After visiting so many new restaurants lately, it was time to revisit an old classic on the Liverpool curry scene. The Passage to India has not been graced with my presence since 2006, when I made a flying visit from my then-home in Germany, absolutely gagging for decent British grub like Vindaloo. At the time, I stormed out in a huff as they only offered instant coffee (how uncivilised and not very continental at all) but this time I got tanked up in Caffe Nero beforehand! I remembered Passage as an old school 1980s traditional curry house with the bells and whistles like flock wallpaper, sticky carpet and booths but oh my, it had had a makeover and how pretty it looks now! The booths were still present but have been pimped up with diamante and white leather, crystal chandeliers and trendy wallpaper complete the look. I took advantage of the early doors deal- 3 courses plus an ice cream for a tenner. At first, they didn't offer me the cheap menu, only when I asked. Was this going to be a bad sign?
I needn't have worried. Both food and service turned out to be excellent and even had a BYO policy with no corkage charge! To start, there were popadoms with 4 dips:
After a breather was second course of onion bhajis. Excellent presentation, crisp salad and decent portion size!
For mains, I had my current favourite Veg Madras (Vindaloo Queen is losing her touch) with pilau. The Madras was potent, spicy and packed full of aubergine and potato, just the way I like it with not a tinned or frozen pea in sight. A textbook curry at its finest.
As part of the meal deal, we should have got a strawberry or vanilla ice cream but they forgot to mention this. I couldn't be bothered chasing it up as it is usually Happy Shopper served in one of those nasty metallic dishes. Instead, I pushed the boat out and ordered this decadent chocolate dessert for £3.50. A rich chocolate cheesecake base, double chocolate ice cream and a chocolate truffle on top, this may not have been wise after a curry but it sounded too good to resist!
The good: Generous portion size, quality ingredients and BYO with no corkage
The bad: Could do with a real coffee machine and could be a bit more pro-active at offering their customers the meal deal