Indian food in the UK is generally formulaic, and for the past forty or so years endless restaurants have been trundling out the same tired choices which are rarely eaten by Indians themselves.
So to find a place, where the best of Indian spices and cooking techniques are partnered with genuine innovation; which showcases not only the great regional variations of the huge country of India but also marries these with the use of the best local produce; and to find all this in an ordinary shopping parade in a Torquay suburb, is nothing short of remarkable.
The owner is Indian himself (from Goa), and has worked in restaurants and hotels all over India and the UK. He greets everyone personally, and takes great pleasure in introducing and explaining his food to you. We had locally-caught scallops and chicken starters, followed by a beef curry and a seafood medley (again, mostly locally-caught), although those descriptions do not do the food justice - they were unlike anything we have ever had in an Indian restaurant; genuinely inventive and superbly cooked with exquisite flavours.
A nice touch was the complimentary chickpea soup flavoured with cumin and coriander, to cleanse and refresh our palates between the courses.
The atmosphere is great too - the standard-issue flock wallpaper has been eschewed in favour of simple white walls, hung with canvasses featuring colourful photos of Indian scenes and life.
I hope this restaurant succeeds - to open such a great restaurant in a Torquay suburban side street is incredibly brave, and I hope residents of and visitors to Torquay and the surrounding area will realise how fortunate they are to have one of the best and most innovative Indian restaurants in the UK in their midst. We will definitely go next time we are in Torquay.