I should preface this review by declaring a greater background in Indian food than most (see personal profile), which might explain why I am often less impressed than some who enthuse over what are pleasant but fairly standard high street Indian restaurants. Don’t misunderstand me, these usually provide a very satisfying curry, but in most cases without anything to lift them above the wide band of good but typical (and therefore average) high street curryhouse.
This restaurant is in a superb location, overlooking the beach so that those fortunate enough to sit at the few tables by the window have a wonderfully scenic outlook (when it's daylight). It offers a spacious and comfortable waiting area with a bar to cater for the alcoholic needs of customers awaiting a table. And during the season or at weekends a wait is highly likely, as they don’t take bookings between 7 and 9 pm, which is when they are invariably crowded. The restaurant itself is comfortably furnished, although some tables can seem a little cramped at busy times.
The menu lists all the familiar dishes, plus some that are a little different, and a better than average vegetarian selection. Perhaps this is not surprising as it claims to be a ‘real, authentic’ Indian restaurant being Gujarati run, and Gujarati cuisine is largely vegetarian (although dishes like Tindaloo are as Indian as fish & chips!). Prices a little higher than average, but for a decent restaurant in a popular holiday town it’s not really a discouraging factor.
The onion bhajis – two sizeable and well-spiced patties – had an excellent flavour, and the lamb lasan was fine, with a distinct garlic background (although the lamb was not the most tender I’ve had). The chicken pathia was a little disappointing as although this dish is meant to have a blend of sweet and sour, in this case an over-use of tamarind made it much too sharp for my palate, and that which is customary. The other dishes – Niramish, Tarka Dall, Nan etc. were all good if fairly standatd stuff. Despite the pungency of the pathia (which was not enough to take issue over) we enjoyed our meal.
The service was friendly, swift and efficient (although our starters were served to the wrong table before being returned to the kitchen, only to reappear a little later for us), and the manager friendly despite seeming to be frantically busy.
As an aside, I was pleased to see that their advertising slogans are more realistic than the string of ambitiously exaggerated and spurious claims of the past. Probably the most extravagantly grandiose of these was their one-time claim to be “one of the finest restaurants in Cornwall, if not in England” (not just Indian restaurants, you'll note, but elevating itself above the finest of any restaurants, including the gastronomically acclaimed and Michelin starred restaurants in the North Cornwall, not to mention other parts of the country!). I used to criticise these claims when reporting for the Curry Club, so I’m pleased to note that their present advert of being “the only real authentic Indian restaurant in Newquay” is much more down to earth. In fact, I wouldn’t argue if they also claimed to be the best in Newquay, although there are others in Cornwall that are (or were) better.
Although we enjoyed the meal, I can’t say that it is superior to the very many Indian restaurants I’ve been to throughout the country. If it were marks out of 10 I’d give it a 7, but although it is a little above the average its not sufficiently above to give it a rating of 4 out of 5.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
October 9, 2013
Thank you for your in depth review. I am pleased you appreciated our authentic Indian food cooked in the traditional manner. We are fortunate to have a wonderful location, genuine Indian chefs and a dedicated staff who are proud of the food they serve. Yes we do claim to be the only traditional Indian restaurant in Newquay and are proud of the fact as I am sure you will appreciate. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.