Driving along Grahams Road a few weeks ago on an unseasonably warm autumn day, I saw something that made me do a double take.
No, it’s wasn’t one of the many ‘taps aff’ fans strutting around Bainsford but a sign where Hot Flame Buffet used to be saying ‘D’yoga coming soon’.
My husband and I were huge fans of the Indian restaurant and became regulars pretty much as soon as it opened in 2008. We were devastated when we bumped into the owner at Glasgow airport before a family holiday and he told us it was being turned into a buffet restaurant. I was forced to consume copious amounts of ouzo to dull the pain.
So, seeing the sign declaring D’yoga would rise again was exciting.
We headed to D’yoga last Sunday, to see for ourselves if the restaurant was back to it’s best, or if the reopening would be an anticlimax.
The decor – which has always been glamorous – has been updated slightly since being taken over by new franchise Sami and now includes more booths. Sami is eager to have the restaurant back to it’s best and even went as far as locating D’yoga’s old chefs and reinstating the menu.
The menu focuses on authentic Indian dishes, but featuring British/Indian classics like korma too.
There is a good chance you won’t have heard of a lot of the choices, but the staff are friendly and happy to explain anything.
Andy and I were thrilled our favourites were back on the menu and, after a two year hiatus, we could once again enjoy them.
The starters of poppadums and spiced onions with vegetable pakora and aloo tikki were incredible. We’d never tried aloo tikki before, but was recommended by Sami. They are potato patties seasoned with cumin and masala, fried and served with a yoghurt, tamarind and mint coriander sauce. It’s something we’d never choose from a menu but was one of the finest Indian starters we’d ever tasted.
Then came the mains, although by now we were already pretty stuffed with the generous starter portions, and the moment we’d been waiting for. Would they be as amazing as we remembered them?
In short, yes.
Andy plumped for his much missed murg malai tikka, boneless cubes of chicken served in a yoghurt, ginger and garlic butter cream with pilau rice and garlic nan and he was not disappointed.
The chicken was cooked to perfection, melting in the mouth and the sauce, while different to the old version, was the perfect balance of spicy and creamy.
My ajwani machi tikka was similarly received, with the chunks of white fish coated in spices and cooked in the tandoori oven giving it a delicately spicy taste.
The food is top quality and it seems like the prices are more reasonable than before.
They now offer a lunch menu, with two courses for £6.95 and three courses £7.95, served Friday to Sunday and everyone that likes their Facebook page gets 25 per cent off their food bill until November 16.
They say some things are better left in the past and never revisited but D’yoga definitely isn’t one of them.
The return is a welcome boost to eating out in Falkirk and with Sami putting emphasis on customer service and quality produce, it looks like D’yoga, in the words of Take That, are back for good.