This corner of the world is blessed with some brilliant Indian restaurants. Trend orders some lager and discovers what’s on the menu at three of the North-east’s best regarded…
Jewel in the Crown
For early on a Tuesday night, the Jewel proved surprisingly busy, with just one table free. Many of the clientele were regulars and given the attentive, but never intrusive service and excellent food, it’s understandable why the basement restaurant has so many fans.
We opted for a comforting Aloo Tikki – delicious little mashed potato cakes encased in a crispy batter and moistened with a soft cheese and the almost obligatory chicken pakora made from strips of succulent chicken breast, accompanied by a stack of poppadoms and a selection of accompaniments.
The Palak Murgh, generous chunks of chicken breast in a medium spiced spinach sauce proved a new favourite, while the tomato spiced khumbi mushrooms were set off to perfection by a side dish of unctuous tarka dhal. The mushroom pilau came beautifully topped with slivers of almonds and the well-filled peshwari naan ranks with any in the city.
We never made it to dessert and were offered a doggie bag to take home. We settled for juicy orange slices, after dinner mints and an incredibly moreish little digestive of fenugreek flavoured sugar strands.
I think that we’ll also be joining the ranks of the regulars at the Jewel in the Crown!
Crown Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6HP
Tel: 01224 210288
The Echt Tandoori is clearly a very popular place, as it was bustling on a school night in May.
The smart dining room is nicely divided up with booths and varying size of table, and there is a separate bar and takeaway area attached. Meals arrive on a hostess trolley which fairly builds up the anticipation as other folks’ choices waft past, served by friendly staff.
We started with a sheek kebab and an aubergine aloo puri, followed by the Mumtaz Shahi Lamb and the Somundori Rupchanda, (seabass), with tarka dhal and a vegetable naan. The puris were a revelation, lovely light bread pockets with a variety of fillings.
Every dish was beautifully presented, even the coffee is served on its own little burner with an After Curry mint – you certainly get a wow factor at the Echt Tandoori.
Echt, AB32 6UL
Tel: 013331 860601
India on the Green
India on the Green opened in 2003, although Storm Frank caused devastation, with the popular restaurant reopening in 2016.
The interior is fresh and clean with white linen and sparkling cutlery, and a view of a lovely courtyard and the hills beyond. The menu fizzes with flavour combinations and fresh ingredients, so deciding on dishes is challenging!
We had the sesame lamb kebab and the tiger grilled crevettes for starters, and the Monk Lal Qilla and a veggie South Indian Garlic Chilli Masala with tarka dhal and sag paneer. Tiny cups of langoustine bisque and chicken dhosa arrived as an amuse bouche and every dish had a distinct and mouth-watering sauce.
The fish was cooked beautifully and the vegetables proved crunchy and delicious.
With multi-award winning chef Raj Abdul Hamid at the helm, this place is worth the journey.
Victoria Road, Ballater, AB35 5QQ
Tel: 01339 755701