Living in Durham we have an abundance of restaurants, cafes and places to eat out if you fancy pizza, old fashioned home cooking or pub grub but there are only a handful of Indian restaurants. The ones we have been to in the past have either been way too heavy handed on the coriander and refused to omit it from the dish which makes me immediately think they don’t cook fresh or the meals have been swimming in grease! Not a good sign no matter what the origin of the dish!
We were kindly invited to Le Raaj at Chester le Street to try their lunch menu and having driven past it more than a hundred times with promises of calling in we decided to go for it. They have just opened a new restaurant in Sedgefield which is garnering rave reviews! Hubby is a huge Indian food fan, me not so much, mainly back to the coriander issue and the fact I don’t cope well with spicy food so always stick to Korma!
We arrived spot on 12 which is when the restaurant starts serving meals and the door was locked! eek! We were soon let in by a lovely gentleman who made Amelia feel welcome by making a fuss of her first. Having never been before we were unsure where to go so stood in the foyer while the gentleman grabbed some menus and wandered off, it wasn’t until the man behind the bar said to follow him (the other man) that we realised he was taking us to the table! By the time we got into the dining room the menus were laid on a table and said man had disappeared again!
We sat watching the bubbles from the water wall – which by the way is very mesmerising and totally distracting but in a good way – when up popped someone to take our drinks order. 2 very large cokes later and we ordered the food, 2 onion bhajis, a chicken Korma and a chicken Tikka Massala.
The onion bhajis were brought out promptly and even hubby admitted that these were the best we have ever had…hands down! They were crisp yet still light and they weren’t in the slightest greasy or overpowering – i could have had a plate of these for lunch and been very happy!
Our curries came out next and they were brought in separate bowls, think dessert bowls, one containing rice and the other the curry so you could dish out how much you wanted at a time. I found this a waste of washing up and would rather have just had it on a plate and dished out then mess around (hubby inevitably spilt his on the table cloth!)
The Korma was so full of coconut it tasted like a dessert which I couldn’t get my head around, you know that feeling when you are eating something and it doesn’t taste how it should, it was delicious but a little too sweet for me! Hubby enjoyed his and said it was how massala should be and how he remembered it from growing up, not how it had been served over the years in take away etc!
After coffee and Amelias ice cream we departed where upon Amelia was offered chocolates, to which she grabbed a handful and took off! Thankfully the barman just laughed and it was a lovely end to a relaxed lunch time!
Priced at £8.95 per person for a 3 course lunch this is ideal for anyone wanting something a little different.
The meal was provided for purposes of a review. All words and opinions are my own!