20 High Street, Bawtry, Tel 01302 710252.

Visited: 19-05-01, 19:30

Review by Cactus Lizard

Category Marks
Food 5/10
Service 4/10
Value 4/10

The waiters were uniformed; apparently we weren't. The waiters looked us up and down and then we were directed to the very back of the restaurant. We're not that scruffily dressed, I remember thinking. In addition, the manner of one of the waiters in particular made for a particularly bad case of "service with a surl", although to be fair it was prompt. Most of the worst hallmarks of a SYIR were in evidence: irritating music, unnecessarily plush decor, "What no drinks?", "What no rice?".

How about the food, though.... The prices are high even for a SYIR with a big premium on chef's specialities. One of our number opted out of a starter altogether, the Chicken Tandoori I had was passable, not nearly as good as the similar one I had at Al Raj only the previous week. The dips were above average, one which was sweet and minty (much like many another we've had) and another which was fairly spicy. The (aloof) waiter told us that this one was their own recipe but seemed unwilling to engage us in conversation (he was the surliest of the lot). The mixed kebab was apparently not up to scratch either and my friend on the receiving end of it came up with quite a few unfavourable comparisons.

So far so so but what about the main courses? I was looking for something in their "budget range" as I didn't really want to play ball with the chef's specialities. I considered the vegetarian dishes which were relatively reasonable, as were some of the more standard dishes like, for instance, the Chicken Curry I ended up having. On the whole it was a disappointment, low on vegetable content with lots of ghee and really quite bland, scarcely a curry at all really. On the plus side the portions are of a good size and I certainly have no complaints about the quality of the Chicken used. The plain nan I had with it was quite impressive if you like them thick and juicy as I do, one of the best we've had anywhere in fact.

My friends had Lamb Karahi and Chicken Madras respectively which went down slightly better than my dish. Jeff Davis asked for his Chicken Madras apna style as has been our recent custom and was confronted with a sloppy sauced dish that was anything but (you would expect an apna style dish to be rather dry). Simply mediocre, not a dish that will live in the memory for long. Phil Coates' Lamb Karahi was from the Chef's speciality list and was the best of the bunch.

The sweet menu was the same old list of ice creams: Trufito and the like. No thank you.

It would be difficult to find a more typical SYIR anywhere. Most of the things we have had to get used to (RELUCTANTLY) are here in abundance. Factor in the fact that there are definitely enough customers to keep this restaurant going in the manner to which his become accustomed and what you've got is a product with a lot more ego and confidence than achievement. I really don't think this is worth making a special trip for and if you live in beautiful Bawtry and have been on the receiving end for long enough then why not try somewhere else and see what you've been missing. Sheffield or Bradford might be a good place to start looking. If you do fancy making the trip it would be a good idea to book, especially if you are going on a Friday or Saturday night as the local custom is more than adequate.

Dish Price (£) Marks Consumer
chicken curry 4.70 4/10 Cactus Lizard
chicken madras 4.90 3/10 Jeff Davis
lamb karahi 6.30 6/10 Phil Coates

mixed kebab 3.10, plain nan 1.40, chicken tandoori 2.40