Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Taj Mahal at 40-42 Norwich Road, Ipswich IP1 2NJ was the first curry house in Ipswich serving us tasty food since 1964 and they are very proud of this fact! The restaurant is a fair walk for all of us and it was a hot summer Saturday evening so the first thing we requested a cool glass of water. We were seated at an unmade table next to one already laid out, we proceeded to sweat for the next 15 minutes, the air conditioning seemed to be off (we politely presume broken) and were happy to be next to the open door onto a busy Norwich road breathing in the sweet smell of petrol fumes. Eventually our beer came, gladly, but with no sign of any water. Not a good start. Davekins had the chicken Masala and said the meat was the best quality he'd found in Ipswich and said the general flavour was good, not massively exciting but certainly tasty, the other boys were in agreement, for me Taj mahal offered some of the more flavoursome veggie dishes Ipswich has to offer. Yet again the evening seemed to be overcast with very poor service, with few smiles, very little attention paid to making sure the evening was enjoyable and generally a stuffy atmosphere. This was reflected in our tip (IE- none) to a very unhappy waiter, at least we knew what was wrong with the miserable sod now.
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Royal India, Burrell Road, Ipswich IP2 8AJ is right opposite the train station and only a short walk from the town centre so should be a fairly prime spot for hungry travellers. First impressions here were not great thanks to a large group of bald, singing thugs hanging about smoking and drinking on the street outside The Station Hotel, which occupies the other half of the building. We perservered and went inside, the waiter who looked bored to tears, seated us at a table next to the window, as there was no air conditioning they had all the windows open on to the busy street. We were given our menu's and offered drinks, the only beer they had for sale was Carlsburg for a staggering £3.50 a pint and so I opted for a glass fo wine, some time later he came back and asked if we wanted any popadums, we ordered 2 each and had a look through the menu. I personally find it a little disconcerting when an indian restaurant offers a wide range of omlette and chips, however it has become a fairly typical on menu's here, before we had decided on what to order the waiter brought us our popadums and some dips, the mango chutney was a suspisiously runny red colour...it looked more like tomato ketchup so I opted to eat mine plain and soon found they were stale and chewy so gave up, hoping my main meal would be better, only a few seconds later niggles found himself biting down on a piece of glass that had been in the lime pickle! We pointed this out to the waiter (who still hadn't taken our orders) and his response was "oh, what do you want me to do about it?". We decided (mostly due to our extreme hunger) to stick it out and see if things got any better, he took our orders and brought out a new pot of lime pickle, however was distracted seating some other customers so simply plonked it on our table, behind a menu, without an apology or even a look in our direction. We sat for some time with our half eaten unappetising popadums and dips and eventually the waiter wheeled over a trolly of food, he hadn't cleared our starters out of the way and started handng out the plates for our main meal, we attempted to give him our starter plates, as well, they were in the way and his response "no i'll get those in a minute" he handed out our food like he was feeding monkeys at the zoo, with a bored expression and no personal contact whatsoever, didn't offer us any more drinks and wandered off. We called him back and ordered 2 more beers for Niggles and Davekins, about 10 minutes later he came back with 3 beers as he hadn't actually listened to what we'd said, we just told him to take the 3rd back and carried on with our meal, which surprisingly wasn't too bad, thats not to say it's the greatest i've ever had, but the onion bhaji's were a good texture, not to oily and ok to taste, they could have done with a little more spice flavour, but generally they were better than alot of the places we've visited. The boys all said the meat was fairly good, though Niggles was dissapointed with how mild his jalfrezi was, for me the only concerning thing was the metallic after taste of my korma. By the end of the meal we had been charged nearly £70 for glass in our food, stale popadums, bored and miserable waiting staff, not willing to even appologise properly and a failry average meal with cheap tasteless beer to wash it down. Would I recommend eating here? NO! Now closed down, suprisingly (19th November 2011).
Survey Score: Royal India: 36%