7 Spices Balti, Sheffield

Time for another quickie….

Last night we attempted a Kelham Island pub tour. We started with good intentions in The Milestone, but things went a bit tits up once we started looking for food (one of our group had declared The Milestone as too expensive). Kelham Island Tavern had seats but offered cruddy ham sarnies only and The Fat Cat offered proper grub, but no seats. The Riverside was stupidly heaving so we didn’t even venture inside and we ended up at 7 Spices Balti.

Having had a few decent takeaways from here, hopes were high and we ignored the dodgy décor, the empty tables and the Christmas tree in the corner on entry. If you haven’t been there before take a look at the Gallery on their website. I think I’d prefer flocked wallpaper…

We started with the obligatory poppadoms and pickle tray. I’ll admit to being instantly disappointed. The mango chutney was gloopy and way too sweet, the onion relish was bland, the raita was fine and I don’t event know what the fourth dish was.

Starters, however, were much better. I had chicken livers which were well cooked and nicely spiced. Indian style offal is a new one on me and, well, I like it. Gav had masalla fish which was the fillets of a white fish coated in masalla spices. This was very good. The fish was fresh and delicate and spicing was just right. Our friends had rashmi kebab (on the basis that he wasn’t too sure what he would get – in the end it was a meat kebab with an omelette wrapped around it) and a mixed grill (which was a decent selection of meats going for a decent price).

Chicken Liver

Onto the mains… I did my usual and ordered a couple of veggie sides; bhindi bhaji and tarka dahl. I like vegetarian Indian food and I like having more than one option on my plate, so veggie sides work for me. Both were as tasty as ever (we’ve had a few takeaways from here…). Gav ordered balti lamb spicy dahl, which was the spiciest of the dishes we had (but we would have preferred a bit more heat in all fairness). There was plenty of tender meat and the lentils helped to pack out the sauce a bit.

A bit of everything…

Our friends had chicken tikka biryani and chicken tikka (although he had ordered lamb tikka). I didn’t try either of the dishes but thoughts were that the biryani could have been hotter.

Service had been a little slow, but it had been polite throughout and the waiters were pleasant and friendly. We were asked to fill in a comments sheet which asked us to grade the food, service and atmosphere and, bizarrely, whether we had been shown a dessert menu. We had, but we decided that we needed to crack on with our tour.

Unfortunately there had been a distinct lack of atmosphere in the place. It’s a vast space, one that needs to be broken up into sections to bring some cosiness to the restaurant. This meant that our meal was fine, but given that the takeaway is consistently good, I’ll stick to that.

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