Reviewed by Claire Agasee
From the outside, you probably wouldn’t give this restaurant the time of day or even notice it particularly. Although there is a small car park very close it is not exclusive to the restaurant and therefore it was full and we couldn’t find a space. However, just opposite, is another area for parking which the restaurant owner told us about. Once we stepped inside we were greeted by the very friendly owner, Martin. It was quiet when we were there but I can imagine it having quite a buzz when it’s full as it is a relatively small restaurant.
On entering the restaurant we noticed that they proudly display awards they have recently won for Asian & Oriental Chef of the Year – London Suburbsand a Highly Commended Award in the Best South Asian Restaurant – London Suburbs at the 2013 Asian Curry Awards.
As we walked in the tables were set out nicely and everything around seemed to be clean and fresh. After being seated we studied the varied menu which had some unusual dishes that we hadn’t seen before in other Indian restaurants like the Chicken Handi Saloona that my husband was daring enough to try. The menu was made up of Appetisers like spring rolls and onion bhaji, Tandoori and Lal Bagh Specialities, Traditional Favourites, Biriani, Vegetarian Dishes (sides and mains), Rice, Bread and Sundries. The menu clearly states which dishes contain nuts, are suitable for vegetarians and even has a chilli rating for hot dishes – medium, hot and very hot!
For starters I ordered the chicken chat puree (medium hotness) but I found this was a little too salty for my taste but the other flavours were great nonetheless. The chicken tikka starter my husband ordered was tender and served with the traditional salad and wedge of lemon. The papadoms were nice and fresh and served with the usual chutneys.
After finishing our starters our main meals were served promptly. I had ordered Tikka Masala which Martin took great delight in telling me that it was made from pureed carrots (as well as the cream and carnation milk added!), it made me feel that I wasn’t being too unhealthy and had an exquisite taste. My husband had ordered the Chicken Handi Saloona from the Traditional Favourites menu and he was very pleased with the choice although a word of warning – the “1 chilli” emblem next to a dish denotes a medium curry. To his taste this was a little too hot so maybe best to check with the waiter beforehand as to the exact strength! The sundries such as mushroom rice, pilau rice and sag bhaji (spinach) were also very well cooked and full of flavour. Everything was served hot and brought to the table without delay.
The meal was delightful and the service was excellent, all the staff were friendly and efficient. What I liked about it was that everything was freshly cooked so you could request milder/hotter dishes to suit your taste buds. They make a point of stating in their menu that they try not to use anything artificial in their dishes using the finest and freshest of ingredients available, freshly prepared to order. Any herbs and spices used are imported so that you get a genuine flavour.
As mentioned earlier they proudly displayed the awards they had one for Best Chef and Best Restaurant and that was nice to see. Overall, a good night out – from the food, service and ambience.
Well worth a visit.
You can also order by telephone or online for collection or delivery.
Lal Bagh is open 7 days a week:
Sunday to Thursday 12:00 Noon to 2:30 & 6:00 to 11:30
Friday & Saturday evenings 5:30 until 11:30
Sunday Buffet 12 noon to 5:00 pm £6.95 (Children £3.95)
Lal Bagh Indian Restaurant. 7 Chalk Hill, Bushey, Hertfordshire, WD19 4BL
For more information, book a table or take away visit www.lalbaghtandoori.co.uk or call 01923 224405.