When it comes to looking for a good curry, you might look to the Curry Mile. I mean, that would be your obvious choice. Were you looking closer to home, maybe your local high street would have somewhere – at least a take away that would offer something tasty.
You probably wouldn’t think to look in a retail park – or expect to find one sandwiched between Papa Johns and Barnardos. But, it was Monday night, and myself and my date were in a retail park in Walkden doing just that.
Say hello to Purple Lounge – a chandelier studded, venue hidden in a not so obvious place, filled with private booths and glamorous touches. I’m not sure what we expected when we pulled up, or even when we located the address, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t this.
Intrigued, we settled in and eyed the menu.
Drinks wise, as you’d expect, I first eyed the gin – but with very limited options (one) opted for one of the house wines instead. Bit of a shame really, gin and curry actually go rather well together.
Onto the food, and it was genuinely hard to choose. We opted for the traditional poppadum platter, but with just one each – I’ve fallen prey to the poppadum before. Glass of wine, crisp ‘dums, lots of chutney and suddenly you’ve no room for anything else. I am older and wiser.
While those entertained us, soon our starters arrived and we had selected the mixed fish platter. I’m a big convert to fish in an Indian restaurant, and for me it’s the test of a good one. Prawns in a gently spicy sweet and sour sauce, crisp Lahori fish – fried in a dusting of gram flour, and masala fish, fish fried in a masala coating made with fennel, garam masala and tumeric. In each case the fish was done well, not over cooked. A great start to our meal.
Onto our mains and my date had opted for the lamb shashlik korai. A dry curry, with garlic, green peppers, tomatoes and lamb.
Lightly spicy, full of flavour, with a side of soft chewy naan it was a perfectly tasty match.
I had stepped away from my usual selection of something really spicy, and picked the Palak Murgh Makhani. A soft and sweet curry, it’s full of tender chicken, fenugreek and spinach.
In truth I was craving spinach and though this was lighter in heat and sweeter than I’d normally choose, the richness of the sauce made up for it.
Next time I’m going hotter though.
For dessert, we shared a pistachio kulfi – though there are lots of decadent dairy laden desserts on the menu. The nutty nature, and traditional dish of this dessert caught my eye – and my tastebuds.
With great service, tasty food, and glamorous decor, sometimes you do find great eats, in the most unusual of places. I’m pretty sure this qualifies.
This afternoon meal was supplied for free by Purple Lounge. As ever, this doesn’t guarantee a positive review (if anything, I tend to be a harsher critic). In this case, we were more than happy with the service, meal and venue. Thank you.