How did tourists of the world cope before Tripadvisor was created and we could scope out hotels and restaurants before going to them?
I’m devoted to the mobile app and use it all the time when visiting cities. It’s very rarely let me down and meant we’ve found some hidden gems from Greece to Greenock that only locals would know about otherwise.
However, in Falkirk I never think to use the review website and instead frequent the same five venues over and over.
I somehow stumbled across the Tripadvisor page for Haris Indian Restaurant and the reviews looked too good to pass up. It opened earlier this year, serving authentic South Indian cuisine from Grahams Road. The venue was previously an African restaurant and for 25 years before that, was Casa Espanola.
The dining room looks like a living room in a tenement flat. Probably because it was at one time the living room of a tenement flat. The converted building doesn’t make for the most glamorous of surroundings, but don’t let the decor put you off.
Haris dished up some of the best Indian food I’ve ever tasted and the menu features far more than the usual stock dishes of chicken pakora and korma curries.
Owner Vinu looks after the kitchen while his wife Sharmiro runs the front of house. The pair found themselves in Falkirk from Aberdeen, via various Indian restaurants and even a fish and chip shop.
We browsed the extensive menu while we enjoyed the complimentary poppadums and spicy onions.
Lots of the starters on the menu, I’d not heard of but I took Vinu’s advice and went for the methu vadai – spicy doughnuts made with urad dai and spices which is soaked over night then ground up to make a filling and deep fried. The dish was like nothing I’d ever tasted before and was served with a mild coconut chutney and spicy sambar lentil dip.
My friend had the more commonly found onion bhajis but they were done in a unique way. The bhajis were rings of onion, stuffed with spices and fried perfectly.
Jacqui went for chicken madras which was the right side of spicy and I had king prawn chasni – a sweet and sour curry. We shared rice and a naan bread and were left ridiculously full. No space for gulab jamun here.
The service at Haris’ was impeccable and the staff are happy to talk through the menu and explain some of the more unusual dishes.
The restaurant is open seven days from noon and the lunch time deals include any starter, curry and pilau rice for just £5.99.
If trying something new isn’t for you, the menu also offers the dishes you’d expect such as pakora, tikka and korma. But if you take a break away from the usual Indian restaurant suspects, I’ll guarantee you won’t regret the decision.
Haris Indian restaurant
142 Grahams Road