We don’t serve beer sir

Simply Indian, Aldershot

“Four papadams and two beers please.”

You know the score every time you enter a curry house. The poor waiter has hardly got time to say hello and the standard order is out of the mouths of most of us. So I’ve always admired places that don’t serve alcohol (usually because of their Muslim faith) proving that their food can conquer all. Simply Indian is one such place, “because we prefer to concentrate on the food, which is what we do best,” I am told.

You’re allowed to bring your own booze, and handily there’s a shop just a few steps away, but true to their word, food is what they do best.

Sometimes the confidence in someone’s voice is enough to convince us of anything, but this time the manager’s sureness of his food’s quality was true to form not bull. This unassuming place, near Aldershot station, and with a sort of smart canteen feel to it, serves seriously decent food.

From tandoori starters (Tandoori Chicken £3.20), to classic dishes (Lamb Dansak £5.20), to the crushed chill hot (Lamb Patiwala £7.25), side dishes (Saag Aloo £2.75) and the extras (Pilao rice £2.30, Naan £2.20) nothing could be faulted. A lot of Indian meals, especially when there is a hot dish on the table, can blur the taste buds, but here each flavour came through. This balance was especially true of the dansak, when often the sour is allowed to over-power the sweet of this Persian speciality.

“That’ll be four papadams and some tasty food,” next time I’m in then.

• Simply Indian, 14-16 Station Road, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 1HT. Tel: 01252 330 070 or 0800 783 1481. Open: Daily 5.30pm-11pm.

Simply Indian snapshot

Food ① ② ③ ④

Decor ① ②

Value ① ② ③

Atmosphere (early Saturday night) ① ②

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④

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