Good food and perfect service at hidden gem
THE Raj Mohal is a hidden gem on the lively Aswell Street in Louth.
The shop front is so small that it looks like a take-away from the outside, but when you step through the door, you realise it is like Mary Poppins' bag inside.
The decor is more traditional English than exotic Eastern, although there are a few touches of character with signature pictures and paintings depicting the Taj Mahal and rural Indian culture.
Most of the seating is in large booths so my girlfriend and I had plenty of space when we were seated and wasted no time in ordering some poppadoms (60p each), a pickle tray (£2.50), a coke (£1.40) and a pint of the Indian beer Kingfisher (£2.50) which is served on draft.
2 4 1 on all items on the steak and grill menu served monday to saturday
Monday - Saturday 12noon - 8pm
cheapest item credited for free
Management reserve the right to withdraw the offer at anytime.
not to be used in conjunction with anyother offer.
Contact: 01472 808799
Valid until: Saturday, June 15 2013
After just a few short minutes, a tray of crispy poppadoms arrived with five accompaniments: mint yoghurt, mango chutney, onion salad, lime pickle and coconut chutney. The coconut chutney, which is a vibrant red powder with a sweet but mild taste, was a particular hit and is one of the less common chutneys served in Indian restaurants and one I fully recommend taking advantage of when it is served.
For starters, we ordered onion bhajis (£2.95) and the mixed tandoori selection (£3.95). The bhajis were crispy, flavourful and huge – one portion is more than enough to share between two people. The tandoori selection was a mixture of lamb kebab, chicken and lamb, which was succulent, soft and tender after hours in the clay oven. It was served with a salad and lemon which was the perfect accompaniment.
For main courses we stuck with two classic dishes – a kurma (usually called a korma) and a jalfrezi with pilau rice which we were not charged separately for. However, a few of the dishes in the chef's special section of the menu looked quite appealing, so if you are in the mood for something more adventurous, I'm sure you would not be disappointed. I also noticed that as well as the usual chicken, lamb, beef and prawn, the restaurant offers a fish option for most of the curries it serves.
The kurma (£6.25) was very creamy but with subtle spices that created a perfect combination with the soft, moist, chicken which was saturated with the kurma flavouring. The jalfrezi (£7.95) was something totally different and came served on a hot skillet. Heavily flavoured with a tomato sauce, there was no shortage of green chillies and this dish is not for the faint-hearted.
The strong flavours hit you with the first mouthful, but the chillies are whole so you can remove them if the spice starts to get a bit much for you, and the dish is a lot calmer.
I can also thoroughly recommend the vegetable nan bread. Soft and fluffy, it was full of vegetable flavour and great to mop up the remainder of the sauce.
As well as good food, you can rely on perfect service. There were plenty of waiters who were polite and attentive, without being intrusive. As soon as we finished one course, the next seemed to arrive. When they brought my starter, I was so embroiled in conversation that I left it for a few minutes and noticing that I had not yet touched the dish, the waiter even asked if everything was ok and offered to reheat it – but there was no need.
After the meal, one of the staff even told me a little about the area of India he was from – which I discovered had featured on Gordon Ramsay's TV show – and he offered my partner and I an after-dinner spirit. I can thoroughly recommend the Raj Mohal and may even go back myself next time I am in Louth.
I WOULD like to suggest you go to The Agra Indian Restaraunt down Seaview Street, Cleethorpes.
This family-run business offers some amazing stuff. The Chicken Akbari with pilau rice and a garlic naan for main with a Shis Kebab for starter is my favourite. Kamal and his team are very friendly and really get to know their customers. They take a lot of time to build up a relationship with them to find out what they like. If the customer has got bored of what they usually eat, the staff will help them expand their pallet to a wider variety of food.
This is, in my opinion, the best Indian in town.
Cllr Matt Brown