Telephone: 01302 366 255
Al Raj Website
Al Raj Website
This restaurant is now known as: Begal Delight @ Al Raj
Mon to Sun: 5:00pm to Late
"Chef suffers an attack of the Emu's? I'd be Rajed to re-visit!"
Date of Visit: Saturday 06/12/14 - 6pm
Sag Paneer (as a starter) £2.75
Chicken Dopiaza £5.50
Plain Naan £2.10
Set Meal for One (twice) £10.95
Mix Starter - (Chicken Tikka, Lamb Tikka, Seekh Kebab)
Chicken Korai (my dish, was swapped to a Nizami Chicken)
Naan (any) or Rice (any)
Had Chef partaken in a Toddy (Palm Wine - This drink is common in various parts of Asia and Africa, and goes by various names, such as Emu and Oguro) or two prior to commencing work last night?
It's 13 years since our last visit to Al Raj; unlucky for some (us) - in 2027, I think I'll have a bout of Triskaidekaphobia!
[The review from all those years ago - Al Raj Review May 2001]
The Saag Paneer starter was more voluminous than that at Cinamon (which wasn't small). It was described as being slightly different and perhaps slightly better. The Mix Starter consisted of a small piece of Lamb Tikka, a small piece of Chicken Tikka and a Seekh Kebab. This is my least favoured combination as a Mixed Starter; still, the offer appeared to be a good one.
My friend said that the Seekh Kebab was probably the best that he had ever sampled; though, he did admit that it lacked spice. I must be fair and admit that I concur. It was homemade, fresh and of good quality; but, as nearly ever, lacking in spice. The Lamb Tikka and Chicken Tikka (small pieces) were of good quality but looked lonesome by themselves - a couple of pieces would make it worth the £3.75 when sold as a standard starter.
And so… on to the Ghee fest!
On the menu, the Nizami Chicken is described as "chicken tikka cooked with fresh ginger, garlic, mustard and yoghurt" - maybe it was? Unfortunately due to the ghee ocean, I tasted none of this. We were informed (but already knew) by the owner of Cinamon that some restaurants bulk out their dishes with this oil… Al Raj is clearly one of them… we were awash with Ghee! I ladled 2 tablespoons out of my main dish, the side dish also contained too much oil.
They don't sell desserts of any kind, let alone Indian.
I wasn't impressed, and thought that the restaurant only deserved 2 stars. My two friends were slightly more generous and thought it a 3 star establishment.
If it had just been my dish that was spoiled, then it would be unfair to judge Al Raj on just the one dish; however, my 2 friends dishes were also ladled in ghee and to me, didn't look very palatable.
It's not one I'd recommend or wish to return to. As I state in the headline, I'd be Rajed to return!
The only other diners in the restaurant during our visit were a table of two… rumbled?
I think I should state, that on the night that we visited Al Raj, I had eaten neither breakfast or lunch… and was famished. I think Al Raj may have escaped lightly as a result.
Awarded November 2015