After visiting so many new restaurants that have been a letdown, I decided to visit an old favourite of the Liverpool curry scene that I've never been to but always wanted to go to- the Royal Tandoori. Smithdown Rd is becoming a great place for foodies, what with Christakis, Peking Duck and Santino's, offering better food than the uninspiring bistros of Allerton Rd. The Royal is an old school curry house with vital components like a sticky carpet, booths, twangy music and a fabulously ornate ceiling that wouldn't look out of place in Dubai. To start, we feasted on the usual popadoms and there was yet another variation on the chutney tray. Lime pickle, onions and mango chutney were there but with two other dips- red onion salad and a tangy concoction of hot, sweet and sour.
The main event consisted of Veggie Madras for me and Veggie Bhuna for the Other Veggie, served with lashings of pilau and garlic naan.
My madras was heaven- lots of spuds and other assorted vegetables, this was a quality curry experience. The pilau was at its oldschool best- the colourful variety and the naan lovely and fluffy with just the right amount of garlic without being overpowering. The veggie curries were only £6.20, bargain.
For dessert, I couldn't resist a Pistachio Kulfi- only £1.95. I needed it after eating a curry on the hottest day of the year so far! Note the retro tableware!
At around £30 for the two of us including 2 drinks each, the Royal is a great throwback to the days of a big curry night out before Indian restaurants got all pretentious on us. Amazing.
The good- the prices, the décor, the atmosphere, well everything!
The bad- could have done with a yogurt dip on the pickle tray.