Bexleyheath, Kent (Masala Inn)

Masala Inn, Bexleyheath

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Out on tour then, eh?
Indeed, right to the fringes of London for this trip. But it’s a really good restaurant and worth the trip. I’ve been here before and thought a second visit was in order.

What did you order?
The pan-fried Scallops and Chilli Ponir to start. The lightly spiced scallops were the business and perfectly cooked. The nice, chunky Ponir was certainly home-made and moreish enough and I could have done with more. The fresh chopped chillies were gobbled up.

Sounds like a good start. What came next?
The Railway Chicken. I’ve had it before and it just had to get a second tasting. The dish is served on the trains of India and with 16 million travellers using them every day it’s fair too assume the dish has been served a fair few times over the years. There is no standard recipe for a Railway Curry because there are thousands of kitchens serving the travellers across the country (although the India Railways did attempt to standardise dishes served on the railways in 2009). Similarly, you’ll find variations from restaurant to restaurant, although all of them are generally thick with chunky ingredients and rustic in style.

Is it hot?
No, Railway Chicken is medium-hot but if you want real heat then look no further than Garlic Naga Chicken. With the fiery sauce from the tiny north-eastern Indian state added to slices of the heat-giving garlic you’ll soon be looking around for a swig of Cobra. Of course, if you are silly enough to order a Chilli Nan to go with it, then you’ll need an extra swig.

Surely no one is daft enough to do that?
Ahem, er no, of course not.

 

Price check
Drinks: Cobra (pint) £5.50
Popadoms: 75p each
Starters: Scallops £5.95, Chilli Ponir £5.50
Mains: Railway Chicken £11.95, Garlic Naga Chicken £8.75
Rice: Pilau Rice £2.60
Nan: Chilli Nan £2.65

Masala Inn, 220 Broadway, Bexleyheath, DA6 7AU.
Tel: 020 8303 5245 (reservations)

Open
Monday–Thursday 5pm to 11pm
Friday– Saturday 5pm to 11.30pm

You can enjoy savings on food at the Masala Inn with the Spice Card. Get your Spice Card here…
Sunday noon to 2.30pm and 5pm to 11pm

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Greenwich (Mogul)

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10 Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich, SE10 9BJ
Tel: 020 8858 6790
E-mail: mail@mogulindian.co.uk
www: mogulindian.co.uk
Open:
Monday–Friday noon to 3pm and 5.30pm to 11pm
Saturday–Sunday noon to 11pm

Where is it? Right in the heart of Greenwich at the Church Street entrance to the famous Market.

How do I get there?
DLR: Cutty Sark DLR station is just over the road.
Train: Greenwich station is a four-minute walk away.
Bus: 177, 180, 188, 199, 386 and N199 stop nearby.
Parking: There is some street parking if you get lucky or the car park behind the Greenwich Picturehouse (accessed off Burney Street) is a short walk away.

What’s their story? The Mogul, the only Indian restaurant in the centre of Greenwich, celebrates its 40th year in business this year. Spread over three floors, it is housed in an attractive four-storey Grade II Listed building dating back to the 17th century. The street-level ground floor is perfect for watching Greenwich life drift by, while smaller groups looking for an intimate atmosphere will be attracted to the downstairs cellar area and its cosy alcoves. The upstairs area is reserved for private dining or special events and can accommodate up to 20 seated diners. Each floor has its own service bar. Note: The Mogul also has another premises, a dedicated takeaway called Mogul Home Dining, in Trafalgar Road.

What’s the menu like? Contemporary and classy, with a modern-take on its sprinkling of old-time favourites. There is a dedicated lunch menu for busy people who are looking for a smaller meal at a decent price.

Oh, please tell me more…
Popadoms: Plain or spicy with chutneys (£1)
Starters: Okra Fries (£4), Onion Bhajis (£4.50)
Mains: Paneer Saslick (£7) Chicken Jalfrezi (£9.50), Acharia Gosht (£10.50), King Prawn Masala (£14.50)
Sides: Channa Masala, Saag Aloo (£4.50), Daal Makhani (£5)
Rice: Pilau rice (£3.50)
Bread: Tandoori roti (£2), naan (£2.70)
Lunch: Aloo Paratha and yoghurt (£6), Selection of wraps (£7)
* You will enjoy a 20% off these prices (eat-in and takeaway, including deliveries) with your Spice Card in the evening from Sunday to Thursday.

Mogul PDF Menu

Tell me something about one of the dishes… The deliciously creamy Punjabi favourite, Daal Makhani, is a dish so packed with energy that it’s been called the marching food of soldiers because of the energy it gives them. It’s cooked with urid lentils and kidney beans, which have to be soaked for hours to make them soft, and then spice and cream are added.

What about drinks? There is wide selection of beers, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks. These include draught Cobra and Guinness (on surge), bottled Kingfisher, London Meantime Lager and Magner’s. The well-balanced wine list goes beyond the offerings normally found in Indian restaurants and includes white, red, rosé and sparkling choices from France, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, South Africa, Argentina and Spain.

What they say… “The Mogul has become an institution in the heart of Greenwich. The multiple floors in the restaurant, each with its different vibe, mean we can cater for a wide range of events, whether it’s a business lunch or dinner, an intimate meal for two or a lively night out with friends and family. We are proud to have been serving this beautiful part of London for 40 years.” – Pushvinder Dale, Owner.

What we say… “The Mogul has a long-standing reputation for serving top-quality Indian food and will always be close to our heart as it was the venue for the first-ever Greenwich Curry Club meeting. The alcoves are intimate and full of character for a night out. Order up a selection of dishes from around India such as a Goan Fish Curry, Hyderbadi favourite Lamb Pasanda and a spicy Chicken Chilli Masala and tuck in.” – The Greenwich Curry Club.

What can I enjoy at the Mogul with my Spice Card?
YES 20% Discount • Sun–Thur • Eat-in, Delivery & Collection • 2 diners per Spice Card
NO Mother’s Day • Father’s Day • Valentine’s Day • 20 Dec to New Year’s Day
020 8858 6790 (table bookings and collections) or 020 8858 1500 (deliveries)
Minimum for delivery: £15 (after discount)

Nu Delhi Lounge (Belfast)

Nu Delhi Lounge, Belfast

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From top left: Chicken Chilli Garlic, Punjabi Lamb Masala, Garlic Nan, Mushroom Rice.

 

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Tandoori King Prawn.

Where is this restaurant then?
It’s right in the heart of Belfast.

Isn’t that the place responsible for sinking the Titanic?
Well, not exactly, that was an iceberg, but this is where they built the ship. At the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard.

Shouldn’t that be infamous, considering the Titanic sank on its first trip?
Yes, the city does have a strange attraction to this sinking ship; there is even a Titanic Quarter in the city, although I think that’s the tourist office at work.

Did the prices at Nu Delhi sink you?
Very good. Yes, they were maybe a notch about the average for an Indian (or Punjabi, as the venue says) but certainly not too outrageous. The bill came to just over £55 for a shared starter, two mains, rice, nan and drinks.

I like a drink. What did you have?
A mango lassi and pint of draught Asahi.

Isn’t that Japanese?
You’re right. I was a little surprised because it’s the first time I’ve come across it on draught in an Indian restaurant, but it is clean and sharp and pairs very well with spicy food.

Make sense. It would be nice to have it at the bar before the meal.
It would indeed, especially as it’s such an attractive bar, with the red and white strip lighting and hanging globes adding a touch of Bollywood glitz. The decor overall is smart and modern, with dark wood tables, lots of reeds in pots and back-lit wall panels.

I suppose I should ask about the food?
About time, that’s what we there for, after all. The prawns in the Tandoori King Prawn starter really deserve the title of king because they were plump and deliciously spiced. No extra sauce needed there. The Chicken Chilli Garlic is certainly one for the garlic lovers and on reflection the Garlic Nan was a clove too far for the table. The nan itself was top notch and some of the freshest I’ve enjoyed outside of India. I was a bit surprised that the chicken came in a reddish, creamy sauce, not something I’ve come across with this dish before, but it worked well. What I really liked was that the texture of the other main, the Punjabi Lamb Masala, was different, as the chef used chopped rather than pureed onions. Too many restaurants use a one-fits-all sauce, so all the curries end up a bit samey.

Is that a word?
Probably not, but you know what I mean. Lots of restaurants have a big, long menu but when the curries come out they look and taste the same. Certainly not the case here.

Sounds as if you like Nu Delhi then?
I do indeed. It’s smart but you don’t feel as if you are on parade and it’s a lot better than your average High Street curry house but doesn’t whack the pocket for your pleasure.

What’s the damage?
Drinks: Asahi £4.75, Mango Lassi £3.50
Starter: King Prawn Tandoori £9.95
Mains: Chicken Chilli Garlicn £12.95, Punjabi Lamb Masala £12.95
Rice: Mushroom Rice £2.70
Nan: Garlic Nan £2.60

Nu Delhi Lounge, 25 Bruce Street, Belfast. Tel: +44 28 90244 747. Info@nudelhilounge.co.uk. Open Mon to Fri, noon–2pm and 5pm–11pm, Sat to Sun 5pm–11pm.