Monday, August 3, 2015

Back to Lalbagh - Bourn


Me and my buddy Jim decided to head back to the multi award winning restaurant and local legend - The Lalbagh.
Located in the small village in Bourn, this place was the host to one of our previous Cambridge Curry Crew events last year. 


Upon entering we noticed that there was a disabled parking spot at the front of the restaurant and a large car park at the back. There is a ramp for wheel chair users which needs to be requested upon entering. 


Once we got in we were warmly greeted by the staff and shown to our seat. We were struck by the large amount of certificates and awards The Lalbagh had on its walls. It was certainly reassuring to see and suits the reputation of the establishment.  
The place is incredibly modern and has a string of stylish ornaments located across the restaurant. It had a dark feel to the place which is dimly lit up by blue neon lights, giving it a very stylish yet cosy feel. 
Some might prefer a more light and open feel restaurant but this worked for us.


The bar is one of the more striking sights of the restaurant. It is equipped with a Cobra, Kingfisher and Mongoose beer taps, which is a VERY impressive selection of Indian beers...if I do say so myself. Not to mention a fine selection of wine and spirits at the back. The bar is lit up with blue neon lights like the rest of the restaurant and has a running fountain screen at the back which is a really nice touch. 


We ordered some papadums while we decided on what we wanted. We were given a blue neon lamp for our table to add to the other blue lights in the restaurant. Its was really needed too as it does get quite dark in here.


The side sauces for the papadums were the usual four you would come to expect - Mango chutney, onion salad, lime pickle and yoghurt. Each presented excellently in fine white china pots with little spoons. The portions were stingy but the quality was mostly very decent. The mango chutney, lime pickle and onion salad were all very nice and well prepared, though I felt the yoghurt was quite runny. I was a little disappointed as there was nowhere near enough here to last the three papadums we ordered, so keep that in mind if you plan to order a lot of papadums on your visit here. 


Looking at the menu there was some fantastic stuff to choose from. Certainly more than your average Indian restaurant. 



If you are new to Indian food and want to explore a little more of what it has to offer, or perhaps you are a regular curry goer but want to try something different, then The Lalbagh would be a great place to come. The selection is very diverse and impressive. 

  There was a very generous and plentiful selection of starters and a great range of fish, lamb and biryani dishes. There was also some of the more text book curries like vindaloo and tikka masalas. 

Prices varied considering what you wanted. Some of the Lalbagh specials were tipping £12-14 each and one of the pints of the beers mentioned earlier was over £4, so it can be quite steep! The chicken vindaloo however was a more reasonable at £6.95 which is very competitive - It was very hit and miss. 

So just keep an eye on what you are ordering. 


After having their famous sea bass dish the last time I was here I decided to go for a good old chicken tikka vindaloo. My friend went for the king prawn korma. 
Both dishes came out quite soon after ordering and were presented excellently, they both looked fantastic. Both dishes were rich and full of colour.
One thing I noticed was that the quality of the king prawns and chicken in both dishes were sensational! You can really tell by the bold taste and texture of the meat which jumped out the fiery taste of the sauce that they used quality ingredients. The chicken had been tikka'd well and the prawns were big and juicy, just how they should be!

Sadly the vindaloo, though quite tasty, did lack a spicy kick to it, which was disappointing. 


The onion rice was perfect. It was colourful and vibrant, the texture was fluffy and it was full of flavour. The portions were average/generous and it was presented very well. It made an ideal side dish for my vindaloo. 


Our garlic naan was delicious and had a very pleasant and succulent texture to it. Neither of us were disappointed as it was full of garlicky flavour. It was a little on the small side but it was clearly well prepared and fresh...which is what you want from a naan.


The plot twist! 

My friend ordered chips to go with his king prawn korma. Unusual I know, but hey, we like what we like! That being said, I ended up being very grateful to him for ordering chips because you may not believe me when I tell you this but...these were the nicest chips I have EVER had! 

Honestly! 

The last place I thought I would ever have such thick, crispy and succulent chips with an extremely fluffy centre would be at an Indian restaurant. I really couldn't stop stealing them! They were unbelievable! 

I would really like to hear from anyone else who has eaten chips at The Lalbagh before because I still find it hard to believe. I have eaten at many traditional English fish and chips places all over the country but never have I come across any chips like this. They were the stars of the show. Which for me just goes to show that The Lalbagh is a place of delicacy, no matter what they are preparing. 


Once we were both done they took our plates away. They asked us if we wanted dessert but we declined. They offered us a menu to look at anyway so I did see a good selection of appetising desserts on the menu in case you are wondering.

The gave us some hot towels to freshen up with. They were just the "microwave in a bag" ones but since the vindaloo was not too hot, it didn't really matter. 


We were given a slice of orange and some chocolates with our bill. This was a nice touch. 

The bill came to roughly what we expected. I think the place is probably a little higher than average but not by much. You are paying for quality here anyway so nobody will feel hard done by after dining here. A good price for great food!

Conclusion:

The Lalbagh offers a fantastic selection of Indian food and Indian beer which should be able to satisfy anyone's pallet. 
They offer so many dimensions to Indian food other than the usual curry and grill that we are all used too at our local tandoori. Their selection should be enough to impress even the most experienced Indian food lover and its a great place to come if you are a newbie and want to experience new Indian cuisine. 

Their sea bass is sensational from my previous visit, but today has taught me that they also do a mean vindaloo too (if a little mild)...Heck, even their chips blew me away tonight (I still cant get over that!). 

The staff are very friendly and cannot do enough for you, you can see why they have won a ton of awards here as their customer service is hard to beat. 

The place is elegant, modern and very stylish. All the food is presented well and there are lots of interesting quirks to appreciate while dining here - the most striking being their stunning waterfall bar. 

They have very good parking here and disabled access, though I am sad to see they have no disabled toilet. 

Please make sure to check them on The Lalbagh Facebook page and on Twitter

8/10.

Thanks for reading!