Indian Chef



176 Crookes Road, Sheffield, S10 1UH, Tel 0114 266 6052

Visited: Monday, 23 Jan 2001, 7.30pm

Review by Phil Coates

Category Marks
Food 5/10
Service 6/10
Value 6/10

A friendly unlicensed restaurant with a jug of water up front, no questions asked. Could we have struck gold here?

No.

The starters looked magnificent and were beautifully presented. If only we ate with our eyes. If only we lived by bread alone - the naans are excellent. I would love to write well of this restaurant. The service was so attentive. The decor and facilities are decent enough, provided you keep your wits about you. I would love to say that the only minor flaw, perhaps in deference to its student location, is that the music errs on the side of loud and intrusive. That I am unable to do so is almost entirely down to the taste of the food.

Starters: not spicy, and with a residual tang of stale oil. Yoghurt sauce: too sweet.

Main dishes: ..? Saag gosht (you may be wondering) is lamb in spinach. Actually the sauce was rather good, with plenty of spinach. The sauce was nearly good in the chicken madras, a little short of a full-strength madras, but quite spicy - if only it hadn't been watery and lukewarm. Also, in the case of all the meat dishes, the meat was of inferior quality and poorly trimmed. And there was not that much of it. The portion size is definitely no more than average.

But what good thing can I possibly find to say about tarka dall as a main dish (ordered easy on the ghee)? That it causes monstrous flatulence? (And why oh why did the attentive waiter, when we expressed an interest in a vegetarian main dish, not draw our attention to the separate veggy menu which we later discovered on the counter?) What arrived was a paean to lingering indigestion, a watery chemical soup, from which the promised onions seemed entirely absent, tasting strangely of raw garlic or something worse, and in which, as you neared the bottom of the container, a few sorry split yellow peas might be found vying for your attention. Oh dear.

There were no desserts of interest.

Residing as it does in an area of rickety charm, and on the strength of an admittedly rather flimsy review elsewhere, we had high expectations of this restaurant. Many of Sheffield's students may remember it fondly, but they are not well served on their doorstep and would do better to seek further afield.

Main Dish Price (£) Marks Consumer
chicken madras 4.10 5/10 Phil C
tarka dall 3.50 2/10 Phil C/Jeff D
chicken madras 4.10 4/10 Jeff D
saag gosht 4.60 7/10 CL

onion bhaji (2) £1.20, vegetable samosa (2 small) £1.20, large nan £1.20, tandoori roti £1.00.