Tuesday, 21 October 2014

India Gate - Portsmouth

                                    An Interesting Indian On Kingston Road

Being extremely fussy when it comes to her food, Clair was a little dubious when Dean wanted to choose an Indian restaurant to celebrate his birthday meeting. Then she recalled that she had been to India Gate and had found a meal not too spicy for her tastebuds, and Dean immediately booked! The venue is of a good size, with plenty of room and nice decor in the main restaurant. You are greeted with a smile and a friendly handshake from the very smart staff.

For starters, Clair opted for the garlic mushrooms which were creamy and delicious. Pete had the different Ostrich Tikka, which he found  a little on the small side, yet presented beautifully and tasting just as good! Gemma also tried this dish, but found it a little hot for her taste. Dean opted for the Onion bahji which he felt were a little pale and just Ok for a starter. Dave had the chicken Kathi wrap, which was wonderfully cooked, juicy and not at all overdone.

The main menu is very varied and offers a lot of choice. Dave chose the mixed grill kebab, which offered a little of everything, allowing Dave to compare what the chef has to offer where he tends to order a variation of this dish when in an Indian restaurant. Dave felt the only thing that perhaps let it down was the beef which was a little over done and bland. The pilau rice and keema naan bread he ordered alongside it set off the meal perfectly.

Dean ordered the chicken Karnakarta, a dish of chicken, herbs and spices with mango, peppers and onion in a medium strength sauce. He definitely felt full after this dish, even not being able to finish the dish (which is a rarity for Dean!) Gemma tried the Duck Shashlik for her main which offered a pleasant change from the normal curry dish. Served with salad and roasted vegetables, the meat was able to speak for itself. With a lovely mint sauce and dollop of mango chutney, it created a lovely, different Indian meal.

Pete decided to try the Tandori King Prawn masala, which was probably one of the best curries he has ever tasted! The prawns were massive in size, even for king prawns! The masala sauce was a typical chicken tikka nasal sauce, but perfectly cooked and not too spicy. The chipatis he ordered for a side dish were perfect also. Clair's not so spicy dish was the chicken Au Gratin. Flavoursome and with the added coolant of cheddar cheese, the dish was just what she wanted to have, without having an "English" dish! The rice was nice, but not quite fluffy enough for her taste.

As it was Deans birthday, a round of drinks was offered on the house, which was turned down as only the birthday boy was drinking and time was ticking on. However, as we went to leave, a bottle of red wine was given to him as a token gesture. A lovely extra!

In a place where the food was so delicious, it would be expected that we would give top marks for this restaurant. However, the toilets majorly lets this venue down. For a spacious restaurant, there are limited toilet facilities and the ones that are there are not clean and smell musty and disgusting. If there were a lot of people in the restaurant on a busy evening, there would not be enough facilities to cater for customers, or indeed space for anyone to queue!! Some of the group were also of the opinion that the service was a little slow, considering we were the only people in there that particular evening. It is such a shame that such lovely smart staff in a lovely venue with great food needs to be marked down.

So, our scores for India Gate are:

Marks out of 10............................................................... 8 (Dean Maskell)

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