Reviews - Crackerjack Bristol 2008
Myristica, 51 Welshback, Bristol. Tel: 0117 927 2277
What people are saying about us... Myristica (Home dining)
Thursday 6th November 2008
I’ve just read a wonderful new book called The Road To Vindaloo, which a chef friend very kindly bought for me. The book, by David Burnett and Helen Saberi, charts the history of Indian food in this country, from the very first curry recipe in an English cookbook (1747) to today, when the nation’s favourite dish is said to be chicken tikka masala.
Published by Devon-based Prospect Books, this fascinating little book is packed with brilliant recipes from the past 250 years and is a must for curry-lovers who want to recreate the exotic flavours of India at home.
Although the recipes in The Road To Vindaloo are very authentic and I look forward to trying them out, in my experience, curries made at home rarely match those eaten in Indian restaurants.
No matter how hard you try to source the very best ingredients and grind your own spices, there always seems to be something missing, which is why most of us spend so much money eating the real thing in the 8,000 Indian restaurants and takeaways in this country.
Since the credit crunch, two-thirds of families are now eating out less than they were a year ago. Whether it’s to cook or to order a takeaway, more of us are staying at home to eat, rather than going to restaurants, if only to save on spending extra money on drinks, taxis and service charges.
With this in mind, Bristol restaurant Myristica is now offering customers the best of both worlds by delivering its delicious Indian food to people’s doors. But this is not simply another Indian takeaway, and Myristica, which occupies a spacious ground-floor building on King Street, opposite the Old Vic, is not your average Indian restaurant. Some would say it’s the best in Bristol.
Owners Tosh and Amit Lakhani have always resisted the temptation of offering a takeaway service for their fine dining Indian restaurant but they are simply reacting to customers’ requests that they want to eat the same food in the comfort of their own home when they aren’t dining out. The new Home Dining menu is posted on the restaurant’s website, and I phoned my order through like any other takeaway.
The menu is broken down into 10 starters, with the main courses divided into tandoori dishes, lamb dishes, chicken dishes, seafood dishes and vegetarian dishes. There are also a number of rice options, breads and accompaniments.
Delivery within three miles of the city centre is free of charge (minimum order £10), and if you live more than three miles from the restaurant, there is a £5 delivery charge (minimum order £20).
Friday evening traffic chaos meant that our food took slightly longer than anticipated, but it was still piping hot when it arrived in BS3. All of our dishes were sealed in good, strong plastic boxes and there was no leakage, as can often happen from the traditional cardboard-lidded foil containers.
The only minor criticism was that there were no labels to indicate what was what, which wasn’t a problem for us as it was a relatively small order, but it could get confusing if it was a big group of people ordering dozens of items.
The food was as good as when we’ve eaten in the restaurant: fabulous lamb chappli kebabs (£4.95) with plenty of chilli, garlic and coriander flavour; wonderful deep-fried black tiger prawns encased in spicy gram flour (£4.95), and spot-on main courses of lamb rogan josh (£8.95) and dhaba chicken (£7.95).
We even ordered a portion of shrikhand (£2.95) – a thick, sweet yoghurt made with cream, milk, saffron, nutmeg and crushed pistachios – one of a handful of homemade desserts.
Other dishes we could have ordered included the rabbit varuval, organic black cod, halibut tail curry and Madras fish curry.
lthough we had already cracked open the beers before the doorbell rang, we could have ordered wine or beer with the food as Myristica has an off-licence service for that, too.
OK, an Indian takeaway in front of the TV on a Friday evening may not be quite as alluring as one spent in a smart restaurant with white linen cloths, but with the credit crunch biting hard and the nights drawing in, it makes perfect sense.
And anyway, who would want to go out in the wind and rain when you can get hot and spicy, restaurant-quality Indian food like this delivered to your doorstep?
Mark Taylor - Crackerjack Bristol
Mon-Friday Lunch 12.00 - 2.00pm | Mon - Saturday Dinner 6.00pm - 11.30pm (last Orders 11.00pm) | Sunday Dinner 6.00pm - 10.30pm (last Orders 10.00pm).
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