145 Spital Hill, Sheffield, Tel 0114 275 8374

Revisited: Tuesday, 6 Feb 2001, 7.00pm

Update by Phil Coates

I tried the vegetable rogan josh and score 7/10 - lower than CL. It had good vegetable content, nicely spiced, but was heavy with ghee. And again, the plate temperature of the main dishes was cool. When you add to this the cockiness of the waiters, this restaurant tries one's patience, and only just retains its four-star status.

There was only one variety of barfi on offer, almond, which seemed fresh to me. Otherwise, there is nothing to add to the 1st Jan 2001 review below, except to say that it is probably a little too fulsome.

Revisited: Monday, 1 Jan 2001, 7.15pm

Review by Phil Coates

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

The refurbished Mangla is everything the South-Yorkshire curry lover could hope for - an Indian restaurant in our region that in terms of price and quality will stand comparison with the best in Bradford.

Most of the criticisms in the original review (below) no longer apply, and what was good is still good. It is hard to go wrong with (complementary) popadoms, nice raw-onion sauce and yoghurt sauce (well spicy, but maybe a little too sweet). Starters generally, however, are still a weakness, though the sheekh kebab remains a safe choice. We would have tried a samosa but they were not on.

Both the meat dishes contained a generous amount of best-cut chicken, and all the sauces were piquant and imaginative with a good selection of vegetables where appropriate. JD thought the sauce a little too dry. My only complaint was that the plate temperature of my main dish was barely hot enough; the dishes had probably been kept waiting in the kitchen too long. The (bought-in Mumtaz) rasmalai was past its best and not ice cold.

We bought a selection of barfi to take out. Freshness may vary, depending on how long it has been in the cabinet. Also the selection is rather limited. This is, however, a far cry from most South Yorkshire Indian restaurants which do not carry authentic desserts at all!

Dish Price (£) Marks Consumer
chicken madras 3.50 8/10 Phil C
chicken dopiaza 3.50 6/10 Jeff D
vegetable rogan josh 3.30 8/10 CL

onion bhaji 50p, sheekh kebab 50p, mixed kebab £1.60, chapatti 30p, large nan £1.10, roti 40p, rasmalai £1.40, barfi (small piece) 35p.

Visited: Tuesday, 10th October, 2000, 8pm

3 stars

Review by Phil Coates

Category Marks
Food 8/10
Service 4/10
Value 8/10

Even early on a Tuesday night business in Mangla was brisk, with perhaps over half the tables occupied. This aside, first impressions were not good. The place was in the throes of redecoration and smelled of paint. The carpet leading by a narrow staircase to the toilets was scruffy, and the toilets themselves, though reasonably clean, lacked any means of drying one's hands.

A jug of water (never willingly replenished) and the starters came almost immediately. But the service was if anything over-prompt, with the waiter hauling in the main courses before we had cleared our plates.

My seekh kebab was well done (the way I like it), spicy and tasty, though the accompanying salad was unimaginative and perfunctory. The onion bhajis lacked spice; the samosas were merely average and rather greasy.

To my way of thinking, the main courses came suspiciously quickly, with two out of three clearly the descendents of a common pot. This did not seem, however, to adversely affect the taste. My medium-hot vegetable bhuna compared well with similar vegetable curries I have had in the district, the chilli 'kick' suggesting they used fresh chillies. It had a good selection of vegetables, but could have been more interestingly spiced; also, too much ghee had been used in its preparation (which caused me to suffer indigestion later that night), and the portion was under-sized in comparison with the others.

The vegetable madras was excellent, subtly spiced with hidden depths to the flavouring, not just up-front hot as is commonly the case.

The vegetable rogan josh was medium hot, subtly spiced, with a good selection of vegetables, and a noticeable chilli effect.

All the breads were of high quality, with the roti standing out. The nans are the biggest we have ever seen, but not the juiciest. (My current favourite is the Kashmir Curry Centre's.) My fellow diners were, as always, delighted with their rasmalai desserts.

Mangla is arguably the best restaurant on Spital Hill; it is certainly the most popular, and offers exceptional value. Purely on the strength of the main dishes it would have earned a four-star rating. It was let down by the state of the premises, some mediocre starters, and lack of attention on the part of the waiter. Mangla looks to be at a turning point. Let us hope things are about to improve. If so, it will be hard to beat.

Dish Price (£) Marks Consumer
vegetable bhuna 3.20 7/10 Phil C
vegetable madras 3.20 8/10 Jeff D
vegetable rogan josh 3.30 8/10 CL

onion bhaji 50p, sheekh kebab 50p, chapatti 30p, plain nan £1.10, tandoori roti 40p, rasmalai £1.40.