Sunday, 3 February 2008

Plastic, fantastic: Nazma Tandoori

By Justin

My good friend Mark's excellent review of the Nazma Tandoori below was somewhat tainted by his strange views on celebrity. Doesn't he know that famous people are more important than us "normals", and that by including their praise on the menu (click on the picture to read just some of them) the Nazma lets us bask in their reflected glory? I, for one, enjoy my curry a lot more when I know that the S Club (Juniors) have eaten there.

This blog is, ultimately, about food though. Although the actual cuisine is irrelevant in a celebrity hangout such as this, the Nazma is double-blessed in that it also serves some excellent food. The room has, since my last visit, been "classed up": gone are the cheesy colour-changing lights, and in are modern tables and chairs that make the room a lot more stylish than your average tandoori. Most significantly, the terrible muzak hits of the Beatles and other popular artists were gone, replaced with barely-audible jazz featuring (as we were assured by Claire) a muted trumpeter swan. The meal followed the standard tandoori flow: poppadoms, starters, mains with rice and naan, Cobra beer, and a snubbing of the straight-from-the-freezer dessert menu.

My starter was really nice: a breast portion of tandoori-roast chicken. The marinade gave an excellent flavour (I could live without the red dye, though), and the hot oven had charred the outside to give a lovely barbecue edge. Mark suffered, however, from a bland dish with an unusual garnish of a blue plastic shaving. My meal stayed entirely plastic-free (as far as I am aware...), which was no bad thing.

Mains were a hit all-round. I had eaten the Redfort prawn here a couple of times before, and returned to the old friend again this time. It's a mild dish, with juicy prawns and a really flavoursome sauce given a sweet edge by ground and whole almonds. I did wish, though, for a bit of heat to round the flavour off: the lovely initial taste kind of died away into nothing without it. A sample of Niall's and Mark's dishes showed that Mark had made the best choice with his nicely flavoured and spicy herbed chicken.

Service was fairly attentive: the tabletop food-hoovers deployed wherever possible; Niall's fork, when dropped, appeared to disappear before it even hit the floor and was swiftly replaced, and the prices were good. Mark's plastic "treat" was the only real downside, and I'm not sure that it was dealt with fully. In a star-studded place such as this, I will leave the final words to Cheryl Baker, of Bucks Fizz (and TV) fame: "Many thanks to the Nazma for a fantastic meal with superb service!"

Nazma Tandoori
62 Bridge Street
01224 211296

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