If 15 minutes is about right for fame and a week is a long time in politics, how would you measure four years in the life of a restaurant?
In the current economic climate it’s quite some going and we’ve just about got used to having places to ourselves when dining midweek as more and more diners cut back.
So it was with some relief that our last minute change of destination (Blackpool on a wet Wednesday with rubbish parking facilities, you must be joking!) worked out as well as it did and a couple of tables had preceded us to warm the kitchen staff up in a restaurant we haven’t been to since the last Olympics and Leap Year.
Then the paint was still pretty much wet on what had already changed its name twice before re-opening as an almost hidden Bangladeshi and Indian venue with some fascinating main course selections.
The name, we were told, translates as “beautiful” and referred to the three-year-old niece of the two brothers who commuted daily from Oldham and Manchester to run the around 50-seat restaurant with a friendly efficiency.
Well, the little girl will now be seven and her uncles will have graduated from their studies and moved on but little else seems to have changed.
Our waiter had been shipped in for the night but he knew his stuff and was more than willing to talk anyone through anything (not just the food!).
Skimming through the menu it was surprising how little the prices had changed - a few pence dearer here or there but some seem to have even gone down. Our wine for example (an adequate Via Alda Chilean Chardonnay was £12.95 – exactly what we paid for a pinot grigio last time.
This time we requested iced water rather than beer to accompany it (a concession to the recession!).
I thought I was ringing the changes with a vegetarian starter only to find that my Vegetable Puree (mixed vegetables diced, spiced and rolled in puri bread) wasn’t far from the Kuptha of 2008 (mixed vegetable balls deep fried with breadcrumbs). But tasty and filling – and just 20p up on last time.
My wife stuck with her previous choice of sheek kebab – three substantial pieces which arrived sizzling with fried onions. A winner.
Red and mint sauce came with both but the advertised salad was mercifully missing (apart from vegetarians who actually eats it?).
Just when I thought she was attempting a carbon copy of her previous encounter she switched from chicken to lamb for a korai shashlick. Beautifully tender and flavoursome large chunks of meat cooked on a skewer and very herby. Sadly though it didn’t arrive, as promised, sizzling. Maybe we’d used up our quota for the night?
I opted for the Taste of Shundorbon main because like the Choley Pindi (I first read it as Chorley!) and Rajasani La Murghi it was a new name to me.
BiIlled as “a hot madras strength” it wasn’t quite as spicy as I’d expected and the chicken came sliced rather than as chunks but it was still full of flavour, even if its base sauce did bear a marked resemblance in colour and texture to the shashlick.
To accompany we settled for a chick pea chana bhaji side dish (it’s available as a main course too), a chapati and a serving of special rice. All excellent.
Better still, forgoing coffees and desserts, our bill before gratuity was a snip at around £42.
Address: 7 Anchorsholme Lane East, Cleveleys
Phone: (01253) 855840
Opening times: Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday, 5.30 to 11.15pm. Friday and Saturday, 5.30pm to midnight. Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays)
Disabled access: Yes
Parking: Street parking
Worth a visit for: Value for money and interesting mains.