Restaurant Review: Ronaq, Slaithwaite

The pasandra, cooked in mild spices and cream in a pool of almond sauce, is the curry equivalent of tea with three sugars.

 

The Ronaq has suddenly appeared on one of the back streets in the Colne Valley.

It’s come as a surprise as no-one remembers seeing the work being done on it yet there it is, a splendidly furnished restaurant hidden away from view.

And part of the reason could be that it’s a windowless eating experience tucked away on New Street, Slaithwaite, opposite the health centre and, in effect, beneath the back of the Wharfeside Inn.

And when you’re in there you don’t miss the windows. After all, how many Huddersfield restaurants could be said to have sweeping, majestic views that take the breath away. Most look out onto main roads.

Inside the Ronaq there are eye-catching views in the form of magnificent images on canvas capturing Asian scenes ranging from the Taj Mahal to a family of elephants meandering off into a burning sunset ... and that’s in the gents.

You couldn’t wish for a friendlier welcome. It’s a young team from Batley who are running this and they are eager to please. They’re proud of what they’ve already achieved and rightly so.

When you walk in it’s almost Tardis-like. The unassuming entrance belies the size inside that accommodates its 120 covers with ease on comfortable chairs – including well-padded wall seats. Mirrors are everywhere and at first glance part of the restaurant almost seems to be an optical illusion. Is that a whole other seating area over there or a reflection of the one you’re in? No, you were right first time, it’s a whole other seating area.

The menu is Punjabi, mainly concentrating on what we’ll term ‘the old school’ or for those who haven’t a clue what that means, traditional.

There were four of us so we’d give the menu a good going over. For starters it was the sizzling platter, masala fish, prawn puri and seekh kebab.

The sizzler (£3.50) was one of the priciest offerings and included onion bhaji, chicken wing, a chicken roll, a potato and, chicken tikka – all served on a bed of onions. The bhajis here are flat and this one had a spice kick to it with the chicken roll surprisingly following suit. The chicken wing was the opposite, the tikka was slap bang in the middle of the road and the potato was there to offset the meat. The masala fish – haddock marinated in spices and grilled – was good-sized, light and flaky while the seekh kebab was done traditionally which gave it a crumbly texture amid its blend of herbs and spices.

The prawn puree was certainly not short on prawns cooked in a thick sauce on the deep fried unleavened bread which gave it the ability to do what it’s meant to do – that’s melt in the mouth.

For mains it was the chef’s balti special featuring chicken tikka, lamb tikka and king prawns along with lamb pasandra, chicken tikka Bengal and lamb saag.

The saag came with plenty of spinach which gave it an easygoing texture while the Bengal dish originating from Bangladesh was cooked in cream along with peppers with gave it a slight crunch factor amid the subtle spice blend.

The pasandra, cooked in mild spices and cream in a pool of almond sauce, was garnished with almond flakes and is only for those who like their curries sweet ... the curry equivalent of tea with three sugars. A good one perhaps to start the kids off and this one could have done with more lamb.

Some diners like three meats in one dish which is why we gave the Balti special a try but the huge prawns dominated the dish and had a somewhat rubbery feel to them. Next time we’d probably try something like a chicken Shali – a saucy dish cooked in medium spices garnished with pan fried potatoes.

The coriander nan was packed with plenty of the green stuff while the peshwari nan had a gentle, sweet taste that accompanied the curries rather than overpowering them.

Colne Valley folk love their curries and plenty will give Ronaq a try.

It’s now in the restaurant’s hands to impress these local connoisseurs and keep them coming back for more.

Ronaq

2-4 New Street, Slaithwaite, HD7 5AB

Tel: 01484 844744

Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 5pm-11pm

Children: Yes

Disabled: Yes, very spacious with a disabled toilet

The bill: £56.50 for four

Would you go back? Yes

Click here to view more top Huddersfield restaurants according to Trip Advisor.

 

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