Tom branches out to Spice Tree

In urgent need of a really fiery bite to eat the other evening, I decided to try out Spice Tree on Mill Lane for the first time since their refurb and change of name (from Babur Empire). Whilst the new menu has more variety in regional dishes (and is certainly very appetising), it was one of the old classics I was after; namely a cork-poppingly good king prawn jalfrezi. I’d quite enjoyed this in the past from Babur, and was curious to see if anything had changed.

Quick verdict – enjoyable, not bad, not amazing. The prawns were a little rubbery, which is a fairly regular occurrence with prawn curries in general I find (even my sacred Tiffin Tin were a little off-form with prawns last time out, unusually) but there were enough of them, which is important of course. I don’t understand “quality not quantity” when having a curry – I want both!

The sauce was very similar to how I remembered it; ‘traditional’ – very buttery, and nicely tangy. Onions finely chopped, though personally for a dish like this, or a Rogan Josh or Korai, I like big chunks of tomato, onion and things; it makes it more interesting. There was enough heat from the green chillies, but the green bell peppers were absent altogether; annoying.

A side dish of veg curry was decent, of good flavour and again very buttery, though with a slightly odd limitation in vegetable varieties, with an emphasis on green beans. Make of that what you will! Paratha was fine, a big disc of enjoyment, though had lost some life in its short journey to Tom Towers.

Overall then, I enjoyed my hot and spicy dinner, but with the main dish costing similar to what I’d pay at the marvellous Tiffin Tin, I’d perhaps find it hard not to go with the latter next time, as I usually do. That said, I’d be interested to revisit some other old favourites, and have a meal in the restaurant soon where perhaps I’ll be somewhat more adventurous.

Ahhh…. a soul-warming curry on a cold winter night. What is it with chillies and things? So uplifting. Actually, I’ll happily eat a curry any day of the year, for any meal. Proper food, for all seasons – including this festive one. Happy dining!

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