Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ed's Beard Review - A London First!

Hello one and all it has been a while i know and since i have not written a decent review (or anything of length that hasn't been about some scientific subject) i thought it would be of some mild entertainment for you all. The other reason for my review is that i actually went to a curry restaurant today and well, what kind of stalwart companion would i be if i didn't write about it to all of you fine fellows (and ladies).Maharaja of India - Tandoori Indian Restaurant, Leicester Square.This is a first experience for me, after a fashion, to pick a curry restaurant to eat at after wandering around Leicester Square for about 20 minutes with only hunger in my mind. After i had almost given up my search for something that i would enjoy my vision happened upon a sign for curry, which i nearly (physically) jumped towards. My first impressions of the place from the outside was one of slight apprehension, the doors and windows of the place not being entirely welcoming. This changed when i took a look through and saw it was laid out in a fairly welcoming, tidy and modern manner.

Me and my friend were welcomed, albeit curtly, by the manager (who i think had not been expecting two metalheads to come sauntering in) and were seated quickly as there were only a couple of people around. Now having time to look around at the decor properly i was fairly disheartened by its modern setting, having grown accustomed to restaurants at least trying to put on an air of exotic taste. This was mollified slightly by the twang of indian music through the speakers but not enough for my heart to be lightened enough from it's disappointment.

Now my thoughts went to the menu, open and splayed over the table like heroin addict suffering from an overdose. Now i am not normally one to be surprised by a lack of vegetarian options of a menu, but in a proper Indian restaurant it is nearly abhorrent. My options limited i chose a vegetable jalfrezi (a staple of my choices in Indian restaurants) with my usual side orders and waited for my meal to arrive.

The starters were poppadoms, like with every true Indian meal and i was suitably impressed, the sauce, chutney, and other additions were exceptional so i was reheartened with expectation. This feeling however was to be disappointed.

The meal itself was satisfactory, the curry and rice were in ample portions, the naan, however tasty, was not up to the bountiful example that the other portions had displayed. The taste of the curry was also not up to the standard i would have expected, where as other sauces of the same name have had a standard taste of heat throughout, this example was confined to the chillies contained within. This is not to say the sharp spikes of heat throughout the curry were not welcome, but it was not the pleasure the bite of capsicum normally holds for me, no, this was an unwelcome companion on the journey of taste.

After the meal was over the hot lemon towel cleansed my flesh and the bill came. The price was what i had come to expect from a London establishment but it was one paid without a grateful air.Overall, even given my negative air, i would give this restaurant another chance. Not because of the curry, or the service, but because this restaurant holds promise. The amalgam of choice for those not burdened by my particular dietary need was still bountiful and my friend, albeit a curry restaurant virgin, was impressed with her dish.My final rating for this place is a somewhat dismaying:2 1/2 beards out of 5.