This is traditional North Indian cuisine at its finest. The Raj boasts chefs who carry about seven generations’ culinary knowledge and traditions. The starters menu has a delightful variety of dishes which are large enough to satisfy, while being small enough to whet the appetite for the next course. On a cold day, the lamb sheekh kebab would be a great starter idea or, equally as tasty, samoosas served with a delicious dipping sauce. Combining the four flavours (lamb, chicken, Punjabi and cheese and corn) makes for a wonderful taste sensation.
There is quite a wide range of seafood, chicken, lamb and vegetarian dishes to choose from; however, the lamb biryani comes most highly recommended. Their biryani clears your throat on a cold winter day, if you are brave enough to go for the hot option – which is not actually unbearable. The chillies are nice and strongly flavoured and have none of the reticence of some of the local chillies.
Desserts are carefully thought out with the traditional nut and coconut ingredients being critical components of some of the dishes. For a fresh ending to your dining experience, order a sorbet (mango or litchi) or a duo of their full cream ice-creams – the pistachio and barfi (coconut) is excellent.
Wine is sold by the glass, including local sweet dessert wines and the stronger fortified wines. There are also a range of traditional Indian drinks such as masala tea and lassies. Although the masala tea forms a skin of milk on the top as soon as the tea is served. Another disappointment is that it is sold per cup, rather than served in a teapot as many Indian restaurants would. There are some South African brandies, Scottish whiskies and shots also on offer, making the venue amenable for a good night out or after-work drinks.
The waiters are friendly and knowledgeable about the food. And the meals themselves, while freshly prepared per order, is relatively quickly delivered.
Weekdays do no not seem to be the most popular time to visit the establishment as the number of vacant tables is quite jarring. However, the restaurant is warm and with the dim lighting and soft Indian music playing in the background, definitely feels like Indian fine dining.
The flat breads are also sold with wholewheat options. (TN)
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