One of only two Indian restaurants in Malton, the imaginatively named India the Restaurant, in Yorkersgate, is a hidden gem of exquisite food and home to perhaps the largest naan I’ve ever seen.
Inside, the decor really stands out, the windows are draped with thin strips of beads and material adding a bit of privacy in the window seat.
The walls have a white, rocky texture which sparkles like precious stones and huge chandeliers hang down from the ceiling.
Having booked a table for a Thursday night, there was quite a few other parties in the deceivingly large restaurant and the layout created a very intimate and private feel.
We were greeted by a friendly waitress who couldn’t do enough for us and we were quickly brought a plate of popadoms and a pickle tray.
The dips were delicious, the mango chutney, my personal favourite, was sweet and fresh.
The menu is filled with a huge variety of dishes and with 25 starters available you could spend hours pondering your first course.
I went for the mix kebab which was beautifully flavoured with a variety of Indian spices.
The three kebabs came with a side salad which was crisp with a dressing filled with flavour and a lot of different ingredients such as strawberry.
My fellow diners all had a poori, two chicken and one chana and potato, and they were full of praise for the aromatic starter.
The succulent chicken is cooked in mild massala sauce and served on fried poori.
As the only one at our table who hadn’t indulged at India before, I was warned that the size of the naans was something of a spectacle.
Initially assuming they were all being a bit theatrical, I was shocked and delighted to see what can only be described as a mammoth,family naan placed on the end of our table.
For only £4 the garlic naan we ordered could have fed a family for a week.
When we tore into the wall of naan with our mains, the garlic flavour was strong but not overpowering and the naan’s texture was soft but sturdy enough to cradle your curry.
I’m ashamed to admit that I can’t handle food too spicy or hot so I treated myself to a chicken tikka massala with pilau rice.
The chicken was tender and perfectly cooked while the sauce let off an aroma of spices which blended together perfectly with every bite. I’d definitely recommend it as one of the best I’ve had in a long time.
The portions for all of the courses were large but that didn’t affect the quality.
My cousin is a vegetarian and was delighted with the huge variety of different dishes on offer. She indulged in a vegetarian korma – her only criticism: she missed the chicken.
For dessert I treated myself to a sticky toffee pudding. Although I wouldn’t normally go for a dessert in an Indian restaurant I was pleasantly surprised with the presentation and taste of the indulgent pudding. It came with both cream and ice cream and was such a large portion I couldn’t quite finish it.
The experience at India was an aromatic joy, with friendly staff, quick service and deliciously tasting food.
Overall score: 8