This more traditionally styled Indian restaurant sits high upstairs above a Perfect Fried Chicken ‘restaurant’ and, in keeping with some of it’s Reading contemporaries, just near to a Burger King. Or, as the web site says, “Chilli and Spice Tandoori Restaurant is centrally located”. Having climbed the extensive stairway it became obvious to me why the copy goes on to say “be instantly transported thousands of miles” as it felt like we were attempting a particularly tricky ascent somewhere in the North Indian Himalayas.
Good job we booked because on this particular Thursday they were packed to the rafters – least they would’ve been if anyone could make sense of the advertising hoarding outside which firmly suggested you could choose from 100 dishes, eat as much as you like and only pay £10. This bargain never materialised (which is probably a good thing). Anyway, we were sat by the window which had a rather bizarre fibre optic cable looped around, presumably in an effort to tempt in more than the 6 or so punters they currently had and not because they were so far past 12th night that it might as well be left up until next Christmas!
The menu looked a little past it’s best, not based on content but based on physical appearance – sort of Greasy-Spoon Café hand-me-downs. Anyway, we got some good popadums, some quite acceptable chutney/non-chutneys and a few bottles of cobra all in good time.
The starters were also quite passable with Rich pushing the boat out and going for the mixed appetizer which was a good size and ticked all the boxes, if not with a flourish. Accompanying salad was of the ‘traditional’ variety so I hope the person who had it after me enjoyed it (hopefully with a fresh lemon) or they too decided not to break the chain.
Main courses were not so good. The Lamb Rogan was a bit more like Lamb in gloopy gravy, and the Chicken Tikka Biriani came out with an unfortunate embarrassment of peas. The Chicken Tikka Massala looked nicely lurid though and the Bombay Aloo was up to scratch as were the Roti and Naan.
A goodly selection of desserts helped keep Mr Myri happy and Dr Dogoe was certainly satiated by the time-honoured Indian classic of Irish coffee. All were happy to get the After Eights and no one even mentioned Mr Creosote.
The staff were very friendly and happy to stand around and chat – unless the phone rang for another take-away order. Which is a point, because this is not the classiest Indian restaurant but it is very reasonably priced, and take-aways are 20% cheaper. We never judge a place on cost, it’s the quality of the food that is paramount, however, given the setting and the strength sapping, oxygen depleted, crampons-required, route in, a take-away from Chilli and Spice may not be such a bad thing.
Randdy Dogoe gave this restaurant 69
Bret Myri scored this establishment 66
Rich Rebrys rated this restaurant 69Click for Scoresheet