Having mentioned in a previous Dining Out review that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to Indian restaurants in Scarborough, I felt it about time that I cast my net further afield and sampled an eatery that I do not usually frequent.
After deciding upon Tikka Tikka in Castle Road, first impressions were good as I received a warm welcome from the owner on my arrival.
Perusing the menu, my two dining companions and I were all immediately impressed by some of the rare and unusual dishes on offer, including ostrich jalpuri, cox bazar crab and spicy sardine cooked with spinach leaves.
Having visited enough Indian restaurants to realise that there are rarely many offerings on the dessert menu that are worth leaving room for, we opted to indulge ourselves with a pile of poppadoms and a pickle tray plus a selection of four starters to share.
Sheek-e-noor (£3.20), lamb tikka (£3.20), mixed kebab (£3.50) and onion bhajee (£2.20) eventually arrived, and these dishes turned out to be the highlight of the meal.
Well presented and served on sizzling platters, the meat was nicely cooked, well-seasoned and portion sizes for the most part were generous.
While one might argue that it is difficult to go wrong when cooking an onion bhajee, they were nevertheless delicious, but the Sheek-e-noor – minced lamb covered in traditional roti and served with tamarind and sweet chilli –was certainly the most impressive of the four offerings.
For my main course I selected the Tikka Tikka Special (£8.50) – grilled lamb and chicken tikka with tiger prawns in chef’s special sauce – while one of my companions opted for a tandoori mixed grill (£7.50).
Despite boldly declaring that he would “definitely be having the ostrich” immediately upon spotting it on the menu, the third member of our party’s sense of adventure seemed to desert him as he ordered a lamb tikka balti (£7.50) instead.
As it turned out, his decision proved to be a poor one as he was left bemoaning a lack of meat in his curry, while, by contrast, the tandoori mixed grill was met with great approval.
My own main course was exactly what I had hoped it would be, boasting enough heat to make it tasty without being so hot that one’s palate is completely overpowered.
Overall, this was a satisfactory dining experience.
As mentioned previously, we received a warm welcome from the owner and all of the staff were polite and reasonably attentive, yet the service was at times rather uncertain, ponderous and a bit slow.
That said, I wouldn’t be put off returning because of this.
The restaurant was far from full, yet the ambience was pleasant enough, the decor neat and tidy and the place looked clean. Most importantly, the food was largely of a good standard.
With the bill working out at just over £20 per head, including a couple of drinks each, I feel prospective diners can be assured that if you visit Tikka Tikka you can expect a decent meal out in comfortable surroundings without having to worry about spending a fortune.
Having paid far more for much less impressive cuisine elsewhere in the past, I would certainly not rule out a return visit.
Menu choice 7