Back at the caravan near Ringwood this weekend as we continue our quest to try out all the eateries in the area and we weren't disappointed with this find. Ringwood has four or five Indian restaurants and this looked nice from the outside and parking was easy - that was all there was to our choice on Friday evening, well that, and the fact that it could accommodate us, at half seven on a Friday without having booked. The place itself is quite dark upon first impressions but we were at the back where there is a complete wall with a water and light feature which changes colour and that provides a nice feel to the place. There were lots of empty tables when we arrived but half an hour later and it was buzzing and completely full so we timed it just right! This also meant that we had heaps of lovely staff running around after us and our orders were taken quickly and the food was being cooked before the heavy rush. After the usual poppadoms and chutneys, we both opted against starters and went straight for mains - good job too, the portions were huge! My husband went for his favourite chicken dupiaza with plain rice and a keema nan and I chose their special mixed tandoori grill which was a mix of dry chicken and lamb tikka, tandoori king prawn and a lamb sheek kebab - served with what they called aubergine and potato crisps. I had imagined this would be a garnish type of thing with thin crispy slices like you buy in the pack of veg crisps, however it was more like thinly battered thicker slices of aubergine and potato - to be honest, I left half of them but only because I had also ordered an aubergine and spinach side dish and a lentil dahl and I couldn't possibly have waded through that lot esp as it was also served with a salad. I did try these crisps but apart from the top layer of the stack, they were a bit soggy - being a bit of a cook myself, I know aubergine can go soggy if fried and this couldn't be helped. Next time I would order the ordinary tandoori grill without the extra bits. The side dishes were excellent however but again, huge amounts so we ended up leaving quite a lot of food and in particular, I think we barely ate a quarter of the nan. The food was delicious, really well presented, with a wide range of nice sounding specials along with the usual favourites - they did offer us puds and even they were more interesting than the normal run of the mill Indian restaurant type desserts - perhaps if we order less on the mains next time, we may try one. Throughout our time there the staff were smashing - very friendly and attentive. The prices were good, as you'd expect for an Indian restaurant of this quality - it was possibly cheaper than the same back home but then they are in a holiday area and have lots of competition literally within yards, so they probably couldnt charge more and survive! With those portion sizes, it was definitely good value and you would expect to pay more for such plentiful outstanding food. They even do a special bargain set menu on Wednesdays and Sundays which means you could potentially order your normal favourites and if you chose carefully, you'd get your normal food at a fraction of the price on those days. Even though we are on a mission to try lots of places and there are lots of Indian restaurants to try in Ringwood, we will mark this one down as a winner and will definitely return.
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