The Garden of Gulab Restaurant, ReadingBy Phil Creighton
January 22, 2009
If eating in is the new going out, then thank goodness that some of the best restaurants in town also do takeaways.
While it’s never quite the same as dining out (there’s nothing more unromantic than a pile of dishes) it can save money – and in the case of ordering from Miah’s, that’s a tasty 10 per cent discount on orders over £10.
The Garden of Gulab, Saffron and Pangbourne offer a call and collect service, and Spencer’s Wood and Saffron deliver.
I’ve already waxed lyrical about the contemporary menu in Miah’s – exclusive curries offering something a little different from the norm, packed with fresh, subtle flavours creating a lighter and more interesting meal.
But how well does that translate at home? Rounding up some very willing guinea pigs, we found out.
Jamshed Miah, owner of the group of restaurants, cooked us up a selection of dishes from the traditional and contemporary menu, adding in some poppadoms and their sauces, breads and rice, giving us a flavour of the whole menu.
For starters, we tried the eadul gustawa, lamb in a coriander sauce served on a roti-type bread (£4.95). It’s delicious – tender meat with fresh flavours.
We also sampled the seekh joojeh, a minced chicken kebab stuffed with herb chutney and roasted sesame seeds, deep fried in crispy batter (£4.95).
Now where else will you find that on a menu? It’s gorgeous and features succulent meat bursting with flavour. It’s a shame it wasn’t a main.
For mains we tucked into a rogan gosht (£5.75) and a chicken tikka massala (£7.45), both of which are familiar dishes. While they taste exactly how you’d expect, they also benefit from that lighter Miah’s touch.
From the house specials menu, we tried the prawn langwaki (£10.95), in which the shellfish had been marinated in a delicately spiced sauce in a served with fresh beans. My friends said it was delicious – and had a kick, but not overpoweringly so.
There was also the murgh bemissal from the contemporary menu (£7.45). Chicken tikka with a twist, this had a pleasantly spicy finish that made the mouth zing with pleasure.
As a side dish we enjoyed the sag chanah aloo cutleet (£3.50), combining my favourite ingredients: chick peas and spinach with potatoes to make a perfect accompaniment.
Our breads were the stuffed kulcha paneer (goats cheese with onion and potato, £2.25) and peshwari naan (£2.25).
Served with gorgeous mushroom rice (£2.85), and savoured with wine, we made our feast last – and devoured the leftovers the following night.
While it was no substitute for the full Miah’s dining experience, it still features some of Reading’s best curry and is very tasty.
It also made our home contemporary, at least for a while. For that, I’m grateful.
- Telephone: (0118) 966 7979
- Website: www.miahs.co.uk
- Address: The Garden of Gulab
130 Wokingham Road