When a reader recommendation came in for an up market Indian restaurant at Woore, near Market Drayton, I knew it was time to call in the big guns to help, writes Cathy Stanworth.
Not only are my brother and sister-in-law lovers of Indian food, they once had friends living in the village. They wouldn’t just know the way – they just might offer to drive us all there as well?
My dastardly plan having succeeded, (“How very kind of you to offer”), we arrived at Barn India just after 8pm last Friday night.
It had been easy to find off the A525, had plenty of parking and featured an attractive exterior. We were given a warm welcome, with plenty of smiles, on walking in and were taken straight to our table.
The place is quite big and very busy, with just a few tables free. It was packed with plenty of happy diners. We had our drinks order taken, handed a really expansive menu and ordered some poppadoms (60p for plain/70p for spiced).
These soon arrived, together with a trio of yoghurt dressing, mango chutney and chopped onions in a red sauce (a new one on me).
The poppadoms were as you’d expect and the dips nice and mild.
We did then have to wait about 40 minutes for our orders to be taken but, as I said, it was busy. You need to be patient. (I remember years ago working in a top hotel restaurant where a pompous man dared to complain to the proprietor about having to wait so long to have his order taken.
He was immediately asked to leave. “Go on, get out” he was told. The man’s custom wasn’t needed – the place was heaving. Brilliant!”
Anyway after my brother had politely responded to a waiter asking if we were ok with our drinks that ‘yes’ we were, however we still had not had our order taken, this was soon rectified.
Now this is obviously a serious Indian restaurant, not your high street venue which has to cope with late night drinkers coming in for some food after a night on the town.
The staff are very professional in their roles but some do speak limited English.
On having my order taken I started out ok on ordering my starter, an Onion Bhajee (£2.95).
However, when I tried to place my main course order things got tricky. Could I have Tandoori King Prawn (£12.95), but I didn’t want rice, could I have Bombay Aloo potatoes (£3.25) instead? “The Tandoori King Prawn doesn’t come with rice,” came the reply.
“Yes I know it doesn’t come with rice, but I don’t want to order rice with it, I want to order Bombay Aloo potatoes instead,” I said. “The Tandoori King Prawn doesn’t come with rice,” came the reply again.
As the conversation was beginning to resemble a tennis ball being hit back and forth over a net I decided to order Pilau rice (£1.95) AND Bombay potatoes and I was ok. (Phew).
Kath ordered Chicken Pathia on Puree (£3.95), followed by Chicken Chilli Garlic Masala (£7.95), with Egg Fried rice (£2.50) and Richard chose Tandoori Fish (£4.95), followed by Pangas Jalfrezi (£12.95) with Pilau rice (£1.95).
When the food arrived it more than made up for any wait we had experienced before ordering. This was fine restaurant dining and all the dishes were superbly presented.
My onion bhajee was very good. It was warm and tasty, spiced with fresh green herbs, dipped in batter and deep fried. The salad garnish was iceberg lettuce, tomato and onion – all fresh and crisp.
Kath’s starter comprised chicken fried with herbs and spice. Described as both sweet and sour and slightly hot, Kath found it very tasty but milder than she had expected.
Richard’s starter looked really good. It was a whole Silver Pomfret marinated in spiced yoghurt. He enjoyed it very much, saying it was tasty and tender.
My Tandoori King Prawn was impressive. I had big, fat and tender beautifully cooked prawns that had been nicely marinated. One still had its large tail on for presentation purposes. They were absolutely delicious. The rice was fine and my Bombay potatoes were divine. I was a very happy bunny.
Kath’s Chicken Chilli Garlic Masala also went down well, being cubes of meat marinated and roasted in a clay oven, cooked in chef’s special sauce with fresh green chillies and an extra touch of garlic.
Warned that it was “slightly hot”, Kath said it was really quite hot, but very enjoyable and satisfying, having tender pieces of perfectly cooked chicken in a memorable sauce.
Richard’s Pangas Jalfrezi was another winner. A Pangas fillet cooked with onion, green pepper, green chilli and tomatoes in a “fairly hot” sauce, Richard said it had the consistency of Cod, with very soft white flesh that “melted in the mouth”.
He said it was “nicely spiced”. However it became a tad too spicey when he ate a whole green chilli by mistake!
Although Barn India did have a decent puddings menu, with a choice of 12 on it, all three of us were now quite satisfied.
On the 40 minute drive back to Telford we agreed how good it had been.If you’re a real lover of fine Indian dining, you’ve just got to go try our Barn India. It’s even worth driving there yourself!
Barn India (Restaurant & Takeaway), Newcastle Road (A525), Woore CW3 9RE
Tel: 01630 647871/647378
Chicken Choke cooked with ginger, garlic, green chilli, coriander, salt and butter (£3.75)
Mushroom on Puree. Mushroom cooked with herbs and spices served on puri (medium) (£2.95)
Chicken Shashlick. Diced spring chicken marinated in Chef’s special masala, cooked in tandoor with tomatoes, onion and capsicum. Served with salad (£8.95)
Balti Duck & Aloo. Marinated duck cooked with potatoes in a Balti sauce (£11.95)
Tarka Dall (lentils) (£3.25)
Sag Paneer (spinach and cheese) (£3.25)
Hazelnut Crunch. Vanilla ice cream rippled in caramel sauce and rolled in roasted nuts (£3.25)
Banana Fritter (£3.50)
Efficient and conscientious. Diners need to be patient while waiting for service when the venue is very busy.