I was first attracted to the restaurant 4550 Miles from Delhi, by its very name. I had walked past it one Sunday night when it was closed, and it stuck with me as a place to eat some time. That some time finally arrived a few days ago.
The restaurant itself was runner up in the 2005 Nottingham Restaurant Awards, for Non European cuisine, and given that there were some exceptional names in those Awards, this furthered my desire to eat there.
The restaurant is central to the City near Maid Marion way/Mount Street. On street parking was difficult, but there is a public car park almost directly across from the restaurant, and this seemed to be the easiest, if not cheapest thing to do, other than public transport.
On first impressions this restaurant was a long way from some of the Indian Restaurants I have been in over the years, where the décor has sometimes been questionable. Not so with 4550. The styling was warm and inviting with wonderful tables, and stylish sleek décor. The restaurant is fairly large (I estimate well over 100 covers) and my initial impressions were positive ones. We were swiftly shown to our particular choice of two tables, which were about the only two left, despite this being midweek, and we were lucky to have booked in advance that morning. We selected a table directly opposite the open kitchen area, where 4 chefs were busily preparing and cooking meals in more or less full view of the customers.
Staff were very attentive throughout the evening, and we were never left searching for anyone, whether it was to order drinks or food, or even pay for our meal at the end of the night.
The choice of menu was absolutely huge, and in fact it made it difficult to choose at all! Plus I was in the mood for trying some different tastes to my normal lamb rogan josh or chicken Korma style food. There were at least 15 different starters, plus two platters for two or more.
When I read through the 40-50 main courses, I decided we might have to gamble on one of the banquets, which are priced at a very reasonable £14.95 a head for four starter selections, five main courses, rice and naan bread. In the end, after gaining assurances from the waiter that this would not be over-facing for two people, we opted for a vegetarian banquet.
We had been served with popadums upon arrival, together with a choice of four dips, including a more unusual red pepper/yoghurt dip. The food was beautifully presented in contemporary white dishes.
Our Vegetarian Thali starter seemed a large plateful and included samosas, onion bhaji, paneer tikka and aloo tikki, together with our sauces. It was absolutely heaven, taste wise, although by this stage I was beginning to question whether the banquet would be just too much for us!
Being close to the open kitchen we were able to see the dishes as they were prepared for the various tables, and the food looked of a high quality, and well presented. Our main course banquet was served in five apparently smaller copper bowls, together with our rice and naan. We had asked three times, if they could ensure the portions were smaller, as we were not overly ravenous and would rather not be over-faced with too much food, but would have preferred to be able to sample. I actually think the amount of food we got would have served three people comfortably, and even four meagrely. This was the only disappointing aspect of the experience for me, as small portions, would have been preferable for us. The portions were indeed smaller than a normal portion. I dont think the staff could understand we did not necessarily want to be over-faced, and indeed we sent our naan back uneaten, right away, and were offered it three more times!
The wine list was also impressive and although a beer might have been more appropriate, we ordered a reasonably priced Chilean Sauvignon, as well as some soft drinks.
Our bill in total was just under £55, which included two banquets at £14.95 each, a bottle of wine and two rounds of soft drinks, plus a service charge. I felt this was reasonable value for money overall.
The surroundings were great, the attentiveness of the staff was excellent, and my only complaint would be that they simply didnt listen when we told them we wanted to sample lots of foods, but did not want to see a load go to waste either! I appreciate this is difficult as many customers, including us, depending on our hunger state might be ravenous or not but on any given night, and I got the distinct impression from more than one waiter that they believed you had paid for this banquet and therefore you should eat it all!
I would definitely go back to the restaurant, and either make sure I have no lunch that day, or alternatively select one main course from the menu and avoid the popadums!
That said, atmosphere wise, I recommend it, and I give it 8/10
The restaurant is open for lunch and from 6pm until 11pm Mon-Sat inclusive.
4550 Miles From Delhi
Maid Marion Way/Mount St
tel 0115 947 5111
The restaurant is affiliated with Shimla Pinks in Leicester.