Review: The Everest Tandoori and Balti House, Cheltenham
I FEEL like I'm constantly wading through a sea of takeaway leaflets on my doormat.
Half the time I feel like I've already been force-fed the menu before I pick up the phone.
So when I did come to dialling one of the many offerings, much of the decision rested on the absence of pale, unappetising food to illustrate what you'll be eating as it did on the menu itself.
Perhaps it's just me, but since an early age I've been acutely aware of what a piece of cooked chicken generally looks like.
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Thankfully, The Everest Tandoori and Balti House lacks the paint-by-numbers style menu, instead offering an exciting array of dishes with a host of chefs' specialities to choose from.
My pick was a Kharai lamb dish (£7.50), dry pieces of lamb marinated in spices and cooked traditionally.
And putting the pool of oil which had gathered on the dish like a thin piece of cling film aside, it was packed full of flavour with chunks of meat so soft you could break them apart with the back of a spoon.
Plus there was a nice kick of spice running through the dish, tickling the back of your throat at times but never proving to be that unwelcome guest at a dinner party.
My dining companion on the other hand, chose the milder prawn korma (£6.95) which was packed with juicy pieces of seafood in a silky smooth creamy sauce. He said it was among the best he's ever tasted. Praise indeed.
To accompany our main dishes we chose a pilau rice (£2.25), light and fragrant, and a Peshwari naan (£2.95), a bread filled with sweet almond paste that sat nicely with both dishes.
With free home delivery for orders over £10, the generous offer of a bottle of wine if you spend more than £40, and an extensive menu with much more than your average curry house, The Everest is to be strongly recommended. It's a menu that for once will find itself in a drawer, as opposed to the bin.