Newest Review: ... There is so much variety to choose from, this is a good way of tasting new and different things and it doesn't matter if you don't lik... more
Member Name: Holland1
Magic Spices Indian Restaurant (Wallasey, Merseyside)
Advantages: Excellent food, award winning restaurant, good value buffet, extensive menu
Disadvantages: Service could be better
This Indian restaurant is our local curry house, and is an award-winning restaurant on the Wirral. In the past, we've mainly used this restaurant for takeaways, but recently we have been to the restaurant itself a couple of times, as it offers a very good value for money all-you-can-eat buffet between Monday and Wednesday (although these days do change sometimes they offer between Sunday and Thursday so check the website if in doubt).
The restaurant is a modern contemporary looking place, with leather chairs in the waiting area and wooden floors. The tables are laid out differently each time depending on what bookings they have, as it's a popular place for parties and big groups. The chairs in the restaurant have very soft cushions which makes them really comfy, although I'm not sure how suitable this would be for anyone who experiences issues with their back.
The food here is top class, and much nicer than your average Indian restaurant. The buffet is excellent value, offering all you can eat for £9.95 per person. There is so much variety to choose from, this is a good way of tasting new and different things and it doesn't matter if you don't like something as you can just have something else instead. The buffet is extensive and offers starters, poppadums with about eight different dips and chutneys, side dishes such as saag aloo and several main dishes. There are different choices of rice and naan bread, and it gives you a description of each dish and warns you about the very spicy ones. This might sound obvious but I've been to Indian buffets before where they don't label things so you might find a new dish that you like but you're not sure what it was to be able to order it again.
On the normal menu they offer the usual dishes, with some set meal options which can work out better value if you're a fan of the sides and starters. They also have an exclusive selection of meal platters which are signature dishes served with various bits and bobs to make it a whole meal, or to have to share with someone. In this range, the cheapest option is £9.95 which is for "Cinni Fatha Ghusth" - a medium spiced lamb based dish servied with pilau rice, naan and a bindi bhajee. The other end of the price scale offers the "Nawabi Raan" - the chef's signature dish which is a slow roasted tender lamb shank served in a medium spiced sauce, served with pilau rice, garlic naan and tarka daal. This costs £13.95.
The rest of the menu is extensive, but still offers the favourites such as tikka masala, kurma, dansak, balti and rogan josh. These come under the "Traditional Favourites" section. The rest of the menu is laid out in sections as follows:
* Traditional Favourites
* Magic Spices Exclusive meal platters (described above)
* Chef's Specials
* Tandoori/Clay Oven meal platters
* Fresh vegetable side dishes
* Tandoori breads
* Rice and Sundries
* Set dinners (which you can change the main courses for alternatives which have the same value)
Generally speaking, this restaurant is always full and thriving whenever we've been there, and it can get quite noisy on buffet nights so it's not really somewhere to go if you're after a romantic meal. Although maybe it says more about the kind of girl I am that I would even consider going for a curry to be "romantic"?! The service is sometimes a bit slow, and on buffet nights you're pretty much left to your own devices so you won't be offered a refill on your drink and you'll probably have to pay on the way out as they won't be in a hurry to bring the bill over.
The takeaway can be delivered for free within a 3 mile radius but they sometimes offer incentives for collection such as free side dishes or 10% discount. They have a website (www.magicspices.co.uk) which offers an online ordering service, but we used this once and it never made it through to the staff on duty so since then we've only ever ordered by telephone. It is advisable to order ahead as the dishes can take a while to prepare, and although the waiting area is comfy with big leather sofas, it much easier to phone ahead and just pick it up.
This is a restaurant I would definitely recommend to anyone in the area, and I consider this to be very lucky to have this on our doorstep.
Summary: My favourite Indian restaurant