, no matter where I go.

My dad went for his usual Biriyani. A mild and delicious dish which he prefers because it comes with a very flavoursome rice.

The food was out in good time and very well presented. My chicken tikka vindaloo tasted incredible and had a nice kick too it, which a vindaloo should. The saag aloo was very well prepared too and tasted sublime, the only thing I would say was its texture was a little dry, though mixing this in with the masala of the vindaloo soon sorted that out. My favourite point of my curry was the quality of the meat, something I have noticed is scrimped on a lot these days, even when ordering a tikka'd dish. Extra brownie points for that!

My dad had little complaints about his biriyani too. The rice especially, as you can see from the photo was full of flavour.

I was invited by the staffto try an "Indian Lassi". A yoghurt based fruit drink which I thought I would give a go for cultural purposes. Though the drink was quite nice (though not my cup of tea), the drink was more expensive than a beer, which is expensive enough as it is now days! Probably good for certain peoples pallets, just not mine. I wouldnt order again for the simple point of cost.

We were given a free desert, which is a nice touch.  Appreciated guys! A bit of sweet after a hot curry is just what you needed.

Once we were finished we asked for the bill. It was presented in a beautiful blue dish with some chocolates and along side that was some hot towels. We were pleasantly surprised with the total bill and felt like we had a good meal for a good value.

The Meghna has really upped its game here since the last time I visited all those years ago. Its still got the rotten luck of being surrounded by some of the best Indians in Cambridge but I feel it does hold its own.

Where as some of its neighbours such as Cafe Naz and the Maharajah offer a trendy modern decoration and high quality cuisine for an above average budget and the Cocum offering traditional Indian food rather than the usual British Indian. The Meghna has found its own niche by offering a good value, good food and a good service all wrapped in to one package, which sometimes is exactly what you want. It seems to be going for that trusty old faithful Indian around the corner feel, which is does very well.
Not only that but they give you all the bells and whistles you have come to expect now days with Indian restaurants but sometimes don't always get, such as supposedly hot dish with some kick to it, a hot towel (which is becoming a rarity now days) and a even a free desert.
I dont always want to pay above the board for food or eat at a place with a novelty or philosophy, sometimes I just want a good curry for a good price and the Maghna offers just that.

If I was a local in the area I would suggest ordering my take aways from here thanks to its very good "curry and rice for £5.95".

Keep up the good work guys and thanks for reading!

4/5 - Quality, value and friendly, just dont expect it to keep up with the style and novelty of its neighbours.