We moved from Yorkshire a couple of months ago and are trying to find a decent curry in Kent! We are vegetarians, and have been quite spoilt by the quality of curries in the north. Between us we have about 40 years experience of eating curries, in a very wide variety of places and restaurants.
The Raj is the 3rd place we have tried in Kent since moving down here, and we tried it on the basis of the reviews on this site. Unfortunately our experience did not tally with the reviews, which we were disappointed about, not least because this was a birthday meal as well as part our quest for a good curry!
The restaurant itself is clean, and looks freshly decorated. It wasn't busy but filled up a little while we were there. We were served quickly. The beer, whilst expensive, was cold.
Our starters (the only 2 veggie starters on the menu) were very good, and we thought it bode well for the meal itself. It did not.
We chose 3 veggie side dishes, as there was a paucity of veggie mains on the menu: cauliflower bahjee, chickpea masala, and saag paneer. The cauliflower was just that, boiled salty cauliflower. The chickpeas was just that, a bowl of boiled chickpeas, although slightly tasty. The saag paneer was like nothing we have ever seen before under that name: it was a bowl of melted cheese (so not paneer as paneer does not melt to liquid) with bit of spinach stirred in, and a LOT of coconut, so it was very very sweet. I have never seen anything like it described as saag paneer. We ate the chickpeas but left everything else. I did tell the waiter but he didn't actually do or say anything so short of standing up and demanding to see the manager my options to complain were effectively stopped there. I didn't want the confrontation, I just wanted to leave.
So we paid up (£30 for a meal that was two thirds inedible) and left. Never again.
This may be that they are not veggie-friendly, or we caught them on a bad night, or that southern curries are not as good as northern ones, or a mixture of the above. As it is, I am writing this review to temper the positive ones, as we did not have even vaguely the same positive experience, and were very disappointed and nauseated by what we were given.
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