Walking through the town one summer’s evening, I couldn’t help but cave into temptation and try one of the area’s many thriving Indian restaurants.
Having somehow gone almost three months without a curry, I figured there was no better time than the present to break my duck.
At first glance, with its blinds fully drawn, the New Royal Brasserie on Carlton Road barely looked open.
Once inside, however, it was clear we had stepped into a restaurant with a good reputation.
And if you don’t believe me, ask the staff if you can get a closer look at the handful of prestigious service trophies behind the bar.
The waiter was therefore what you’d come to expect from a business who prides itself on customer service. Courteous from the off, he waisted no time in taking our drinks order.
Parched after making the short trip up from the town centre, they had unfortunately ran out of the traditional Indian lager Kingfisher - served in a bottle.
I guess we should have known by the empty boxes, but I’m sure one of the staff could have nipped around the local cash and carry to get us a few more.
We were the only ones in there after all.
Putting this disappointment behind and settling for a chilled American Bud, the food menu was nothing short of mouth watering.
With a wide selection of curries to choose from, separated by each one’s level of hot and spice, you’re bound to find the right one to tickle your taste buds.
Opting for chicken tikka masala, I was looking forward to one of the chef’s specials.
My dining partner went for the vegetable balti. And we ordered a few of the trimmings; poppadoms, pilau rice, dry vegetable bhaji and garlic naan to share.
Brought out on a heated plate, there was no danger of the food going cold.
The tikka masala and rice was a plateful in itself, the sauce wasn’t as alive as I had hoped for one of the house’s special dishes, but was still very good with plenty to go at.
There were times though that I caught myself glancing over at the balti, which by all accounts was far from bland.
The vegetable bhaji added that little extra spice my curry was lacking.
And coming in at just over £30, it was a reasonable price for a meal for two and two rounds of drinks.
On the way out, the Sunday Night Special, which boasts a two-for-one offer, sounds like it shouldn’t be missed.
Ensuring the New Royal Brasserie on Carlton Road is definitely worth a second look.
by Matt Brooks
Star rating HHHH