Filed under: Food reviews
After a long day at the office, sometimes the best remedy is to ‘Keep Calm and Curry On’. At least that’s my new mantra after sampling the onion bhajis, fresh pickles and tasty curries at Bina Tandoori in Prospect Street.
The Caversham restaurant has launched a Wednesday Gourmet Night, offering a mixed starter, main dish, vegetables, rice or naan, and tea or coffee for £13.95, and it’s an ideal way to perk up midweek.
After baptising our on-arrival papadoms by dunking them into the generous dips (a sharp pickle, fiery chutney and cool cucumber raita), our hospitable waiters presented us with a plate of mixed starters.
A zesty fish pakora and a crispy onion bhajee sat next to an aromatic piece of chicken tikka, and a piece of equally tasty lamb tikka.
The starters might have looked bite-sized to a hungry diner, but when hot plates filled to the brim with curry arrived, we were glad to have not over-indulged at the first hurdle.
Gorging on the saucy Murgh Razala, chicken cooked with fresh herbs and spicy sauce, (£9.95 outside the offer), I could understand why director Mohammed Siraj had told me it was a bestseller as he took my order.
Creamy and full of flavour, it went well with pilau rice and a glorious bowl of Aloo Palak (potatoes cooked with potatoes and spinach).
My companion’s Chicken Passanda, diced and tender chicken cooked in a mild sauce with cream and cashew nuts, (£9.50 without offer) was too rich for her, but that meant all the more for me to munch on while she raved about her vegetable Mushroom Bhajee.
After the initial disappoint that this was not a mushroom equivalent of the onion bhajee but instead Asia’s answer to Provençal’s ratatouille, she left very little of the dish for the kind staff to pack up for me to take home (thankfully Bina is also a takeaway).
By the end of our meal we had no room for dessert, or even the tea or coffee included in the offer but, if you plan to bring kids, then Shrek (£4.25) and Kuaky (£3.75) ice creams, are on offer.
Nestled in central Caversham’s bustling shopping street, which lights up at night with takeaways, restaurants and pubs, the Bangladeshi and Indian restaurant was relatively busy for a Wednesday evening when we visited.
Indulging in the moments of eavesdropping and people-watching that the relaxed and slow-paced atmosphere of the place allowed, I gathered many diners were regulars, proving what I had heard about the restaurant having a sterling reputation.
“People come back because we have built our reputation in the last 22 years,” said Mohammed.
“Local people tend to come back because the food and service provided is really consistent and makes people come again and again.”
Furthermore, Bina’s website promotes its British Curry Award and its award from the AAA Guide of Excellence.
At £13.95 for an Indian feast, Bina would be an excellent choice for a midweek office party, or just a little treat to keep you going until the weekend.
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