Thursday, 22 October 2009

Restaurant Review: Sonargaon Tandoori

This review has also been published on http://www.itsallaboutcoventry.co.uk/.

The Sonargaon Tandoori on Daventry Road was the first genuine Bangladeshi restaurant in Coventry, according to the blurb on the menu, and features award-winning chefs with cuisine at competitive prices. I have dined here a few times and had a fair few takeaways from here too.

Being a Sunday evening, the venue wasn't very full, which was good because if it had been, I feel it would have felt very claustrophobic: it is only a small restaurant and as a result the tables are packed in fairly tightly. However, the restaurant has been recently refurbished and the décor is tasteful and elegant and I found the lighting to be clever in that it illuminated the table in front of you without being too bright in other areas, meaning that it remains atmospheric, but you can still see your food!

We started with poppadoms, served with the usual array of condiments – I particularly liked the onion salad which has a mildly-spiced tomato sauce, which gave it an almost salsa-like quality. I didn't order a starter, but my boyfriend ordered the meat platter, which at £5.95 was fairly good value for money seeing as it comes with 2 good-sized pieces of each meat (lamb kofta, beef, chicken), and I of course nibbled on some of his. I found the meat a little dry and perhaps it could have done with a dipping sauce. We were also treated at this point to two chicken and onion kebabs "compliments of the chef", which were very tasty: the chicken was moist and well cooked and the sweetness of the onion contrasted well with the spiciness of the seasoning. And what's even better is that it was free!

As for drinks we ordered a bottle of wine. We opted for Firefly Shiraz which was £15, but very nice – very warm and fruity, which is how I liked my red wines – but had been debating on getting a £9.50 bottle, which also sounded quite nice, so there is quite a range to choose from.

For my main I ordered Prawn Niramish Balti, which for the amount you get is reasonable at £8.50. Niramish is a Bangladeshi vegetable dish (if the internet is to be believed) and has quite a sweet and moderately spicy taste. I think the prawns compliment the vegetables well. I supplemented this by sharing some mushroom rice (£3.50) with my boyfriend and a chapati (£1.15). For those who like more 'traditional' curries, such as lamb rogan josh or chicken korma, there is a large selection of these on the menu – my boyfriend opted for his favourite Chicken Tikka Massala (personally, I don't like the bright red colour of the one at the Sonargaon, but he seems to like it) – as well as a wide variety of chef's specials, ranging from about £8 to about £15 in price.

I didn't manage to finish all of my meal, and was taken aback when the waiter asked if I wanted to take the rest home! As the Sonargaon is also a takeaway, they were more than happy to put my leftovers in a pot and even offered to cook me some rice to go with it! I accepted the offer without the rice – this is something I have never done in a restaurant before, but thought it was preferable than letting the food go to waste.

I would have had dessert if I hadn't been so full; from previous experience I can tell you that the coconut ice-cream is wonderful, though – whoever thought of making coconut ice-cream is a genius.

When we asked for the bill the waiter asked if we'd like a drink "on the house". I declined, but my boyfriend had a brandy. He said it wasn't a great quality brandy, but for a free drink, you can hardly complain. And that willingness to go the extra-mile for their customers really epitomises the quality of the service at the Sonargaon: I would say that that is the one thing that stood out for me.

In conclusion, great service, good food with generous portions at reasonable prices – and 20% off the menu for takeaways – well worth a visit!

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