Looking for a romantic weekend away with the missus for her birthday this bank holiday weekend just passed we wanted 2 nice restaurants to eat in the town. Being a bit of a "like to be prepared" person I did some research on tripadvisor and looked up the best places to eat in Llandudno. Unfortunately and quite bizarre is the fact that the top places to eat are mostly café's or British fayre pub venues however we love to eat out at Indian, Thai, Chinese or Italian mostly so I persevered & chose a Chinese\Thai cuisine restaurant for Saturday night (EAST which the food was stunning) and JAYA Indian cuisine for Sunday. Long story short we were booked for Sunday night at 7:30 at the JAYA which is absolutely necessary as they have a limited number of tables and covers each night. On arrival by taxi as it is out of the way from the centre of town I felt a little trepidation as it does not at first glance look like a place to dine but on entry you are met with a "attempted stylish" venue which smacks of pretentiousness in an effort to be similar to some of the success stories such as LOAF or The Gaucho Grill in the city of Manchester. On arrival you are individually greeted and seated in a "waiting room" which is much classier than a dentists but has the same feel. Menu's are given and drinks ordered. Some small talk is offered by the 'Maitre d' and questions can be asked of the slightly confused but definitely minimalist menu (confused due to the Indian direction with a Kenyan twist?). We were quite surprised and a little annoyed that whilst ordering we were told that the lentil side order was totally consumed and therefore off the menu, I queried this as it was only 7:30pm but apparently everybody had ordered it and it was all gone, at 7:30???? We ordered the mixed vegetable side instead (a terrible decision, read on). After ordering we were left, presumably while the cooking began, and another couple arrived receiving the welcome we had and after ear wigging on their ordering questions we were then shown to our table.
Not long after seating our starters arrived and were very very tasty and unusual. My partner had a gorgeous Chicken Tikka which was tender, not dry, very flavoursome and refreshingly different as the flavour did not come from a sauce as there was none but instead came form the beautifully marinaded meat and unique spices identified on the menu, very tasty and lovely. I had the Fish Pakora which was again extremely tasty and out of the ordinary due to it being 2 x fillets of fish in a gorgeous and light spiced batter mix being full of flavour and moorish to say the least. Extremely satisfied were ate the lot and waited in excitement for the mains.
We waited and waited and waited and have never waited as long for food in our lives but we were excited and this curbed any thoughts of questioning the delivery of our feast. If only the wait had been worth it. When the mains did arrive they were brought to us and presented in what I can only described as ceramic cereal bowls on a plate with an upturned rice mound from a similar cereal bowl with a lame excuse for side salad. The worst "first impression" of the mains was the steam bellowing from both curries which immediately indicated they had been both been microwaved, this was compounded by the immense heat they were also giving off. Due to the presumed microwaving of both dishes they were extremely dry and looked the same generic colour and texture similar to a Saag Gost. My partner had ordered the Masala Murgh (chicken) and I the Karai Prawns. Apparently the Masala Murgh was Kenyan style chicken in a traditional flavoured Masala sauce but as previously mentioned was exactly the same, dry consistency and colour as mine which was supposed to be prawns in a thick North Indian sauce? Both dishes were barely edible not to mention the side order which I have briefly referred to earlier. A side of mixed vegetables cooked in ginger and tomatoes, more like the same generic sauce which our chicken and prawns had been served in with farmfoods frozen veg chucked in. Can I ask anybody reading this is you have ever had sliced carrots, fine green beans and sweetcorn presented to you in a restaurant charging £3.95 for the privilege? The only 2 things which were nice for the mains were the naan bread (freshly made and cooked) and the rice which was moist and tasty, oh and the side salad for the mains was the same boring (supermarket bought Italian lettuce and beetroot strips) uninspired effort.
Needless to say I complained about the whole experience agreeing to pay for everything except the farmfoods side dish but was quite clear I was not impressed or indeed satisfied with the rest. The reaction we received for the criticisms was not positive and the Matre d became quite aggressive and defensive to us leading to us paying and departing swiftly!
I can categorically say that the mains had not been cooked by the same person who had cooked the starters. We will not be returning and urge any other potential customers to choose wisely when you are next in Llandudno if you are wanting an nice evening out with some tasty quality Indian food & if you do choose to dine at the JAYA just order plenty of starters and do not under any circumstances complain about a thing!!
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