Dining Out: Spice 4 U, Pickering - Delicious food at warm and welcoming venue

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Authentic Indian food in a sparkling and bright restaurant, Spice 4 U in Pickering is the place for you if you have a hankering for a good curry.

I visited the purple restaurant on a Thursday night and was surprised at how busy the reasonably sized establishment was midweek.

Inside everything is sparkling clean, with a smart yet bright feel to it. Intricate and radiant paintings of animals and landscapes hang on the walls.

Spice 4 U is also a takeaway and as we entered there were a couple of people awaiting their order - it certainly felt like a popular place which is well used by residents in the town.

With a flavourful and spiced aroma, simply the smell of all the dishes blended together was already exciting my taste buds and I couldn’t wait to try the huge range of dishes they had on offer.

Our attentive waiter brought us poppadoms and a pickle tray - the mango chutney was delicious - and we ordered our starters. I went for the chicken tikka which was seasoned perfectly. As someone who shies away from anything too hot (I’m a korma kind of person) the starter had just the right amount of spice to give a light tingling sensation as you indulged.

My roommate went for the mix kebab special which she thoroughly enjoyed. Both dishes came with a crispy salad. The portion size of both starters was very reasonable, both appearing quite large considering the cheap price and quality of the dish placed in front of you.

The atmosphere in the authentic restaurant had a community feel, with families and friends dining and laughing together. There was certainly a friendly buzz throughout our time at Spice 4 U.

For our main dishes we both went for “the safe option”. Hannah ordered a chicken korma masala with pilau rice and I went for a chicken korma with mushroom rice.

The korma was creamy and filled with coconut flavours and filled with an array of tasty, but of course mild spices. The portion was huge and great value for money - and the quality of the dish was superb.

We shared a garlic naan which had just the right amount of garlic flavour. I find with some Indian restaurant the garlic naan is either caked in garlic or is practically plain - Spice 4 U had it spot on.

I’d managed to tuck into about three quarters of my main dish before I was so full I didn’t think I could take another bite, but I had enjoyed every mouthful.

We decided to skip dessert, and didn’t even see the menu, on the basis that we were just too full to even attempt to share.

Our waiter, although very attentive and helpful, was very quiet and didn’t really chat or smile.

This was a bit of a shame when other members of staff were smiling from ear to ear.

The food was authentic, flavourful and very filling but very reasonably priced considering the portion size and its quality.

Between us we had two drinks each, poppadoms and a pickle tray, two starters, two mains and a garlic naan and the bill at the end of the night was just £37.

Spice 4 U has a great atmosphere and a sense that everyone is welcome. I couldn’t fault the food and I will definitely be making a return visit.

Score: 8 out of 10