The Urban Tandoor on Small Street much to the delight of its regular customers has re-opened showcasing “The New Normal Menu” and fully equipped with tasteful glass partitioning between tables to take account of social distancing requirements. They have done everything to make sure that their customers can enjoy terrific Indian food served with panache in a convivial atmosphere just as before but secure in the knowledge that they can do so safely.
After our enforced lockdown of some four months it was wonderful to be free at last to take a tour of the centre of Bristol which was buzzing with a lot of people doing the same and to look forward to a lovely meal cooked by someone else but me! We arrived with that thirst that can only be quenched by a pint of Kingfisher and ordered the pickle tray with both spicy and plain poppodums; their beetroot mango chutney is my particular favourite of mine spread liberally on a spicy poppodum. Choosing and ordering took time – would we stick with old favourites or try something new? Our cheery waiters who were a cabaret all of their own helped us out recommending calamari to start instead of lamb kebab as this was included in the tandoori mixed grill which was a must for my husband as a main course. I chose vegetable samosa with curried chickpeas, ginger and coriander, followed by a chicken biryani; a saffron infused rice dish with herbs and spices served in a pot with a light sauce.
Our starters arrived looking delicious, the calamari was excellent (the best we’d ever had) lightly battered and spiced so as not to spoil the flavour and plenty of it served atop a mixed and well-dressed salad. The vegetable samosa was great and we looked forward to the main courses being just as good. Aside from the food, the restaurant is refreshingly full of good humour and light hearted banter which is just what you need in these somewhat grim and testing times, so we took full advantage between courses to top up our entertainment levels which have been sadly lacking lately.
The main courses were served spread across the table as a colourful banquet, side dishes of sag aloo (spinach and potato) garlic naan bread and pilau rice neatly arranged around them. As always we knew we had ordered too much, but who can resist and you must try a little of everything. And, if you wish, the restaurant provides doggy bags for later….. It was a fabulous meal, finished by a special “post lockdown dessert” of white chocolate so artistically presented it was a sin to eat – but of course we did!