A hot and sticky summer’s evening set the tone for what proved to be an adventurous evening for the BCC, in more ways than one.
You are not spoilt for choice for restaurants on Buckland Avenue, with pizza and Chinese food outlets standing alongside the Red Rose. Visit this unholy trinity too often though and you’ll be booked in at the Coop Funeralcare at the end of the parade before you reach 50.
There was a bit of a battery hen feel to the table we were placed at, and despite everyone being friends and a couple perhaps more than that, you do need a bit of space when trying to put away something described on the menu as a panic-inducing ‘medium’ or even ‘fairly’ hot curry. The lack of space was made more apparent by one of the waiters who at one point shoved a few beers out of the way in an attempt to park the dip carousel for the popadoms which could have resulted in a few wet laps.
The dishes consumed by the group included a phaal (again off the menu but not as hot as at other restaurants in Basingstoke) a couple of vindaloos, three or four madras’s (madrii?) and a couple of excellent reyzalas (sic). The overriding comment was that the meat was good quality but the sauces, although flavoursome were not as hot as at previous establishments. Maybe we are all becoming accustomed to hot curries, but the vindaloo did not induce blood (not for 12 hours at least), sweat or tears on the scale expected.
In the absence of Miss Hampshire 2014, the green chilli’s in the reyzala dish turned out to be the hottest things in the building. A couple of the group put them away as if they were French beans, but they were too much for one who ended up in the ladies, sending his curry on a return journey to Delhi, stopping off at the Basingtoke Sewage Treatment Plant on the way.
It may just be me, but I like my waiters attentive, but not over-bearing, busy but not fussy. A good waiter will know roughly when you would like to order each course and will notice when drinks are running low. Despite the restaurant not being full, and there being plenty of staff, we did have to call for attention on a number of occasions, and the staff were not as friendly or chatty as at other restaurants we had visited in Basingstoke. Maybe it was because we were a large group of #lads, but something to work on.
Overall, good quality meals, perhaps could have been a bit more spicy, reasonable price, service lacking slightly and seats too close together.
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