This was our second trip to Aaina in a week. They are under new management and are impressing impressing us big time with their food and service.
Our first visit was a random visit because they dropped a flyer in our letterbox. We loved it and so decided to book a birthday dinner for our friends there the following week.
Aaina is a small place of about 10 tables in a long narrow room with a large glass window frontage. It's red walls could do with some decoration but the bar at the end is quite nice.
Our party was 20 people strong and Aaina managed admirably. It is never easy to serve large groups but everything went without a hitch (unless you count accidentally setting alight a paper serviette - very dramatic moment!).
We decided on the banquet meal option of 4 starters and 4 curries of our choice. The starters were delicious, my favourites being the samosa and chicken tikka. For the mains we chose butter chicken, chicken jalfrezzi, lamb in a cashew and almond paste gravy (I forgot the name of it) and vegetarian paneer. The meals came out piping hot, packed full of flavour and accompanied by plain and garlic naan and endless bowls of rice. We also enjoyed free refills of everything whenever we wanted. The chef was kind enough to send several complimentary dishes out to the table for our appreciation. You can tell that this is a man who is dedicated to his craft. The care and presentation of the meals, the balance and delicacy of the flavours all speak to the skill and talent of a master chef. So yip, the food is amazing but that's not why I love Aaina.
What really tips the balance for this restaurant is the quality of the service you find here. They made us feel special and like valued customers. The chef came out personally to say hi and check that we were enjoying ourselves. Normally we only get service like that when we're dropping a lot of coin at an expensive restaurant. These guys made my birthday dinner so special. All my guests enjoyed themselves and raved about the food so I couldn't want for better.
Aaina is also very reasonably priced and is about 10 to 20% less than other similar restaurants which was a bonus for such a large group. We're already planning our next group visit with the flatmates. :)
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