Sunday, 8 February 2015
Last night saw us return to a fantastic new restaurant in Malton, North Yorks called India The Restaurant. We tried them out for the first time last February so this wasn't our first visit. The first time we thought that the atmosphere and service were very good but we were a tiny bit unhappy with our food choices so didn't get as excited about it as we usually do when we find a great place to eat.
This time was to be a little different. We re-read the tripadvisor post we had published following our first visit and took our own advice on menu choices.
Firstly we want to say that this is a restaurant that absolutely meets a need in the town. Malton is the town where Fran grew up and as her Mum still lives there, we do visit from time to time and have been visiting together for the last 7 years. We had always thought that, although there a one or two decent places to eat in Malton, there was definitely a need for a modern Indian restaurant. India hits this brief completely. It is quite a large restaurant but through the stylish decor and clever use of partitions they have managed to create a very intimate eating experience for those looking for that kind of atmosphere. They still have larger tables at one end that can accommodate larger parties and a nice looking bar area for people waiting for a table or just enjoying a pre-dinner drink. It has everything!
On our first trip we noted the great service. On the second trip we saw that their standards have not slipped at all. We were warmly greeted and shown to a well made table. Offered poppadoms (which came very quickly) to enjoy while we browsed the menu. The drinks order was then taken and we enjoyed a lovely bottle of Chilean Chardonnay.
For starters we went for a Prawn Poori and Onion Bhajis. The Poori (lots of different spellings), came as the flavoursome curry wrapped in the chapatti. It arrived with a salad (including strawberry and melon!) and was first class. I think I could drink this sauce it was that good. The bhajis were small, crisp and tested very fresh. We were now thinking that we would be soon enjoying a better meal than last time. We had already looked at the menu on-line and had decided we would order the Butter Chicken that we had last time. We wrote on Tripadvisor that it was the best Butter Chicken we had ever tasted so we trusted our own judgement - and glad that we did! There was plenty of sauce and chunks of good quality chicken. To accompany the Butter Chicken we wanted something with a little kick so just chose a simple Lamb Madras. The sauce was rich, tasty and hot and the lamb was tender. All too often have we ended up chewing tough lamb in a curry! This was actually a little on the hot side for our tastes, but the heat didn't mask the depth of flavour of this dish. A pilau rice and some chapattis were a perfect accompaniment.
Having read some of the reviews on trip advisor, we do have to comment about what some people think is an issue in that the restaurant is too dark. On both our visits, we never saw this as an issue. The restaurant is lit with candles on the table, stylish ceiling lights and candles set into the walls. Perhaps other reviewers were directly comparing the lighting to other establishments in the area. The lighting only adds to the atmosphere which obviously contributes to a great meal out.
We will certainly be visiting again, as there are more dishes we'd like to try, but maybe not the madras for us next time.