I had the pleasure of being invited our by one of the Cambridge Curry Crew's regulars for a meal at his local Indian restaurant in the village of Sutton. Just a couple of miles out from Ely, the village of Sutton is quite small yet is lucky enough to have its very own Indian restaurant.
My first expectations of the place werent much. It came across as a small house which has been converted in to a restaurant, so I was hardly expecting gilts and glamour.
Upon entering I could see they had worked well with the space. There is a ramp for wheelchair users and a bar located to the left which staff were standing behind ready to greet us. We were taken to our table and seated immediately. They have done well with the space they have, especially considering how small the establishment looks from the outside, so we were off to a good start.
We were lucky enough to fall on one of the two nights in which the "Chef Special Night" was on. This gives us a selection of any starter, any main, any side, and a choice between a rice or a naan...oh, and a tea or coffee. This comes to a handsome price of £11.95 per person. So naturally we decided to take advantage of this and go for it.
For anyone who decides to go on a night in which the promotion is not on, the photo above shows the usual prices of the curries which I think comes to a very competitive value.
The staff were very attentive to start with. We ordered some papadums which came out almost immediately. We were pleased to see a good selection of sauces - Mango chutney, onion salad, lime pickle and red onion. Each was presented in white china pots and with generous portions. The sauces were all pretty average by none of them offended our pallet.
Once we were done they took our plates away and we took our order. After a blinding lamb tikka vindaloo at Kaz's in Sawston the other night I was well in the mood for another lamb tikka dish! I decided to go for a mixed platter for a starters to get a good idea of what the restaurant can do, along with olive rice, saag aloo and a beer.
I was sad to see no beer on tap in here, its bottles only i'm afraid! However, I was also pleased to see a very good selection of Indian beer available to buy on bottle. Careful though, as a large 660ml bottle (which is little over a pint) is nearly £5!
The mixed starter - Onion Bhaji, lamb samosa and a pakora
Duck Rangin with side salad.
My mixed starter was basic but effective. The onion bhaji was not going to win any awards but was well prepared and had a good crispy yet succulent texture. The samosa and pakora were both decent too. There was nothing else really left to say about the mixed starter. It is certainly a good deal considering the promotion and filled a gap while we waited for our main course!
My girlfriends duck rangin was something I have never had before and had a great texture to it. The duck was lacking flavour in itself and relied too much on the sauce which made it quite bland, but I am still glad I got a chance to try it.
Lamb tikka vindaloo.
Brinjol Bhaji and Aubergine side.
We ended up waiting a very long time for our main course. The service went from very attentive to very slow all of a sudden. The place did fill up with people but was still only at half capacity. We thought the place was under staffed in all honesty with only two people attending the entire restaurant. One thing I have always loved about Indian restaurants over other types is that they always have a decent staff to customer ratio, but not here.
My lamb tikka vindaloo looked good, the portions were about right and was served on top of a candle heated tray. It had a good spicy kick to it, though it had a funny flavour, more like a mix between vindaloo and a madras. The lamb was quite dry and chewy which was a disappointment as the lamb in my samosa and my girlfriends lamb salee both fell apart on the fork.
I ordered some olive rice to come with my vindaloo, something I have never seen on a menu before. Being a massive olive addict I was keen to try this. I am very pleased to report that the rice was very nice and lived up to my expectation! I would love to see this in more restaurants!
My saag aloo side looked very appealing also. It made a great addition with the vindaloo. The potatoes were just the right texture and had a fantastic flavour. I could have eaten a ton of it.
My girlfriends lamb salee looked very exciting and was something I had never seen before. As I said above the lamb fell apart on the fork.
Saag aloo served in a white china bowl.
Olive rice...it worked!
Once we were finished we were given the usual hot towel. These were microwaved wet wipes but were still welcomed after that hot vindaloo. We had been in the restaurant for nearly 3 hours by this point so was getting a little hot and sweaty so needed to freshen up. This was mainly down to the long waiting time for our main course.
We were given the choice of a cup of tea or a coffee after our meal as part of the promotion, so we decided to go for a coffee. The coffee didn't look much at first but tasted fantastic and was just what I needed after a big meal like that! The coffee came with some milk and brown sugar.
Just what the doctor ordered after a big meal like that!
Once we were done we were given the bill with some After 8 chocolates which was a nice way to end a big meal. The bill came to a little more than I first thought because of the beer prices, but nothing which was going to break the bank.
The Sutton tandoori seemed to do acceptable/passable Indian food for a reasonable price. If the promotion was not on then I cant say I would recommend it to anyone coming from outside Sutton, but on a Tuesday and Wednesday nights then I would say its good value for money.
I am sure The Sutton Tandoori serves the village well but with so much decent competition in the area I cannot recommend it for people coming from out of the village.
The service was polite and friendly though incredibly slow and under staffed. The place was clean and pleasant enough to be in, but it was very basic, and there was little in the way of interior decorating.
I was pleased to see a ramp for wheelchair users and I was even more impressed with a disabled toilet (which is even more of a rarity in a small establishment like this) but was sadly undermined by the fact there was a beer fridge next to the door which prevented it from opening properly. A lot of people might be able to squeeze in but some of the wheelchair users I know would have real trouble getting in.
Oops! You might be able to squeeze in!
I had a great evening either way with some excellent company and was able to try some new foods which I haven't seen on menu's before such as olive rice and duck rangin. I enjoyed their coffee and After 8 mints which really hit the spot after a big meal.
5/10 - If you are going to visit, make sure its on the Tuesday or Wednesday during their Chefs Special night!
Check out their website and phone number (01353-777965/777980)
Check out their website and phone number (01353-777965/777980)
Thanks for reading!