I noticed on Twitter a group called Just Curry that meets as a business network along with enjoying a curry at various locations in and around Andover, I missed the one last month in Whitchurch and was determined to get into this one, so I booked my seat so I couldn’t change my mind!
I was really tired when it came to the evening but I pushed through and drove into Andover and parked up in the car park in South Street which is absolutely covered in rotten apples and could do with a clean up by Test Valley. I walked over to the Shahi Raj, clutching a cold bottle of Chablis as this restaurant does not have a licence for alcohol, so you bring your own, I imagine this cuts the bill drastically at the end of the night.
There were only 5 of us booked into the evening and everyone turned up promptly, we were seated and brought poppadoms and the yummy indian condiments, there wasn’t any lime pickle and the mango chutney was a little on the bright side but the chutney was nice and had an unusual kick, it was almost like it had a little of the lime pickle in it which gave it some heat.
I ordered a Chicken Tikka Masala, Mushroom Rice and Bombay Potato which I offered to share with anyone who fancied some, we had a good chat as we waited, as I was driving along with 2 others, there was plenty of water flowing at the table along with the chat. Amazingly one of the ladies, Sue Risdale who is President of Andover Women in Business and also runs Andover Nails & Make Up, is someone I know from when I was a teenager and it was so nice to catch up and swap life stories.
Also there was:
Bunny from Brandall Design who has this week launched her Mums in The Know Salisbury Page
Jon Baigent from Cysec Information Security
A Lady (sorry, I didn’t get your name or card) from St James Place Wealth Management
The food arrived promptly, was nice and hot and nicely presented, the smells were beautiful with the mix of dishes on the table. My rice was really nice with firm mushrooms amongst fragrant rice, the chicken tikka was swirled with cream and had nice tender chunks of chicken swimming in a lovely thick sauce, the bombay potatoes were in a lovely thick tomato based sauce with a fairly strong taste of potato running through the dish.
The family who run the Shahi Raj are really lovely and welcoming, it feels a little like being welcomed into someone’s home for a meal, we were so well looked after and attended to and we were told the family will be celebrating 20 years at the Shahi Raj next month. It was a really nice evening and it was so nice to meet other people from the area running their own businesses, I am told it is normally much busier but I think it was nice to get to know the hard core curry-ers of the group first.
The next one is on the second Tuesday evening of November, details can be found here nearer the time: http://justcurryandover.eventbrite.com/
I have given the Shahi Raj a bronze award for their yummy food!