Last night I went to the Momtaz restaurant on Chesterfield Road, with Doug and Julia. It's practically at the end of our street, and I haven't been for years. Before this incarnation it was an Italian restaurant for a while, and a different Indian before that, which was probably the last time I've been in there. We've had fliers for their takeaway / delivery service, and I have wondered about trying them, but got no further than that. There is a surfeit of Indian restaurants and takeaways in our area, even a dedicated web-based delivery-only place, and you always tend to ignore the one right next door.
Well, not any more. It was completely empty, not unexpected for 8:30 on a Tuesday, especially with a match on at Bramall Lane. They have a wide-screen TV on the wall above the bar, which was playing mostly Asian music videos, not too loud. A joss-stick was burning on the bar, which I suppose is nicer than cigarette smoke but got a bit overpowering. The furniture is all decked out in a red and white livery, a bit too grubby for elegance but smarter than normal – showing willing, at least. The two wait-staff were attentive and cheerful – they told us later they'd just had a letter from the Good Food guide putting them Top, but Top for What and Where we don't yet know. I'm sure a certificate will materialise in the fullness of time.
The menu was yer bog standard, with some very rich Northern Indian additions. The terminology was bit unusual for round here, I ordered a starter called a Nababi Murgi Stick, and it turned out to be tandoori chicken on the bone – which I wouldn't normally have, still, my fault for experimenting. And not saying it wasn't good, because it was.
We started off with poppadums and pickles – no lime pickle, boo, but there was mango chutney (thin, no lumps), onion salad, and yellow yoghourt which was Very Sweet. Sweet was definitely the theme of the evening. Doug and I had Tiger beer, they've got Cobra in bottles too, nothing unusual.
Starters were the aforementioned Stick, which still had a lot of marinade/paste clinging to it, not just dried out red chicken. Julia had a puri, again it was called something else (which I forget), and Doug went for the sizzling Cox Bazaar Prawns, which were very very sizzly and had potato mixed in. Wolfed down in short order, we moved onto mains.
Lamb and aubergine for me, not too hot, lovely smoky taste from the aubergines. Julia had a chicken karhai "delight", which was their version of a korma, and came in a mini-copper-clad bucket. Incredibly creamy and sweet, with cardamom and shreds rather than lumps of chicken. Doug scored top, though, with the tandoori butter chicken – not only sweet and rich, you could smell the butter from across the table, but with added topping of aerosol whipped cream. Sides were a couple of garlic and coriander nan, which were smallish, but enough – crisp on the bottom and soft and puffy at the edges, and a keema rice which was well-flavoured but quite fatty from the minced meat.
We didn't investigate dessert, due to strawberries lurking at home. No idea on the total bill, as I was a Guest, but the menu said the Stick was about four quid, the lamb six, with a nan at two.
I picked up an up-to-date takeway menu, which says free delivery, 15% discount on collection and 10% on delivery. Think I'll add it to the favoured supplier list.