It really was inevitable that dad’s birthday would end in curry and, true to form, he chose to head to India Quay for his birthday dinner. Looking on their website, we found that weekday nights played host to a buffet and so we quite happily made our way to the riverfront restaurant early on Wednesday evening.
It became clear immediately that there was no buffet available – a surprise but no great detriment – and so we sat in our booth and contemplated what to order, now that we actually had to make a decision! Service was quick and attentive – a little too attentive, due to the emptiness of the restaurant – and we chose the Starter Platter for 3 without even really looking at the rest of the options. We weren’t disappointed by our quick decision though, as every item on the platter was delicious- even the trio of sauces! The plate was piled with chicken, vegetable and mushroom pakora, samosas and chicken chaat – not quite what the menu advertised but all very tasty. The samosas were crispy and flaky with a lightly spiced filling, and I particularly enjoyed the tender chicken pakora. The usual yoghurt based pakora sauce was accompanied by a garlic mushroom sauce (complete with whole mushrooms) and a chickpea sauce which were all lovely, especially when mixed together. The platter was a particularly good way to get a little bit of everything – important when it is all so delicious!
When our plates were removed, we were asked if we were ready for our mains or if we wanted a break. Unfortunately, while this may seem like a considerate touch, it probably means that the dishes are already prepared and if you desire a break they will merely sit under hot lamps for 15 minutes. True enough, our dishes were on the table within minutes and I fear if we had waited they would not have been as fresh. I had ordered the Keema Mattar – a curry made with lamb mince and peas – with Pilau Rice, and though it had a lovely flavour I have to say that it was a little salty and quite spicy. Next to me, mum enjoyed a Chicken Tikka Pardesi with it’s high quantity of spinach. Between us we shared a soft, buttery Garlic Naan – although we didn’t manage to finish a single thing because we were so full!
When ordering his Lamb Desi, dad was warned that it was a very spicy dish and he was pleased to find that it did indeed have a kick – so much so that it was served with a cooling raita. The lamb was tender and plentiful, and dad particularly enjoyed the combination of spicy curry and perfectly laminated paratha which was served alongside it.
We were all beaten by our dishes and though we admitted we shouldn’t have had the starters, they were by far the best thing we ordered. I’m sure we would go back to India Quay – maybe next time the infamous buffet will even be available!