Sardar Palace

Sector: Cemetery Junction
Stardate: 20 September 2002
Event: Nothing particular
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Our last visit here was less than spectacular, marred particularly by the abysmal service. Has it improved since then?
AMBIANCE Pleasant

Decor: Navy walls and ceiling, turquoise pillars, unusual copper plant-like light fittings.
Music: Very varied: a squeely woman here, solo pan pipes there, then a fusion of a twanging ukulele and bolywood chanting over a thumping bass. Get down!

SERVICE Better than last time

Time to get served: 20 minutes.
Favourite menu description: On the palace spring chicken: "A taste surpassing all expectations"; on the the chicken and lamb dishes: "Cooked on charcoal and curried - the taste is self-explanatory".

STARTERS Not brilliant

Popadums: Wafer thin with seeds inside.
Chutneys: Only three dips: yoghurt, onion and some strange red stuff - overall rather uninspiring and slightly rancid.
Lime pickle: None!
Onion bagees: Not had.

MAIN COURSES AND DESERTS Very good

Chicken Shashlick: "Perfect - better than the Gulab: more and better" (Pizzamei).
Fish Bhuna (6.10): "Tasty and quite mild - very nice to have a proper fish dish (i.e. not prawns) in Reading" (Hogan).
Fish Massala: "The best fish I've ever tasted!" (Migliorini).
Jaboo? Jahoo? Jakoo? I can't read my own writing, but it was a speciality: Vegetarian - "Alright but no distinctive flavours" (Dixon).
???: "Alright but I can't remember what it was" (Pavelin).

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

Key: Yes No Too drunk to remember

FINAL VERDICT

Well, certainly better than last time - some great main dishes (Marco reckons it's the best curry he's had in Reading), but don't expect service with a smile. We award the Sardar Palace 3 Cobras: