I suppose we should have been warned by the fact that the Gateway had moved from fancy premises to a much smaller place on the other side of the road. We ate early and were the only people in the establishment, so we were not exactly pushing the staff to expect some attention. After about 5 minutes our drinks order was taken. We wanted Mango Lassis, they were not too bad, but thin.
We then ordered: I asked for Chicken with spinach and Jill had that ancient Indian favourite Chicken Tikka Masala, which was invented in Birmingham UK in the 1990's. I was surprised to see it because in the menu it said that they only produced the finest traditional Indian Cuisine. When I went to school, B'ham was a long way from the subcontinent.
After a long wait, and we were still the only people in the place, two bowls (I almost wrote bowels, which would not have been inappropriate) of "stuff" came out. Mine was seven small cubes of chicken swamped in green diarrhoea; Jill's was six lumps swamped in red sauce. I use the word swamped because when you get a little meat disguised in a lot of sauce that is what it is. Worse they were cool and had to be returned to be heated up. We only stayed because Jill's sugar levels were dropping and she needed to eat then and there.
The food itself was not wonderful, the reheating dried the top of the sauce, and it could have been microwaved, but I cannot swear to that. The meat was dry and overcooked.
The ambiance was not good. I understand we were the only ones in the shop, but we were customers. The chef who obviously left everything to his underlings, was in the restaurant watching a very loud Zee TV soapie, and he did everything to ignore us when we asked him to lower the volume. The waiter, who made no effort to be pleasant, inform us about the menu, or be helpful in any way asked us if we were enjoying the food? When i said "no this is one of the worst Indian meals I have had" he just walked away. He did not go to the chef and say those people are unhappy, he just disappeared.
I had to go to the desk to ask for the bill, but was told to sit down as it would be brought to the table. After several minutes it was, but I when I asked for the card machine the waiter disappeared again so I went back to the desk. I was asked if I had forgotten to add a tip. Yeah, right. Definition of Gratuity is a monetary reward for services rendered. No service, ergo no tip!
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