BARRIE HUDSON samples the food at the town’s latest bring-your-own-booze Indian
Lahore Balti House
1 Victoria Road,
Swindon SN1 3AJ
Tel: 01793 495505
Open: Sun-Thu 5pm to 12.30am, and Fri-Sat 5pm to 1.30pm.
Free home delivery on takeaways with a minimum order of £12 and a 15 per cent discount on collection
THE area at the bottom of Victoria Road has seldom been short of Indian restaurants – its nickname of Curry Corner is testament to that.
This is great for customers who relish having plenty of choice, but it also means new venues on the block must make sure they have something good to offer.
The recently-opened Lahore Balti House should have no worries on that score.
The first thing I should mention is that only non-alcoholic drinks are sold there but customers are welcome to bring their own beers, wines and spirits. Oh, and if you pop in on impulse without bringing drinks from home, there are shops within easy walking distance.
For a new restaurant, this one manages an intimate atmosphere courtesy of subdued lighting, comfortable seating and well-chosen decor. Dishes are cooked in authentic cast-iron woks which are billed as enhancing the flavour.
The staff are very, very helpful, and are happy to answer questions about the dishes.
For starters I chose a king prawn butterfly. The crustacean in question arrived in breadcrumbs with a side salad and truly deserved its royal title.
My companion opted for a mixed starter of sheekh kebab, onion bhaji and chicken tikka.
Something we both immediately noticed was that both starters, although generous, were in no way heavy, and there was none of the greasy residue that sometimes mars such dishes.
My main course was Balti Chicken Hyderabadi, which was quite spicy but at the same time managed to be delicate.
My companion, who likes things a little hotter, went for Naga lamb, which has three little chilllis after its name on the menu (Madras has two and Vindaloo has four).
She said it was delicious; anybody can make a hot curry, but making individual flavours stand out amid the heat is an art.
With rice, a naan and poppadums, our total bill came to just £30 – you bring your own drinks with you, remember?