50 The Wicker, Sheffield, S3 8JB, Tel 0114 275 8589
Revisited: Tuesday, September 18, 2001, 6pm
Update by Phil Coates
Two visits to the Gulshan since the last review have compelled me to re-evaluate this restaurant. For value and service it is unbeaten in my experience in South Yorkshire. I doubt if there is any other establishment where the barfi gets unceremoniously binned if the owner judges it below standard (most of them don't even carry barfi, substandard or otherwise) or where if you forget to order your curry hot enough the chef is such a perfectionist he refuses to change anything. (Most places, as we know, shove in a raw chilli or some hotness powder as a feeble substitute for "apna style" or "madras hot", and can as easily do it later rather than sooner.) The food at the Gulshan is admittedly not quite top notch, but the time has come to forgive the debacle of the mushroom palak (see below). We have recently enjoyed a chicken dopiaza, a chicken biryani, and a vegetable biryani - all worth 7 or 8 out of 10.
This hotness business deserves a little more comment. First, cooks among you will know that spices are fried at the start of making a curry, so it really is difficult to change the spicing properly once the dish is almost ready. Second, there is the hotness difference between Bradford and South Yorkshire. In Bradford your curry comes above medium hot as standard. In South Yorkshire, to avoid mediocrity, you have to remember to order it "hot", "apna style" or "madras hot" - the formula tends to vary from one place to another. Thankfully, even a medium curry at the Gulshan is still good, but hot is better still.
Popular early evening with local Asians, this is a no-frills Bradford-style establishment. Choose well and you can get a four-star meal here at near rock-bottom prices. But - be warned! - choose badly and you can hit rock bottom with a stomach-churning disaster.
Amongst the starters samosa and seekh kebab came out best, all with a generous portion of salad and the best mint yoghurt sauce you will get anywhere - thick, just spicy enough, and not too sweet. Have popadoms as an excuse to order an extra bowl.
For bread, first choice has to be three (four if you're really hungry) chapattis per person - very good, home made, and costing just a few rupees.
The plates supplied with the main dishes are cold, so best not to share and eat straight from the bowl. The apna style chicken balti (karahi) was excellent. On the other hand, the mushroom palak (more spinach with mushrooms than the other way round) was disgusting, without doubt the worst Indian food I have ever tried to eat, looking like warmed-up decomposing grass clippings, with a taste to match.
I suppose rasmalai must be fresh at some time in its life cycle, but the portions sampled this evening were long dead. By contrast, the barfi I bought to take home (having carefully inspected it beforehand) was top notch.
Recommended, if approached with caution.
|chicken balti (karahi)||4.50||8/10||Jeff D/Phil C|
|mushroom palak||3.50||2/10||Jeff D/Phil C|
|chicken balti (karahi)||4.50||8/10||CL|
popadom 30p, mixed kebab £1.50, seekh kebab 50p, chapatti 20p, plain nan £1.00, roti 30p, rasmalai, £1.50, barfi (takeout portion) 30p.
Saturday, 14th October, 2000, 8pm
Review by Jeff D
|Food||7/10||Mon-Thur 18:00 - 04:00
Fri&Sat 18:00 - 05:00
Sun 18:00 - 03:00
The Gulshan is a small restaurant very similar to others found on The Wicker/Spital Hill area of Sheffield and in many ways it would be at home in Bradford. The interior was of the no tablecloth, formica top variety which we immediately felt at home in, the eastern music was an unobtrusive background accompaniment rather than an irritating distraction, as is the case in some establishments.
This is an unlicensed restaurant. The waiter brought a jug of water and glasses without prompting. The jug of water was regularly replaced, again without prompting. Overall the service was impressive.
I started with an onion bhaji and a samosa the bhaji was fairly uninspiring and the samosa was small. I couldn't help thinking that both items had been re-heated. Phil ordered a seekh kebab and received two. He described this as a reasonably good starter, but one notch below what he had recently had at the Mangla. A plus point was that there was a fairly generous portion of salad to accompany the starters.Tony P had the chicken tikka which was excellent tasting but small in quantity and therefore poor value for money. The starters arrived within 10 minutes of ordering. All in all the starters were a mixed bag.
I had a chicken rogan josh which was a little too red in colour for my liking, but still a nice enough tasting dish, the chicken pieces however were quite small. Phil had a vegetable balti which was fairly hot, though lacking subtlety; however, there was a good selection of vegetables which were not over-cooked. Tony P sampled the meat balti (all of the Balti dishes are referred to as House Specialities). This was a fairly hot dish, again lacking in subtlety, but with generous meat content though a little too rich and oily.
We shared 3 chapattis, 2 tandoori rotis and 2 plain nans which were all above average, but the pilau rice was a disappointment.
Tony finished off his meal with a mango kulfi ice cream which he enjoyed but it was only of the bought-in type, widely available, not unique to the establishment. The dessert menu featured rasmalai, but to my disappointment it was not available. There was no barfi.
So... would we recommend the Gulshan? It is difficult to understand why we were the only people in the establishment, as the fare was perfectly adequate. Overall this is a middle of the road curry house that we will be returning to in the future.
|vegetable balti||3.50||7/10||Phil C|
|chicken rogan josh||3.40||7/10||Jeff D|
|meat balti||4.50||6/10||Tony P.|
onion bhaji 40p, samosa 50p, seehk kebab 50p, chicken tikka 2.20p, boiled rice 1.00p, chapatti 20p, plain nan 1.00p, tandoori roti 30p.
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