I LOVE Indian food. I don’t think you can get the flavours nor the variety in any other style of cooking.
But, and there’s always a but, I cannot handle food too spicy. A bit of a kick, yes, but eye-watering is definitely out for me.
I get no pleasure from needing to drink my body weight in water just to get me through a spicy dish.
It’s the reason I tend to stick to the same dish whatever Indian restaurant or takeaway I visit.
But at least I’m qualified to compare my favoured dish and with two friends to accompany me the variety box is ticked too.
Yorkshire was the venue for the latest reunion of two university friends, Angela and Rachel, and myself, and I took them to Ruby’s Lounge in Mirfield for a catch-up, gossip and to sample the region’s style of curry.
It was a Saturday evening and I’d only phoned to book the same day and they said the would be able to fit us in at 7pm – a busy restaurant is a sign of a good one, surely.
We arrived at the Huddersfield Road restaurant by taxi and it’s an unusual building, looking like it was some kind of workshop before it became a restaurant.
It has a cool, calm interior, decorated in white with a water fountain at the entrance. They also have a room upstairs for private dining, which looked stylish when I had a quick glimpse at it.
Once seated a waiter gave us the six-page menu and we began to look for our favoured dishes.
I knew mine already, but with a lot to choose from I had a look at the other options. As a vegetarian there’s a section just for us, which I like as some restaurants mix the vegetarian in with the meat choices and it’s never clear if it’s suitable or not.
Dishes chosen, we awaited our drinks and popadoms and a pickle tray soon arrived – I often wonder what they are, some kind of spicy Indian salsa, a cool cucumber style dip and a red onion mix. The mango chutney was our favoured accompaniment.
For starters we decided to get three dishes and share them – we chose the classics – vegetable samosas, onion bhaji – you get three of each per dish – and the mushroom pakora, of which there were six.
The good first, the samosa was vibrant, not too spicy and had deliciously crumbly pastry, which made me think it has been freshly prepared.
We all agreed the onion bhajis were very mild, even I could have handled something spicier.
I was however a little let down by the mushroom pakora. It was not what I was expecting. It was definitely a mushroom and it was fried, as pakora is, but it was more like a breaded mushroom.
The waiter cleared the table and asked if we were ready for our mains.
The waiter set up a hot plate in the middle of the table for my saag paneer, Angela’s vegetable bhuna and Rachel’s chicken dopiaza.