Waiting for spice

Shah Manzil, Liss, Hampshire (Takeaway)

The Shah Manzil is the new name for the Saaki (previously reviewed here, also following a takeaway). The new owners took over about a year ago and from what I have seen not a lot has changed except the sign. It’s a decent enough restaurant, tucked away off the ‘main’ road of the village, but it takes a brave businessman to take on the illustrious Madhuban just up the road.

But the new owner seems to be making a good bash at it. There was a steady flow of takeaway trade when we visited and he has (thankfully) left the nice little waiting area for those of us who like to collect our takeaways. It’s an ideal little nook for a cold pint of Cobra and a couple of popadoms while you wait for the spice clock to tick down. Some waiting areas in restaurants really are naff (I suppose because they don’t want to waste space they can use for diners) so well done on keeping this as it was.

The food selection certainly did the job, and you get 10 per cent off the listed price if you collect, so you can have that waiting beer guilt-free. The Jhinga Zaffrani (£10.95 before discount) was my stand-out dish from the selection we choose. Nice plump prawns coated in ginger, garlic, chilli and yoghurt, then topped with an aubergine terrine and served with pilau rice. Shame I had to share really.

The Vegetable Naga Mirchi (£6.25) was mind-blowingly hot but still had everyone tucking in for “just a little bit more” and was nice when mopped up by the naans (£2.10 for plain and £2.45 for the peshwari and keema versions). The Achari Lamb (£8.95) is a delight for pickle lovers because there really is no holding back from the kitchen if you like the taste of lime and mango in your sauce.

The only disappointment was the Chicken Tikka Masala (£8.95) with the chef drifting down the route a lot of restaurants seem to be – too nutty and not creamy and luxurious enough, This dish is going to be knocked off Britain’s favourite-dish list if they keep going that way.

Takeaway essentials
Parking:
on-street parking along Station Road.
Delivery: free within three miles for minimum orders of £15.
Specials: 10% discount on takeaways collected.
Beer while you’re waiting: Shah Manzil is a fully licensed restaurant or the Whistle Stop pub is a short walk away.

Shah Manzil, 73 Station Road, Liss, Hampshire, GU33 7AD. Tel: 01730 895455. Open: daily noon–2.30pm, 5.30pm–11.30pm.

Scores on the tandoors

Food 7

Waiting area  7

Value 7

Service and friendliness 7

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