Advantages We were hungry, it was open
Disadvantages Poor food; shabby restaurant
The receptionist at our hotel on the outskirts of Leigh cheerfully told us that the town had several Indian restaurants but a fifteen minute recce revealed only one; it was too cold to search for longer.The imaginatively named Leigh Tandoori is situated just across the road from the town’s bus station, mere footsteps from the main shopping area. From the outside it looks like it’s a takeaway only enterprise but when we peered through the blinds we could see that there are also a few tables for dining in. There was no menu in the window but we guessed that the fare would be fairly standard and it certainly didn’t look expensive.
There are, I think, seven tables in the restaurant and we were led to one that had been wedged into an alcove. We took seats opposite one another on the outside but had there been four, those sitting on the outside would have had to get out of their seat should the others have wished to be out.A window in the back wall gave a view of the chefs in the kitchen. Unfortunately the height of the window meant that we could only really see their heads so it wasn’t very interesting to watch them at work. The décor is really quite tragic; tired old prints of countryside landscapes, a grim patterned carpet and a decrepit looking bar do not an atmospheric Indian restaurant make. The toilets were upstairs and whenever anyone climbed the stairs it sounded like a herd of elephants on the staircase.
The menu at Leigh Tandoori is very ordinary. You’ll find the usual dishes – various permutations (chicken, lamb, prawn, king prawn or vegetable) of kormas, jalfrezis, vindaloos and so on. There was a section for the chef’s recommendations but this included some rather common dishes such as sag ghosht (lamb with spinach) and there was nothing unusual we hadn’t seen or tried before except for the naga curry which himself picked out immediately.The naga chilli is the in chilli (if there is such a thing) right now. It’s a really hot chilli (it’s also known as the Dorset naga because that is where it was first grown) and it tends to be used for sauces and jelly type chutneys rather than fresh in actual cooking.
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