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.