If your customers keep coming back for more then you know you are on to a good thing. Judging by the welcome hugs and warm exchanges that greeted many of those dining there on Sunday night, that’s certainly the case at Indian Harvest in Bainsford.
And, having sampled some of the splendid fare on offer, I’m sure I’ll be making a return visit myself in the not too distant future.
Indian Harvest make a big play of the fact that they don’t bring in any pre-packaged food from outside suppliers, with all dishes, sauces and dips made to order each day.
They are confident that the slightly longer wait for your meal is more than made up for by the deliciously fresh dishes that arrive on your table – and I’m certainly not going to disagree.
Not that I was aware of waiting overly long anyway.
No sooner had we settled into our seats than the friendly waiter appeared to take our drinks order and, after making our selection from the extensive and varied menu, we contendly nibbled on poppadums, mango chutney and spiced onions as our starters were prepared.
Or, more accurately, I should says starter, as, once again unable to make up our minds, my wife and I opted for the chef’s mixed platter.
Containing all the usual favourites – aloo tikka, mixed pakora, chicken chaat et al – it certainly hit the mark and I must given special mention to the garlic mushrooms, a creamy side that was tasty and cooling.
I ramped up the temperature with my main course though. Nine times out 10 it’s a tandoori dish I go for but his time the chicken masandra from the Indian Harvest’s specialities section caught my eye.
The meat – chicken is but one of the available choices – is first barbecued then cooked in a sauce with peppers, onions, chillies, fresh herbs and spices.
Served in a cast iron karahi (circular Indian cooking pot – I checked), it was deliciously hot and there was still plenty of sauce to dip the obligatory naan into once the meat had been devoured.
Across the table, Pauline also broke with tradition and gave the korma a body swerve in favour of the chicken chasni – and hasn’t stopped raving about it ever since.
To be fair, she has a point. I mopped up some of the sauce and would gladly order that on my next visit.
Indian Harvest do a nice kids’ menu as well and four-year-old Calum was delighted with his chicken curry and chips ... although that didn’t stop him sampling some of ours too!
Indian Harvest, 1 Union Street, Bainsford, (01324) 632222, www.indianharvestbainsford.com