Restaurant Review - The Raj

Contemporary and traditional Indian cuisine with a cocktail and piano bar.

On the approach to the Raj it stands out as being the most attractive establishment on the street; it’s sleek, modern exterior is very inviting and easily entices you inside.

I am very lucky to have visited this restaurant on a previous occasion but tonight was different as it was a quiet Tuesday evening and not a bustling Saturday night like before, when The Raj took on more of a party atmosphere with it’s cocktail bar in full swing.

We had booked a table for 8 o’clock and when we entered the restaurant we were greeted by a smiley faced waiter who saw us to our table. The interior feels fairytale-like as the ceiling is full of pretty branches that are covered in fairylights. The lighting is dimmed to give a cosy feel and the tables and chairs are sleek and modern.

A waiter soon appears to hand us the wine list and menus and then left us to peruse the lists and to make our decisions without feeling rushed. The waiter arrived back just as we had decided, he took our drinks order along with asking us if we would like any poppadoms and pickles, we ordered 2 each not to fill us up too much.

The poppadoms arrived and they were wonderfully presented on a stand with a lovely array of pickles below, they were nicely warmed and tasted perfect.

With regards to the drinks, my friend chose a Rose wine that was available by the glass and I opted for the House Red. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed our choices and I even enjoyed a cheeky second glass.

“I chose the Raj Special Mussels, these are cooked in a special chilli and coriander sauce with a hint of garlic – the only word for my starter was ‘amazing’.”

The starters were easy to choose as we both had a favourite that were available on the menu. My friend chose the King Prawn Puree, which consists of selected King Prawns cooked in a blend of fresh spices and onion on a lightly fried puree bread. She ate every little bit and said the sauce was gorgeous. I chose the Raj Special Mussels, these are cooked in a special chilli and coriander sauce with a hint of garlic – the only word for my starter was ‘amazing’. The mussels were huge and succulent and the sauce was delicate and fragrant.

Our main courses were a more tricky decision to make. There was a huge variety of dishes to choose from including a healthy options or gluten free menu. My dilemma was that I’m not very adventurous and I tend to stick to the same dish in fear that I might choose something that is too spicy. However, I told my friend that this evening I was going to ask the waiter for a recommendation so that I could try something new.

When I asked the waiter if he could offer me a little help I was pleasantly surprised at how attentive he was and how seriously he took the request. He asked me what type of curry I normally had and which flavours I liked, in the end we agreed for him to make me a surprise curry that he was confident I would love. Well, he didn’t let me down. I was presented with a King Prawn curry that was delicately covered in golden deep-fried grated potato, it looked so pretty and tasted divine.

My friend chose the Lamb Muktaj, after the waiter advised that they could make any of the curries slightly milder, as this was described as Spicy. The dish consisted of Lamb Tikka with onions, peppers, garlic, ginger, fenugreek and coriander. When it arrived the Lamb was so tender and the sauce was thick and complimented the meat perfectly.

We also chose a mushroom pilau rice and peshwari naan to accompany our meal. Everything was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed it all.

When the waiter could see that we had finished our meal he was very keen to come over and ask us if we had enjoyed his choice and he seemed thrilled at our responses.

Our plates were cleared, the hot cloths were brought out and then we were asked if we would like coffee or desserts. We truthfully replied that we were both full to the brim and couldn’t possibly indulge in anything else.

We both agreed that our waiter could not have done anymore to make our dining experience at The Raj any more pleasurable. It was a first class service from start to finish and we will definitely be returning, maybe on a Saturday night for a few cocktails too!