A friend had told me shortly before I went that a vegetarian Indian cafe, Prashad, in Bradford had been named in the Michelin guide. Naturally, I wanted to eat there! http://www.prashad.co.uk/
I asked my brother if he knew of it, but as he's a carnivore par excellence, he wasn't really interested, but he did say he'd come with us if my parents wanted to go. They did, and he managed to book a table for my final evening. It was six o'clock or nothing, so we ate early.
The premises has two entries, and, of course, we went in one side, only to be told that our table was in the other side, so we had to go back out into the street and walk along to the next door - it wasn't possible to walk through between the eating areas, which was a little strange.
The tables were black plastic, with no cloths. The napkins were paper. But they were clean and neatly set. There was very little space between them, a cosy tete-a-tete wouldn't be possible!
The menu is basically Gujerati or Punjabi, and potatoes feature largely on the menu. However, as vegetarians and vegans, it's lovely to be spoiled for choice. Many of the items are vegan, and these, along with wheat free foods, are indicated, which is a great help to me, especially, and my mother.
My brother and I shared a mixed starter for about £8, which had 8 or 9 items, some duplicated, as you'd expect with a sharing platter. Delicious. My parents opted for stuffed mushrooms - since there were some on our platter, I know they were good:)
We each chose a different main course, Dad had a burger, with chips. I had aubergine and pea curry, my brother the chickpea curry, and Mum chose Idli with sambar and yogurt sauce. We also had a portion of their massala chips to share, just a touch spicy, and good and chunky. Dad was persuaded into a garlic naan by my brother, who opted for a plain naan. I chose the kichdi rice with lentils to accompany my curry.
Mum is unable to eat hot ie chilli heat, food due to a medical condition, and I asked the waiter to request that the sambar to accompany her Idli was mild. He said that couldn't be done, which seemed a little strange to me in a such an establishment. He then said he'd ask them to make it milder when he saw Mum's disappointment.
Sadly, when it arrived, the sambar was too hot, although she enjoyed the light, airy Idli. Another waiter, seeing that her sambar was untouched, offered to fetch something else from the menu for her. He suggested that the paneer massala was the mildest choice, and this arrived, complete with chappatis, in good time. Sadly, even this was too hot, but she was able to pick out the paneer.
The chef/owner, Kaushy, came round the tables, and when she heard of Mum's problem, she assured us that she could have made the sambar without any chilli, and would the next time we ate there.
This begs the question why did the waiter fail to pass on the request for a mild dish to the kitchen? In an eatery featured in the Michelin guide, I would expect that the waiting staff need to be as well informed as the cooks in the kitchen about possibilities.
So, we spent an enjoyable hour or so, I appreciated my food, and tasted my brother's, too, and he mine. The rice was dry and made a pleasant change from plain basmati rice. Prices were reasonable and portion sizes fine.
Was it the best Indian food I've ever eaten? No, sadly not. Would I go again? Yes, because it was enjoyable, if not the best. We discovered that they also do a take-away service, with free delivery within a 3 mile radius - so perhaps another time we'll try that - with a meal deal of around a tenner a head, it's a good option.
Where do you go for your favourite Indian meal?