It’s a Tuesday night, it’s just before Christmas and it’s restaurant review time.
So let’s go on a magical mystery tour to … Brighouse.
By that I mean we hadn’t booked anywhere but thought we’d try a restaurant we’d spotted driving through a couple of days before.
Yet that place was all in darkness. That wasn’t a promising sign. It became even less promising when it was all locked up and the opening hours sign said ‘Closed Tuesdays.’
So we wandered through the town. Quiet? Put it this way, we didn’t have trouble parking.
Several years ago we did a review of an Asian restaurant called The Street tucked away down little Park Street in the heart of this unbustling unmetropolis.
Very good it was too, but it had gone. And in it’s place something shiny and new.
Royal Delhi immediately shouted bistro rather than unassuming street food.
With it’s subdued mood lighting and fast flowing water-cascading-down-a-panel feature set in the middle of the restaurant it sure looked enticing.
Step inside and straight onto a plush carpet to make you feel like you’re walking on air. With it’s lush wallpaper and mirrors it makes you wonder who had devised this upmarket makeover. Could it be that Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen had been in town?
It was busy for a Tuesday and that suggests it must be a popular place.
After a warm welcome it was straight to the menu which is extensive and, as a result, the print is quite small so don’t forget your reading glasses.
The poppadoms and a good pickle tray featuring four dips – the usual suspects ranging from raita to a mango chutney – were ‘on the house.’ Nice touch that for a potentially new customer.
Some restaurants offer you a pickle tray and then you’ll find later it’s ramped the bill up. I’ve seen it add as much as £8.
Starters were masala fish marinated in Royal Delhi’s spices – guess they must be secret ones – and deep fried.
And the other was King Prawn puri, king prawns and onions in a rich masala sauce garnished with coriander.
The fish was one of the best starters we’ve had when out for a curry, yet it looked so unassuming dressed in its coat of spice and nestling on a bed of onions.
But the flaky tender fish was the perfect foil for the spices that were subtle yet exhilarating.
The prawns were great in the thick sauce wrapped in the melt-in-the-mouth puri.
These were really strong starters … and plenty of them too.
For mains we went for the signature dish Mr Royal Delhi – why be so formal? – a combination of chicken, keema and meat in Royal Delhi’s special sauce garnished with coriander.
With so many secrets to protect why not simply call the dish 007?
A very meaty, earthy, chewy dish packed to the ginnels with flavour. Unless you like to dance with the devil avoid eating the big, fat green chilli that adorns this dish.
Wife Ruth went for a chicken tikka sizzler, diced chicken breast marinated in yoghurt, herbs and spices and then pot roasted with onions, ginger and garlic. It certainly sizzled when it arrived alongside a separate dish of curry sauce.
Ruth felt the first piece of chicken wasn’t fully cooked so the restaurant manager was called to carry out a full forensic investigation. Back it went to the kitchen to be replaced with a fresh one that was certainly well cooked. And along came a huge nan as recompense – one of those dangling from a metal spike.
How issues are resolved are a sign of a restaurant’s commitment to customer service. They got this spot on.
The newly cooked one was fine although the curry sauce seemed somewhat one-dimensional compared to the starters.
This restaurant has only been open four months but is well worth a try. Good value for money in very comfortable surroundings with welcoming, genuine customer service.
And there are masses of dishes on the menu for vegetarians too.
10 Park Street, Brighouse. HD6 1AD
Phone: 01484 721333
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 5pm to 11.30pm and Saturday and Sunday 5pm to 12.30pm.
Disabled access: Good access and a disabled toilet (as plush as the rest of the restaurant)
The bill: £43.15 including a bottle of wine.
Would you go back? Certainly.