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Village Food & Drink

Why haven’t I had a curry here before?

Posted on October 19 2009 at 12:57:42 0 comments

Sally Oldaker, who has eaten a few curries in her time, finds the Dilshad lives up to its reputation.

Ihave never heard a bad word said about the Dilshad (or, to give it its full name, the New Dilshad International) in Alvechurch, and our first visit on Saturday night certainly proved that the consistently good reports are well deserved – we were left wondering why on earth we had never got around to visiting this popular village fixture before.

The place was packed, but the service was exemplary throughout, starting with the warm welcome and snappy arrival of the first drinks (bottles of Kingfisher) plus a stack of papadoms with sweet mango chutney, fiery lime pickle and refreshing raitha.There isn’t normally a lot you can say about papadoms, but these were particularly good and set the tone for the rest of the meal.

The menu provides a great choice of classic favourites as well as “chef’s recommendations” such as Nau-Ratan Bhoona or Chicken Tikka Rizzala, with detailed explanations of the spices used, the cooking method and the origin of the dish.

From the comprehensive list of starters, I chose the meat samosa, which arrived with a helping of salad and a slice of lemon in one of those handy little squeezing devices that saves you getting your fingers all lemony. The crispy triangles were absolutely stuffed with delicious mince and were the perfect size for a first course.

Lisa opted not to have a starter in order to save room for a dessert, while Georgina picked her usual favourite, sheek kebab. This was a generous portion and obviously homemade rather than bought in, and she was especially pleased with the unexpected accompaniment of fried onions.

We picked a bottle of the house white wine – a very drinkable Chardonnay – to accompany our main meals, which arrived after a pre-arranged break between courses. All of us had opted for our regular curry choices, this being the best way to judge a new (to us) venue against its competitors…

My chicken sagwalla was really excellent, vying for the number one slot in my top ten of local curries – the large chunks of chicken were clearly top quality meat and the blend of spinach and spices was particularly fine.

Lisa was equally impressed with her chicken balti, which featured a thick tasty sauce, lots of chunky tomatoes and certainly lived up to the menu’s description of a “mouth watering aroma”. 

Georgina’s colourful chicken tikka biryani tasted as good as it looked; full of colour and flavour and topped with a couple of slices of egg (which I pinched). The rice was light and fluffy, not oily as it sometimes can be, and the serving of vegetable curry was the icing on the cake.

We also ordered tarka dhall, a plain naan and a keema naan, all of which were the perfect complement to the main dishes and were kept nice and warm on a heated metal plinth.

Having saved room by not eating a starter, Lisa was able to squeeze in a pudding from the tempting list of iced desserts and traditional kulfis. Her choice was the coconut ice cream served in a coconut shell, which she said was lovely and reminiscent of summer holidays!

Meanwhile, Georgina sampled a luxurious Calypso coffee – made with real cream, not the squirty aerosol stuff – and we were provided with After Eight mints to round off the meal, as well as another glass of wine in lieu of a liqueur.

All in all, this was a particularly enjoyable evening of delicious food and wonderful service in a cosy atmosphere, and we will certainly be recommending it to others.

Should you need further reasons to visit, it’s worth pointing out that the Dilshad has recently been awarded a prestigious five-star rating for Food Hygiene from Bromsgrove District Council.


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