We saw the "good reviews" for the Raj Shahi and decided to try this out and compare....we expected an average interior and a poor external appearance from previous reviews....but we expected great food.....unfortunately not to be.
We arrived on a Friday night 18:30 pre-booked and parked up no problems and entered the Raj Shahi...maybe a lot hinges on what you want... but we entered a very dilapidated interior, to be shown to our seats......note bright lights.....terrible decor, zero atmosphere, think student cafe circa 1979...different cruet sets on each table........place is very poor from a decor point of view....full light , water stains on the false ceiling.....poor sort of B & B experience from the 70's
we were offered drinks, we opted for just two white wine and sodas...or spritzers.....we got these and they appeared on bill for £9....so do please avoid...check wine list before blindly ordering as we did..... drinks prices on the list seemed reasonable if you checked the list before trustingly ordering....low cost house wines available too...seems when we asked for white wine and soda they chose the "very best" for us?
We omitted the pappadoms and chutneys as we we prepared for the culinary delights promised to come.
I opted for Lamb Chops as a starter and Ann went for the mixed starter.....after deciding on this I was told that the Lamb would take 1/2 hour to prepare as it was hard? not sure what this meant but obviously steered away I went for the Garlic Prawns.....still expecting to be delighted
Starters arrived...Ann loved hers and I tried it too, good mixed Chicken Tikka/Onion Bhaji/Kebab.....very good start....my garlic prawns....simply just don't choose these...very greasy, zero flavour....maybe I just chose wrong, always the main course next though.....
I went for a "House Speciality" as from my previous postings....anyone stating "chef or house speciallity" must have a talent
Ann chose Chicken Tikka Massala and I chose King Prawn Tikka Massala......both absolutely the same as you would expect...prawns circa £10.25 Chicken at £8.25....quality...terrible...literally a food colouring fest,.....very bright red at the expense of everything...no special tastes of special spices, no unique "signature" use of blends e.t.c...just pre-stored massala sauce poured over whatever you would choose. We then wondered if that would be the same for all the "standard curries" offered....Balti/Vindaloo/Rogan Josh etc etc
Net result £41 for both of us for sure this was low cost.....2 starters/Naan bread for one shared!/2 white wine and sodas (£9.00) starters were Garlic Prawns and mixed starter....2 mains... Ann's was Chicken Tikka Massala and mine King Prawn Tikka Massala with a shared Pilau.
Summary....cannot understand the position that Raj Shahi occupies,Number 1 in Bolton... or did we have a poor night?I don't think so but can only comment on what we experienced not what might have been.