The Local Curry Biz group run by Bunny Randall, of Randall Designs, meet on the second Tuesday of each month, choosing different restaurants each time to enjoy curry and a chat. This month we were asked to sign up to a night at The Pink Olive in Weyhill. I had only mentioned the day before, I was wanting to do a ‘Lady Does Lunch’ there as I had never been, so I signed up myself and my friend to go and (hopefully) to enjoy their food whilst meeting business people from around Andover and the Villages.
We were first to arrive and were shown to our table which was laid up for 12, which was great considering only 5 people attended the previous month. Our drinks order was taken and brought back to us very quickly, we sat and chatted as the heater on the wall belted out warm air on this very cold night, but after a minute or two it became too abrasive, I called over a waiter who turned it down immediately and told us that if we got cold later on, just to let him know.
The restaurant does not have the ‘authentic’ look of an Indian Eatery but has brought Indian Cuisine to Weyhill with sophistication and style, a true trendy Indian that would be great for any party or event, the look and feel is modern and I already couldn’t wait to taste what they had to offer.
Other attendees started to arrive and took to their seats, there were lots of people I had not met before and so it was really good to swap information and chat about what we all did. The waiter came over and asked if we wanted poppadoms and we ordered one each as we waited for 2 people who had not yet arrived (and actually didn’t), the chutneys and pickles arrived quickly along with big, blousy crisp poppadoms and we all tucked in, the chat was so busy and flowing, we forgot to order until we had almost finished our pre-starter.
I ordered the Chicken Tawa (£9.95) for my main, which the menu states is ‘Char grilled strips of chicken poignantly spiced in home made tomato based sauce garnished with grated cheese’, I hadn’t seen anything like this on an Indian Restaurant menu before which is why I chose it, I ordered some Mushroom Fried Rice (£3.25) and Bombay Potatoes (£3.50) and a Plain Naan (£2.25) to share with my friend who had ordered the Chicken Jalfrezi (£8.95).
There was a short wait for the food to arrive, but the chat and drinks were flowing nicely so it didn’t really matter. The food arrived on a trolley and several waiters piled in to help serve so we all received our food nice and hot. My Chicken Tawa was served on a hot metal plate on a board and was still sizzling away. It looked lovely and smelled delicious and when all of the food had arrived, we all tucked in.
I took a couple of spoonfuls of the bubbling dish and placed it on my plate with some rice and potatoes, it was piping hot and so I tried a little with some Naan first of all, the sauce was beautiful with the right balance of tomatoey tang infused with herbs and spices, I decided to try a mouthful of the chicken which was tender and melt in the mouth, clearly cooked to perfection and finished off with the sauce, I was really surprised to see melted cheese on the menu and the dish had an almost Italian feel to it, but that aside, the fragrance of the rice and the bombay potatoes brought it firmly back to India.
The Chicken Jalfrezi was flavoursome with good texture and filled with good sized pieces of moist, soft chicken. The dish was completely infused with spices and delivered a reminder that it was indeed a Jalfrezi dish delivering a small kick to the back of the mouth, this is a tantalising fragrant heat rather than an eye watering nasty one.
The Bombay Potatoes were lovely, perfectly cooked, not too soggy or too firm and having lost that waxy potato taste to the spices they had been infused with, this is how Bombay Potatoes should taste. The Mushroom Fried Rice was fragrant and filled with sliced mushrooms, nothing was skimped on at all.
The bill came to £55 for the two of us which included several alcoholic drinks and some soft ones, I wasn’t unhappy with this considering the amount of food and drink we had ordered.
The service continued to be as fantastic as when we first walked in, the waiters were attentive but not annoyingly so, they were all polite and friendly and this, coupled with the excellent standard of the food, means that ‘Lady Does Lunch’ is giving The Pink Olive a Gold Ribbon.