India Palace

Sector: Wokingham Road
Stardate: Tuesday 9 July 2002
Event: Nicolas Gaussiat passing his viva
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Somewhat neglected by trekers over the last few years due to the fact that this unremarkable brown dwarf has always been eclipsed by the brilliance of the white supergiant across the road (i.e. the Garden of Gulab), we were curious as to whether the rumour was right and the place had improved. Previous visits were notable only because of the occasional appearance of beautiful eastern-european waitresses, although the evil head waiter, who delighted in offering unwary novices ludicrously hot chillies, was ubiquitous.

AMBIANCE Unpretentious

Decor: Classical mouldings, Medieval paintings, although the dusky pink walls were perhaps a little dirty. The stark lighting was dimmed an hour after we arrived.
Music: Chilled-out ambient.
SERVICE Acceptable

Time to get served: 45 minutes.
Favourite menu description: Old classics like "producing an aroma beyond all expectations" (on the Palace Spring Chicken) and "the taste is self-explanatory" (on the Tikka specialities).


Popadums and chutneys: Five very colourful dips "a bit chemical" (Gaussiat); "fluorescent coconut same colour as a permanent marker" (Dixon).
Lime pickle: None, although the "radioactive" green chilli sauce was an acceptably potent alternative.
Onion bagees: Not sampled.


Mushroom and Peas: "Just like I get in India" (Behera).
Lamb Balti: "Very tasty but a bit gritty" (Brooks).
Mixed Vegetable Curry: "Hot, but too much coriander" (Bouniol).
Vegetable Dansak: A nice mild curry: "It's Dansak, Jim, but not as we know it" (Dixon).
Handii Chicken (house speciality): "They seem to have economised on the chicken by including lumps of toffu as well" (Pavelin); "Acceptable" (Illingworth).
Balti Prawn Curry: "Very hot but nice nonetheless" (Hogan).
Lamb Gosht: "A basic honest curry - not over the top; modest but good" (Gaussiat).
Palace Chicken Special: "Not so special after all, 6/10" (Devenish).
Vegetable Korma: "Quite edible, a bit like every Vegetable Korma I've ever had" (Martin).

Buffet option Egg-fried rice Sweet Lassi Liqueur coffees Hot towels Sweets with bill

Key: Yes No Too drunk to remember


Well, the restaurant seems to have improved since this reporter last visited; fortunately there was no sign of the evil waiter although alas there were no beautiful waitresses either. Across the board the food was satisfactory but sometimes unremarkable, so there is little danger of the Palace accreting sufficient matter to ever outshine its rival accross the road. We award the India Palace 3 Cobras, although perhaps one of them is past its sell-by date: