34-36 Spital Hill, Sheffield, Tel: 0114 2786786

Revisited: Saturday, 10 March 2001, 9.00pm

Review by Phil Coates

Category Marks
Food 7/10
Service 6/10
Value 8/10

Revisited for the guide, but for me my first visit.

We shared a passable mixed kebab (samosa, onion bhaji, and seekh kebab - of which the last item was the best) which came with a bit of salad and super-spicy yoghurt sauce, not sweet.

The chicken balti (korai) is one of this restaurant's "apna style" specials. It was a flavoursome medium-hot dish, which lost a point for having too much ghee (especially as I ordered it with not too much ghee - a request which puzzled the waiter). The chicken rogan josh, despite its ruby red appearance (supposed to look like tomatoes, but what do they use to get that colour?) was disappointingly tasteless, and again heavy on the ghee. All the chicken, however, was good breast meat. The breads were excellent, with the roti particularly good value.

Apart from the above-mentioned gaffe, the service was fine, if a little too protesting about the lack of custom - though a perfectly nonsensical reason was offered for charging 50p more than the price printed on the menu for (Mumtaz) rasmalai. Wailing ethnic music was also much in evidence, but did nothing to make up for the general lack of atmosphere. In spite of these irritations this is an undervalued restaurant which deserves more custom.

Dish Price (£) Marks Consumer
chicken balti (korai) 4.50 7/10 Phil C
chicken rogan josh 3.50 5/10 Jeff D

chapatti 20p, roti 30p, mixed kebab £1.50, rasmalai £2.00.

Visited: Friday 6th September, 2000, 8pm

3 stars

Review by CL

Category Marks
Food 7/10
Service 7/10
Value 9/10

Akbar's only opened 3 months ago, which may go some way towards explaining its lack of clientele. It is of the no-table-cloths, unpretentious variety but is neater than the irregularly shaped Kashmir Curry Centre.

The service was very good with a lot of attention to detail but inevitably was always teetering on the edge of over-enthusiasm. Heck! we were the only customers in for the entire time we were there!

For starters we had onion bhajis and samosas, which were all above average.

It is worth mentioning that the prices are very competitive, and the best value we know of outside Bradford. Particularly impressive are chapattis at 20p each and tandoori rotis at 30p each. These breads, togther with a nan were all of superior quality. The boiled rice, on the other hand, was nothing special.

The quality of the curries was also above average. My vegetable dansak compared very favourably in vegetable content with that of the Kashmir Curry Centre but was perhaps very slightly inferior in the subtlety of the flavouring. Jeff's chicken dopiaza was a good middle-of-the-road curry, but didn't really distinguish itself as a dopiaza. In reality, quibbling aside we started to wonder why on earth the restaurant was empty in contrast to the roaring trade being done across the road at Mangla.

The dessert menu held a very pleasant surprise - rasmalai - an item not that often found. We have been told it is difficult to keep due to its perishability, being a milk-based product. When fresh it is without doubt the tastiest dessert we've discovered in any Indian restaurant, and an excellent way to finish a meal.

Dish Price (£) Marks Consumer
chicken dopiaza 3.50 6/10 Jeff D
vegetable dansak 3.30 7/10 CL

boiled rice £1.00, chapatti 20p, plain nan £1.00, tandoori roti 30p, onion bhaji 80p, samosa £1.00, rasmalai £1.50.