Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Beard Review by Edmund: Redland Tandoori - Bristol

Welcome one and all to the merry (unlikely) review of the Redland Tandoori restaurant of Bristol. As this is my first review in a while i would like to thank sy for badgering me just enough so I would get round to doing it almost immediately (in the grand scheme of things). The picture will be posted later..

It was a dark and frozen night, the kind that would chill a lesser man to his bones and shatter him on the unforgiving street. On this most unfriendly of environmental conditions the intrepid crew of the Cambridge curry society descended on the Redland Tandoori Restaurant. The reception by the staff warm and inviting they took their seats, unknowing of the culinary experience that was about to be unleashed upon them.

It is with this shaky start our evening at the curry house began, while we waited for our Bristol compatriots to arrive I took the time to survey the surroundings. The restaurant was empty and silent when we arrived so it was easy to take in the dubious selection of decor the owners had selected to adorn their business. The room was lit in a soft red light with the usual selection of pictures adorning the walls, but with one difference, at the rear of the shop was a television screen displaying an ever changing picture of life in India. Now I’m not usually one to complain about an innovation in decorating but to show your customers a view of the poverty stricken, hungry and malnourished portion of Indian society isn't exactly what you want when trying to gorge yourself on the bounty that you have ordered. This combined with the overly zealous use of the heating function on the air conditioning made for a slightly uncomfortable environment.

As our Bristol compatriots arrived the restaurant began to fill to capacity with other patrons so my hopes were raised to the quality of the meal we were about to receive. The conversations turned to the menu options, and while the usual selection of meat specials were brusquely skipped over and my attention focused on the choice between dishes. As usual the vegetarian options in this section were provided for every type of curry with one interesting addition worthy of note The Paneer (Indian Cheese) Jalfrezi. I have never seen a curry house offer this particular vegetarian option, the usual ingredients being mixed vegetables, so i jumped at the chance to try it here.

As is tradition on these curry meets we ordered some popadoms to start, and here we started to notice a problem, the service. Given that we were a group of moderate size (12 people in all) and the restaurant was full we expected a little lag in the preparation of our meal. But as our wait continued for this simply made starting snack the concern was realised, the service was slow. I'm not talking about the simple lag, other customers who came in after and ordered after got their meals and had left well before we even started our main course.

When the time arrived for our main courses to start, and after the wait we had to endure the quality of my dish at least made up for some of the tardiness. The Sauce had a good flavour though the portions of rice some people had received were not up to expectation. Another thing worthy of note about the curry was that the heat described on the menu was bang on what was expected, a thing which is almost unheard of in the previous restaurants I have given my patronage to.

To finish the experience we were all given a shot of baileys, and were left to divide up the bill, the price of which also was not offensive.

To sum up the evening I would say that the food was good, definitely worth the visit but the service and decorating really let the place down. Combined with others complaints about the taste of their particular dishes and the meagre portions they received the restaurant could have done a lot better.

Overall Score: 3 Beards and a Moustache out of 5

Ed, your eventual supreme overlord.