Friday, 10 February 2012

Rahman's Balti House, Stanley, Wakefield (takeaway review)

It's time to delve once more into the underwhelming world of takeaway curry. Would tonight be the night I finally came up trumps? Would Rahman's Balti House turn out to be the elusive hidden gem? Would the 35 of 36 people who reviewed it enthusiastically on Just Eat be proven correct?

No, no and no. I didn't really come up trumps, it wasn't a hidden gem, and sorry to sound like a snob and a know-it-all but all 35 of you are wrong. It was ok, but I could have guessed everything that would be wrong with it before I started.

A mixed starter of seekh kebab, chicken tikka and onion bhaji. The fault list:

Greasy bhaji - check
Red food colouring on the chicken - check (although not an obscene quantity of it to be fair)
Plastic bag containing sweaty iceberg lettuce and a mealy wedge of tomato - check
overcooked lamb - check
watery mint yoghurt sauce - check

On the plus side every component did actually taste ok, it was all quite nicely spiced and the chicken was moist and not at all overcooked.

A fish masala, a tandoori roti and a chapatti. Again, the predictable faults:

Far too much ghee in the curry - check
doughy bread, either not rolled thin enough or not cooked at a high enough temperature - check

It wasn't all bad, the sauce did have a pleasing warmth and a good garlicky tang. The flavour of the fish wasn't overwhelmed but it wasn't particularly good quality, soft and a bit mushy rather than firm and flakey. The roti was pretty crap, the chapatti better.

Just short of £12 all in. Delivered quickly. Ho hum.


Rahman's Balti House
213 Canal Lane


Rachel Baxter said...

Stanley Balti is my friend's favourite curry house, her and her boyf prefer it to any other locally. I've never had anything from there but I'm surprised they like it so much if it's not upto scratch - maybe it was an off day for them?

Dave said...

Hi Rachel - maybe so. It all actually tasted quite nice, it was just all the other little things that were wrong, overcooked/undercooked/greasy etc. It was still better than most other Indian takeaways I've had round here.

Antony said...

Hi Dave - great site, great blog and great opinions. I must confess that I feel your pain in terms of poor takeaway food.

That said, I so think it's really easy to fall into the trap of expecting takeaway food to deliver that 'Wow' factor. Sadly, I don't think that 'shining gem' we both seem to seek is out there waiting to be found. However, as far as Rahman's goes, I do think your criticisms might be a tad unfair - regardless of their accuracy.

As paradoxical as that may sound,and as much as your observations are bang on the money, I think we've both fallen victim to the same confidence trick: cheap takeaway food isn't ever going to be comparable to restaurant food, no matter how much we hope and pray. Even though it's tempting to seek perfection, in this circumstance, it's wholly unrealistic. Let's celebrate the good points and be thankful that places like Rahman's are, indeed, at the upper end of the takeaway scale. Rome wasn't built in a day, so let's aim for a gentle move towards improvement rather than an over-night transformation.

I've eaten from Rahman's and enjoyed it. You just have to view it in context... but, at the same time, I'll continue to search for that hidden gem.

Dave said...

Hi Antony. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

On the whole I agree with you, steady improvement is certainly better than nothing, and more realistic than expecting all the takeaways to suddenly be brilliant.

Rahman's isn't all bad, and I think with careful ordering (e.g. lamb rather than fish is probably a safe bet) I could definitely enjoy a meal from there.

Where I'm not sure I agree is on the cheap takeaway vs. restaurant point. A lot of the curries from Rahman's are around 6 or 7 quid. Not expensive granted, but I know restaurants with similar prices and better food, so I don't see why I can't expect better from a takeaway.

Either way I'll continue searching for that elusive (non-existent) hidden gem too!

Anonymous said...

I'm currently sat at home with crippling bellyache from last nights rahmans takeaway. I had a chicken burger which must have been made from cardboard, soggy chips and a sweaty bag of salad. This is the second time of food poisoning from there, it's garbage

Anonymous said...

I think you may have gone wrong on two counts. 1 - getting a burger from a takeaway curry house; 2 - going back to somewhere which gave you food poisoning!

Ian Steven said...

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