|Outside Zaara's on a wind swept evening|
Zaara’s Indian Restaurant
34-38 Bradford Road
Tell: 01274 588774
11th November 2011 @ ~20:30
Jaz, Lynda, Francois and John (me)
Pre-Curry Watering Holes
|Fanny's is a Shipley institution|
Not really knowing Shipley that well for drinking, we headed straight to Saltaire. Leaving the train on what was a dank drizzly night, made the partially cobbled terraced streets of Saltaire, with the Mill looming through the dark, very atmospheric for first time visitor to Bradford .
of call was Don’t Tell Titus, a modern bar come restaurant just up from the
train station. It was a trendy noisy
kind of place but was pleasant enough to spend just enough time to neck a
bottle of wine. Next was the legendary
Fanny’s Ale House. Fanny’s is a very
characterful boozer on
Road, offering all manner of specialist and local
brews. It was heaving with standing room
only, but is well worth a visit if in the area.
Finally was Ring O Bells, just across the road from Zaara’s, and is your
standard kind of pub really. There’s nothing
wrong with that but nothing much to say either.
Zaara’s is in the Michelin Guide – not starred or anything, but it’s in there all the same – resulting in my high expectations. However, coming down to earth, I understand that you simply pay to be included in the guide, so I guess it’s not that special? But it’s not often I get to use the words ‘Michelin’ and ‘restaurant’ in the same sentence, so it felt pretty special to me.
Zaara’a, like so many modern curry houses in and around Bradford, and probably the country, is a trendy establishment, which has dispensed with the traditional, outdated and clichéd flock wall paper and velvet chairs etc in favor of faux leather and dark wood. Very swish it all looked too.
Following on from poppadoms and pickles, my starter of Paneer Tikka was wonderful and served on a bed of sizzling onions. The herbs and spices encrusted to the outside of the paneer attacked every taste bud in my mouth with gusto.
For main, my requested ‘hot’ Mixed Karahi (lamb and chicken) arrived perfectly spiced for my taste, and supplied the warm glow in the mouth sensation that a good curry should. Not blow your head off hot - but just enough to let you know that he’s there. All the curries ordered could be chosen at different heat levels - but on this occasion no-one dared the ‘Asian Strength’. Flavour wise my Karahi – which is fast becoming my Bradford Curry of choice – was all there too, and left me wanting more. Although slightly lacking in the lamb element of its Mixed tag, it provided plenty of chicken in a sumptuous (not oily) gravy, with the addition of a slightly deconstructed element to the dish in the form of fresh toms and herbs.
The accompaniment of Garlic Naan was ‘a Garlic Naan’ - we’ve all been there – so won’t bore you with detail. It didn’t last long though I can tell you.
The whole lot was polished off with no problems.
Drinks Policy and range
Zarra’s is licensed with a full wine and beer list. Bottles Cobra are available - but no Kingfisher, or other curry associated beers seem to be available.