CURRY … just like mama used to make!?
With LuigiKhan’s billing itself as an Indian-Italian restaurant boasting “Punjabi food with a hint of Italiano,” disturbing visions of chicken tikka masala pizzas with mozzarella bhajis filled my mind.
Thankfully, LuigiKhan’s for the most part keeps these two distinctive cooking styles apart, without, I was pleased to note, falling short on quality.
While setting itself up as an Indian-Italian restaurant, sitting at the top of Westgate Road, it definitely veers more towards the sub-continent.
The majority of the menu is made up of Indian dishes and most of them are Punjabi in origin.
Housed within the Best Western Ryokan Hotel, the Grade II-listed building has recently undergone a £2.5million refurbishment with the restaurant enjoying a contemporary makeover.
There is also an outdoor Shisha lounge attached, where customers can smoke non-toxic Hookah waterpipes of such delights as lemon, mint, pomegranate and cola at £10 a pop. I was denied this pleasure on health grounds. My wife would kill me if she caught me smoking (boom, boom).
Instead we were shown to a neat table to look through the extensive menu.
I chose to forgo the only Italian-Indian dishes – these being the tandoori chicken pizzas – and went for the onion bhaji starter (£3.25) followed by the achar murgh (£7.45) for my main dish.
The bhajis, all three of them, were fulsome and crisp and came with a dipping sauce, but were eclipsed by my wife’s choice of jhill mill paneer pakora (£3.25), a delightful serving of Indian cheese pieces seasoned with Asian spices.
My main chicken dish was a mildly-spiced affair in a tomato and yoghurt sauce with a hint of both ginger and mixed pickle. I had an accompanying mushroom pilau rice (£3.25) and a garlic naan bread (£2.25).
The missus went for the vegetarian option of a palak aloo (£5.45), which is a spinach puree and potato dish garnished with fresh coriander and ginger. The spicy kick coming from a whole red chilli. She kept her rice plain (£2.25).
There were a nice selection of sweets to follow the meal with the pick of the bunch being a raspberry and lemon cheesecake (£3.50).
If you’re looking for something a bit different and off the beaten track, LuigiKhan’s smoking Indian-Italian restaurant is certainly that.