When is a restaurant not just a restaurant ... when it’s half a pub. An increasing number of pubs are fusing with restaurants these days and that’s the case in Honley with the Blue Tiger.
Half of it is the Foresters Arms pub while the rest is given over to a restaurant that combines tastes from Indian, Bangladeshi and Persian cuisine.
Sounds somewhat different so we thought wife Ruth and I would test it out with friends Dave and Jane.
And it is different.
It’s a big menu featuring the old school curries – your dansaks, madras, butter chicken etc – but nine specials which include ones you’ve probably never tried before.
And that’s the same for the starters too.
OK, you can have your onion bhaji, but you can also try out dishes varying from Persian chicken or lamb tikka.
These include Persian-influenced chicken/lamb tikka cutlets (£3.55) coated with hints of fresh ginger, light coriander paste, black cumin and Kashmir massala pesto served on a skewer.
Then there are the Yemeni Chicken Strips (£6.55 for two people). These are strips of chicken breast coated in a medium herb pesto, then grilled in the tandoori oven, basted in its own juices with lime and zingy coriander and served sizzling with shredded mozzarella cheese topping, drizzled with tamarind and olive oil dressing.
We went for the latter and it sure is a generous portion that we shared between four – and for us that was about right as our appetites have waned a tad over the years. Why does that happen?
A good dish but we thought the cheese made it into quite a heavy starter yet great if you’re into melted cheese.
First of the mains was the Moroccan-influenced Dhabba Tajeen (£9.45), a sub-Saharan dish cooked with a melange of herbs and spices that are added at intervals, sealed within a terracotta dish layered with smoked paprika, lime and coriander pesto.
Second was the Bangalore Special (£9.45) from India, a dish that is roasted, toasted then coated, layered in an infusion of mint, spinach leaves, caramelised onions, tomato, garlic, and coriander paste, slowly cooked and finished flared in a wok.
And third was a fish dish Telapia Behari (£9.95) from Assam, featuring fillets of Telapia coated in Behari massala, then lightly pan fried to seal the flavour. It is then combined into a sauce of pimento, garlic, bay leaves and fresh baby spinach.
And finally a vegetable dish for good measure which was the roast Bombay Aloo Balti (£6.55), roasted potatoes cooked in Balti massala, garlic purée, caramelised onions and zingy herb pesto.
It turned out to be a fine selection and the Dhabba Tajeen came with an added extra – a sparkler stuck in it.
No kidding, a sparkler to light up our lives and we’ve the photos to prove it. Once it had faded it was quickly removed and we tucked in. It was as exotic as it sounded.
The ingredients suggest there’s a lot going on in these dishes ... and there is. Each has a distinct and different flavours
I’m a fish fan and the Behari was the top dish for me – fish just gives such a light touch to curry – but my dining companions were in raptures over the Bangalore Special as they thought the hint of mint lifted the dish into the realms of the extraordinary.
The chairs are comfortable but the only gripe is the tables for four are a tad small and you struggle to get both chairs tucked under.
Service is good and it’s all decent value for money.
And it’s not far to the pub before or after or both ... just upstairs.