Dinner At Undal Indian, Ripley
Well, Sticky Beakers, I have once again been sampling some local Indian cuisine, courtesy of Undal Restaurant in Ripley. When the Boy Wonder suggests an opportunity for me to have a night off from cooking for my little flock I’m hardly going to refuse am I now?
So off we flew, and before long we were being welcomed into the inviting interior of the restaurant. The tables are beautifully set out with the most stylish cutlery I’ve seen, and the napkins are arranged in a simple design that compliments the tableau. As the restaurant isn’t licensed we took along our own wine, but they do serve a wide selection of soft drinks; and if you forget to take your own alcohol don’t panic as there is a shop next door that sells it. A waiter seated us at our table and then placed the napkins on our laps for us, which is always a nice touch and bodes well for the standards in the establishment you’re at.
Anyhow, back to the most important subject - food. In no time at all a plate of poppadoms and accompanying pickle tray were being placed before us and we tucked in with some gusto. The poppadoms were lovely and light, not greasy and cloying which (as regular readers of this blog will know) is one thing I absolutely hate.
As we happily munched away on the poppadoms we looked at all the tempting dishes on offer, and there is a vast array of starters to choose from, some of which are quite unusual such as the Cilantro Chimichuri Scallops (shallow fried scallops on a bed of cilantro sauce) and Nargis Kebab (A Whole Egg wrapped in Spiced Mince Meat, then topped with an Omelette). We chose Chicken Chatt, Chicken Shaslic and Crunchy Tikka for our starters and eagerly awaited their arrival; especially my ever-hungry chick who I think has hollow feathers! We didn’t have long to wait before the starters were wheeled in on a wooden trolley and served at the side of each person to avoid any reaching over other bodies - again, a nice touch I thought. The starters were carefully presented with a varied side salad to garnish, and all were piping hot and beautifully seasoned. So far, so good and we were looking forward to a great gastro experience.
At this point I’m just going to write about the decor of the restaurant as they are several features worth a mention. In the far corner on the left hand side of the door as you go in, there is a gorgeous rectangular shaped chandelier above one of the tables that, had i got room in my handbag, I could have easily taken home ! There are several pieces of statement art adorning the walls of different colours which attract the eye and become a great talking point. The best decor facet though, in my chick’s opinion, is the rectangular colour changing light feature which subtly enhances the main space of the restaurant. It somehow manages to add to the space, without being a garish or obtrusive influence on the ambience of the venue. The table linen was spotless and the warm orange/amber colour of the napkins accentuated the warmth of the interior.
For our main courses we decided on the Prawn Wrap (which may also be chosen as a starter), the North Indian Garlic Chilli Chicken and the Goan Green Murg (chicken) Curry. The decision took us all a fair few minutes to come to, as once again, the selection of dishes to choose from is extensive. To accompany the dishes we chose a Plain Pilau Rice, a Lemon Chilli Rice and a Garlic Naan Bread, and additionally we chose the Danya Naan (stuffed with Coriander ). After a brief wait our dishes were once again served from the trolley, and what a sight they were! Piping hot, the curries were served in stylish black dishes and salad garnished the plates very becomingly. The rices were in separate dishes, and the Naan Breads were already quartered so we didn’t have to tear pieces off ourselves.
The Man Birds Garlic Chilli Chicken was exactly as it stated, you could taste both main spices but not in an over-powering way, which is not to detract from the spiciness of the dish, rather to say that this is not the dish to have if you can’t cope with hotter curries. My own Goan Curry was also of the spicier persuasion, and was very well balanced with regard to its Spinach and Mint components. Both of our curries were crammed full with chunks of Chicken, so the meal is satisfying for heartier appetites. My Chicks Prawn wrap had a milder Bhuna sauce with it, but the milder nature of the heat of the curry does not detract from its tastiness in any way, shape or form. I tried a little morsel and it was a lovely rich tasting sauce. I have never seen a wrap on an Indian menu before, it is something you would normally expect in a Mexican restaurant, but it looked really tempting on the plate. The rices were both fluffy and the Lemon Chilli version was delicious. Our Naan Breads were both scrummy too, the taste of the coriander one was very refreshing to the palate, and I think I preferred this one personally. If you want to have Prawn or Combination dishes there is just a small £2 surcharge to the £9.95 price for the 4 course banquet (available Sunday, Monday and Tuesday).
The finale in the four course banquet is coffee, but as you may have guessed reader, for my flock it didn’t end there! The Boy and Chick-a-dee both wanted Vanilla Ice Cream to finish, and there were 3 scoops presented on a rectangular dish which somehow managed to make this ordinary dessert look special.
So, in short, dear blogger we had a great evening. The staff were all very polite, very smart and super-friendly. The food was sublime, superbly cooked and lovingly presented. The Restaurant itself feels very relaxed and inviting, somewhere you want to stay and enjoy. So I think it safe to say that Undal has earned its “Hot Wings“!