Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kaz's Indian & Bangladeshi Restaurant - Sawston.


Back in the days when I briefly lived in Sawston I used to visit a place called Redfort Gardens for my curry fix. I look back at the place fondly as though it was an unusual looking Indian restaurant, located in an old Tudor building, the place did a mean curry. I was very sad to hear that it had closed down some years ago as it was easily one of my favourite places at the time.

The place is now back open and rebranded as "Kaz's Indian and Bangladeshi Restaurant" and has been for some time now. so I was glad to come back and revisit the place 5 years later (TO THE DAY) and see what they have done with the place. 


From the outside, not much as changed, its still the same unusual looking Indian restaurant. It has had a lick of paint and I am glad to see there is still a lot of generous parking at the back for people coming from out of town.


Upon entering we had to hunt down the staff who were located at the back at the bar. They showed us to our seats which just so happened to be the back table in this photo. The place is a little cramped but comfortable once you sit down.


The place was presented well, with cutlery, napkins and flowers all laid out on the tables. They had large leather chairs which were very comfy. 


The place still feels very similar to the old English style of Redfort Gardens I remember but they have gone to the trouble of adding some nice modern touches to jazz up the place. I was quite taken by this very striking glass piece lit up with neon lights next to our table . It was a nice touch and I can imagine it looking even better as it got later into the evening.


While I was briefly at the bar I noticed they had Cobra beer and Carling on tap. I am not too sure what they were thinking with Carling, probably something to have as a cheaper option perhaps, but I am glad they had at least one Indian beer.  
They were priced at £3.90 for the Cobra and £3.70 for the Carling respectively. A little steep I'd say, but I am glad to see they aren't following the trend of "bottle only" which a lot of places seem to be adopting now days. 

I ordered myself a Cobra beer and a papadum while I studied the menu further. I was pleased to see a good selection of starters, chef specials and numerous other dishes. Kaz's should be able to cater for most people who come here though probably wont have the exotic choice and selection of its neighbour and rival - The Rang Mohol.


I was incredibly impressed with the selection of side sauces we received with our papadums. We had 5 choices of sauces ranging from mango chutney, yoghurt, lime pickle, onion salad and coconut powder. 

Each one was well prepared and tasted great.  With the exception of the lime pickle all the portions were very generous and lasted us through the entire dish.

The onion salad was finely cut which made putting it with the papadum much easier and less messy. 
The coconut powder was a fantastic addition to the group and something I do not see very often in Indian restaurants. It had a lovely flavour and added a good texture to the papadums, it received many compliments from my friends at the table so it appears to be a winner!
The yoghurt, mango chutney and lime pickle all tasted great and were incredibly thick and well made. No complaints all around. 


After feasting on my papadum and looking at the menu I decided to go for a good ol lamb tikka vindaloo. The prices of all the curries are listed in the photo above - All quite reasonable I thought, and though it doesn't state the cost to have your curry tikka'd on the menu, mine came to £7.30. 

I ordered a starter as I was in the mood for king prawns, so decided to go for the butterfly king prawn. Basically its just king prawns in bread crumbs. We also ordered some onion bhajis to go along side them. 

 Onion bhajis
King prawn butterfly. 

Both dishes came out in good time, both served with side salad. The onion bhajis looked great and well cooked yet still quite succulent, a good balance i'd say. My king prawn butterfly was incredibly dry and I was sad to see only one prawn in the entire dish. I had to use a bit of yoghurt to moisten it up to make it more desirable. 

Once we were done they took our plates away and brought out our main dishes in a small cart. When they were presented on our table we were struck by how exciting and well prepared it all looked.

 My friends biriyani vegetable curry looked lovely! The biriyani rice especially was bursting with flavour when I tried it! 
 Lemon rice - VERY lemony, no subtleness here! Not light touch of lemon like you might expect.
A lamb tikka vindaloo executed perfectly!

My lamb tikka vindaloo appeared in great form. It was a deep brown/red with green herbs on top. 
On my plate my vindaloo still looked as exciting, though I did notice that the curry was a little dry. I could have done with some extra sauce to soak in to the rice. Otherwise it was near perfection. They nailed the flavour perfectly with a bold smoky vindaloo taste. 
The lamb was the star of the show for me, there was so much lamb in the curry, which is something I find gets scrimp on with most lamb curries. So I was very pleased to see that!  The lamb was succulent and had lovely texture to it, it worked so well. It was easily one of the best vindaloos I have had in a long time. 
The vindaloo spice hardly blew me away but still had a decent enough kick to it, so I was happy enough. In fact, this curry reminded me very much of the ones I had at the old Redfort Gardens 5 years ago!

My lamb tikka vindaloo with rice.

My friends lemon rice was incredibly bright which made it look very exciting. The rice did look incredibly lemony, which my friend later confirmed was the case. This might not be for everyone as when you think lemon rice you tend to think a hint of lemon, but this dish had a very bold flavour indeed, so watch out! 

The tandoori mixed grill looked fantastic, it came with everything you would expect and the portions were very generous. It had bold colours and very large portions of meat. You could tell by looking at it that they had nailed it. My friend gave it the thumbs up!

We also ordered a biriyani which came with a vegetable curry as a side. I didn't get to try the curry itself but the biriyani rice itself was bursting with flavour, colour and texture, it was excellent. It seemed to go down very quickly too so I presume that makes it a real success! 

Once we had finished we were offered a hot towel. Sadly I didn't get a chance to take a picture as they were opened and handed to us - which was a good service mind. They were not your average microwaves wet wipe, though they did come in similar packaging. These were more like disposable flannels, which is obviously preferred to a wet wipe and certainly needed after that large spicy meal! 


We got some Kaz's chocolates with our bill, which came to roughly what we expected. The place is well priced and they let us split the bill in to cash and cards. 

We were offered a complimentary shot of spirits at the end of our meal which we sadly had to decline as we were all driving. This was a great touch and something many places do not seem to do now days! 

Conclusion

Kaz's did a fantastic job tonight and really impressed us all. 
Their papadums come with a wide range of side sauces, each excellently prepared and with generous portions. 
The vindaloo was one of the best I have had in a long while though it did come out a little dry. The butterfly king prawns were less inspiring and also came out very dry.
The service was very friendly and nothing with too much trouble for them. I particularly liked the complimentary shot of spirits at the end of our meal - something I would like to see in more places!
I felt like I was missing out on experiencing Kaz's iconic atmosphere as we arrived at 19:00 before the evening had a chance to get too dark, so sadly we didn't get to see the neon lights do their work. The place still looked good despite this even though there was no massive structural change to the restaurant. I also didn't see any changes for disabled access or toilets.
Prices were about average and they had a decent selection of dishes which should be enough for most people. I would have liked to see a better selection of draft beer. 

If I lived locally I think this would be my day to day go to place for curry, without a doubt, though if I wanted something a bit more traditional there are rivals in the area which Kaz's simply couldn't compete with.
Especially since I dine with a friend who uses a wheelchair who quite simply wouldnt be able to use the restaurant.

8/10 - A fantastic all round text book Indian restaurant. Highly recommended! 

With two such fantastic Indian restaurants close by, The Rang Mohol, Kaz's, and Zara only down the road, I figuratively dying of jealousy and green with envy at the people of Sawston. I can safely say that if I lived here, then I would be about 16 stone! The Sawston area for me has to be one of the hot spots for Indian food in Cambridgeshire. Its just such a shame I live so far away! I cannot wait to come back!

Thanks for reading! 

Tables can be booked at (http://www.kazindianrestaurant.co.uk) or call them on 01223 837025.