Indian Cottage is clearly not a cottage, it’s a ground floor unit on Albion St, and on arrival you could perhaps be forgiven for thinking you’re entering a spa – there was ylang ylang or something in the air, a water feature and soothing music. I was in here years ago when it was Thali, which was pretty decent (from what I can remember). I arrived this time armed with a Groupon voucher for 2 but sadly no Mrs Foodie yet the waiter still insisted that I take 2 starters, 2 mains and a naan as offered by the deal so I went sans-rice but he was perturbed by this and insisted that I speak to him should I need some! I also asked for a soda water and lime (£2.25) and got a pint of it. This guy seriously wanted to supersize me! Sadly it tasted like there was only enough cordial for a highball though.
It was pretty quiet as I waited for my food, just me and one sullen couple. The music fitted the spa theme at first but soon it changed to some “Hare Hare Krishna” song and the volume went up. And then it played on repeat. Suddenly it felt like a nightmare in the making, and then the food arrived…
From left to right:
Chandri chilli chicken (£3.50) – tasted more like something I’d expect in a Chinese – chicken strips in a sweet & sour sauce, possibly loaded with Tomato ketchup but with a noticeable kick.
Spinach healthy kebab (£3.50) – deep-fried fluffy potato and veg mush parcels with a spicy dip and as I bit into these I discovered a coating of cumin seeds too. They tasted pretty good. A crispy aromatic shell with soft mushy insides.
For the mains the waiter tried to steer me towards the spicier things on the menu but a wise man once told me to be wary of the spiciest dishes as you don’t know what they’re trying to hide. So I opted for two mild dishes. Take that waiter!
Desi curry (£7.50) – I’ve often wondered exactly what “Desi” means so I asked – “It means Indian curry” was the reply, er… “Can you narrow it down a bit?” “Like a curry you would make at home in India.” Sold. One ambiguous curry for the sad loner on his own at table five…it turned to be a chicken-based curry which again could’ve had some tomato sauce in there but unlike the fish curry (below) it was quite spicy. Sadly the chicken was rubbery though it was still more palatable than a joke-shop chicken.
Fish curry (£8.95) – I love fish curries. Why aren’t they more popular?! The fish was very soft, too soft and it tasted like there was tomato soup in the sauce – which is not a criticism! It was actually rather tasty.
The garlic naan was pretty good – freshly made with strong garlic aroma and I kept biting into cumin seeds, which I love.
Another waiter came by as I was typing this review into my phone. “How is your food?” he asked. I told him that it was very good but he retorted back in a cheeky scamp tone with “I don’t think you’ve even tried it!” Why ask in the first place then? It was actually very good in seriousness.
After eating two people’s dinners I had no room for pudding and left the restaurant with a full belly.
The toilet floor was sticky and could with some TLC but it was otherwise clean, and although it was quiet when I arrived it was heaving with dance music on full-volume as I was leaving. Mind the step if you have a booth and mind the step when leaving.
+ Staff will take care of you
+ Good fish curry & naan
+ An entertaining night out on my own
– repetitive music followed by clubby music (on a school night!)
– toilets need TLC