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“A new and fresh delight”
Review of Rafiks - CLOSED

Cuisines: Indian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Originally openend in 1976 by Rafique Uddin and Cumbria's very first Indian restaurant, has now been reopened 35 years later by his sons Shaha and Koish. For true flavours from the Indian Sub-Continent come visit RAFIKS.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

I came in with friends last night and was pleasantly surprised at the contemporary feel to the restaurant as it is uncommon in Indian Restaurants up north.
We were seated in a nice bar area whilst waiting for more friends to arrive and offered menus and drinks, there were 4 of us and we all ordered different things so that we could try each others. I ordered the Tandoori King Prawn starter and Afghani Chops with lemon pillau because I've never had chops in an indian way before.
The king prawns came on the shell and looked too pretty to eat, they were soft and not rubbery like they are sometimes in restaurants. My friends ordered onion bhajis ( you get 3 here instead of the common 2 :-) ) and mussels (which is something else I've never seen on an indian menu) and it was all delicious. We didn't order poppadoms but I wish we had because the lady on the table next to us was saying how delicious the chutney was - that's one for next time.
Our maincourses came soon after we finished our starters. I had a huge plate full - 4 chops on a bed of spicy minced lamb . My chops were cooked perfectly for me, not overcooked but not still crispy, the cute waiter told me that the shops are cooked in a tandoor oven first - the best bit though was my rice, it was really fresh with the lemon, i think i'm a convert now and will always be having lemon pillau.
my friend ordered a biryani but this one was with chillis and quails eggs ( which are really cute and taste just like normal eggs), the portion was so large that we couldn't finish it between us and took some home.
We had a fantastic time and stayed chatting long after finishing our food, just chilling.
Can't wait to go back - thank you so much for such a nice time :-)

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1  Thank Manny B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (243)
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130 - 134 of 243 reviews

Reviewed June 16, 2013

walked past numerous times,dont think i will ever be able to again.the food and service were first class.need a excuse to go back soon!!! checking my diary for family,friends birthdays weddings or anything

Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed June 15, 2013

This is a fair and honest review of our meal and dining experience at Rafiks..

Firstly this restaurant came highly recommended, from friends. We also had a £20 voucher so we were really looking forward to going full out and have the works.. However we never got a sweet or coffee we were so annoyed and disappointed.

The restaurant dining area was Clean, modern & contemporary.

We had poppadum’s which were nice however the dips were warm and clearly not kept in a fridge prior to service. They had no lime pickle this was replaced with olives. That was a first for me in an Indian.

I had a Chicken Chat which was well presented and tasty. The Chapati was red hot and cleary straight from the pan however the Chat was not as hot, as I would like my food to be. It was also served on a cold plate.

The mains arrived and looked great..

My girlfriend had a Curry with rice and a nann. The Rice was fresh light and fluffy. I ordered a Mixed kebab which was a disaster for me… The Sheesh Kebab was stone cold and the lamb chop was rancid. It actually stunk like a rotting corpse. I was Horrified.

I never ate either of the lamb dishes .. Nobody came to enquire how our meal was and by now the restaurant was buzzing and staff where clearly busy and neglected our table..

Finally when the waiter did attend our table he was under pressure and clearly could to handle our complaint. He did offer another meal but to be honest, I would not eat anything else that came from that kitchen. He cleared the table and stated he was sorry again. I had eaten my chips and the tandoori chicken which was nice. The Chips in fact were the best chips, I have had from a Indian they were golden and crisp with a fluffy centre.. They never tasted like onion bhaji, which a lot of chips do from a Indian.

Now if the all the food had been to this standard, Rafikis would be receiving a glowing report. In fact had I had a curry it likely would have been fine.

The mixed Kebab would have really good dish, as it came with a salad, curry sauce , rita and a tamarin sauce. However the lamb was rotten and the sheesh was clearly not re -heated properly. It was definitely not cooked fresh. It was pale and resembled a turd.

Now the bit that really annoyed me was when the manager / supervisor came to our table and bent down and whispered like a mouse, so that none of the other guests could hear her talking with us. And she gave her awful explanation for the chop.. She stated it was fresh and if it had not been, to my taste this was due to the spices that it had been cooked with.. Now this totally insulting, as I am a qualified chef and have worked in the hospitality trade for over ten years. I know when meat is on the turn and past its best.. Any moron would know it was off. I would not even have fed that to my dog . She never charged us for that meal however she was in denial about what was lurking in the kitchen. Spices!!! All the chillies & garlic in India could have not masked that rotten stench.

I love Indian food and have been to every Indian in Carlisle and can honestly say this was the worst experience, I have had when dinning out.. We will never go here again and will be calling the environmental health and raising our concerns about their food hygiene.

I will stick to the Bari and the Viceroy. Least they would hold their hand up and admit if something was not right. Then again I doubt there chefs would have such horrendous housekeeping issues.

I would avoid this spot if you value your own health..

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Thank Moomin3oouk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

I went on a double date with my girlfriend and another couple....
This place was a fab choice... Food is great and the people who work there were very helpful and made you feel valued as a customer.

We went here as I had got an evoucher from the News and Star website... You paid £10 for the voucher but it was worth £20.. so this was well worth doing.... You did however have to book in advance for this.

It was a great deal.... I ordered the chicken rogan josh and it was fantastic.

We will be definately returning to this restaurant in the future.... Well done Mr Rafik and your Family.

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Thank isneddersi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

My husband and I had a lovely meal here, I would say its my favourite Indian restaurant in Carlisle and Indian is one of my favourite cuisines.

Nice to see some different menu options on the menu as well as old favourites!

We will be back again asap!!

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1  Thank Jennilaurenb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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