Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Red Chilli II, Wakefield

Last weekend I was mostly eating curry. After a veggie Indian meal on Saturday, Sunday was a rather meatier affair. Red Chilli II is one of a mini chain (others in Castleford and Bradford) of well regarded Indian restaurants, not to be confused with the fantastic Chinese Red Chilli group. I was a regular at the Wakefield outpost when I last lived in the area, so I thought it was worth a visit to see if it still passed muster.

Sunday night is buffet night, all you can eat for £8.95. It's always quite busy so there is a swift turnaround of food meaning nothing is hanging around too long.

There was a choice of three starters; veg pakoras, shami kebabs and something that I think were labelled vegetable shatkoras. I've just googled shatkora and it turns out to be a type of citrus fruit, so I've not a clue why they were called that. In practice they were just unusually shaped samosas and very good too. Densely packed with assorted vegetables not cooked to mush, and really well spiced. Cumin, fennel and mustard seed were all prominent. The kebabs and pakoras were ok but nothing special.

On the curry front there was one lamb curry, two chicken, a saag aloo and a channa dish. The lamb was the star, a really concentrated, rich roasted spice curry with soft, moist strands of meat. It was reminiscent of the haandi goat I ate at Delhi Grill earlier in the year. Of the chicken options one was a lurid looking tikka masala that I didn't try, and the other a pleasant and exceedingly garlicky offering. The chicken was a bit dry though, I'm not sure chicken lends itself well to a buffet as it drys out too readily. The chickpeas were good but the saag aloo was a bit bland. Carbs were provided by pilau rice and nan bread. The rice was fine but the nan just re-inforced my view that the only nan worth bothering with is fresh from the tandoor.

Unless something exciting and new has popped up elsewhere over the last four years this is probably still the best curry house in Wakefield. The buffet is good value, our total bill was just under £30 for three including a couple of soft drinks. A la carte is more expensive, but still very reasonable as the standard is generally high and the portions huge.

And finally, in matters completely unrelated to the rest of the post here is a photo of the Hepworth Wakefield. The new gallery opened on Saturday. It's a remarkable place and an outstanding asset for the city. You should pay a visit, whether you're an art buff or not (I'm not).


148 Kirkgate

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