The Raj TandooriBy Kim Francis
August 29, 2008
The Raj Tandoori in Emmer Green has been in business for 13 years now and it seems it’s something of a well-kept secret in the area – around 95 per cent of the restaurant’s custom comes from local residents, who return time and time again.
Indian meals are always best shared, so I paid a visit to the popular tandoori restaurant with my husband Darren and brothers Robert and Kevin for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
We ordered drinks and poppadoms (50p each) as soon as we sat down. They were brought out almost immediately, allowing us to munch away while we perused the menu.
Knowing that we always get piles of food for mains, we decided on just a couple of starters for us all to share, opting for seekh kebab (£3.75) and aliza chicken (£3.95).
The first came as two barbecued skewers of bright red sausage-like minced lamb sticks blended with coriander, fresh herbs and onions, which were moist with a bit of bite, making for a substantial starter.
The second was the favourite of the two, with two pieces of deep-fried chicken coated in chick pea flour to make a light and tasty batter and a spicy but refreshing sweet and sour-style sauce with chopped onions.
Many Indian dishes can be excessively oily and buttery, and was surprised to see an oil-free dish on the menu – something I have never seen anywhere else.
Being a lover of prawns, I immediately plumped for it, the king prawn murade (£11.95), a lightly spiced dish which was gratifyingly free of any hint of oil or sauce and attractively presented on a bed of mixed salad. The prawns themselves were meaty with a mild and satisfyingly simple flavour.
Robert, like me, had a taste for prawns and went for tandoori king prawn massala. The sauce was rich and creamy and the prawns really tender.
Darren and Kevin, meanwhile, went for chicken dishes and opted for chicken jalfrezi (£6.95) and chicken dansak respectively.
The jalfrezi was a generous portion, like all the dishes, medium hot and quite sweet.
Plenty of sauce meant that I could dip my prawns and the stuffed-to-bursting fruity peshwari naan (£2.25) in whenever I fancied.
The dansak comprised yellow lentils in another plentiful hot and spicy sauce that was also relatively sweet. Served with its own portion of fragrant pilau rice, Kevin mostly left our side orders of off-menu keema rice (which was full of big, meaty chunks of minced lamb) and steamed rice (£1.95) as he tackled his own plate.
The waiter recommended chicken tikka special – an off-menu option – which he insisted we try on top of our other dishes and we found this to be again rather sweet, with big chunks of onions, tomatoes and peppers swimming in the mild and tasty sauce.
Two vegetable dishes of beautifully soft bombay potato (£3.75) and mixed dry vegetables (£3.75), which actually came served in a sauce and were therefore wet but also tasty and tender, made up the rest of our meal, along with a couple of chapatis (95p each).
Finishing off with mouchak (£3.50) from the dessert menu – a very firm vanilla ice cream topped with glazed almonds and a touch of honey sauce – Darren, Robert and I headed home, while Kevin made his way into town. Quite how he managed to carry on after the feast we had just eaten, I’ll never know.
The Raj Tandoori holds happy nights every Wednesday offering five courses for £9.95 per person as well as a Sunday buffet from 1.30pm to 10pm for £7.95 for adults and £4.50 for children.
- Telephone: (0118) 946 2374
- Address: The Raj Tandoori
11 Cavendish Road, Emmer Green,