“ 45 Union St, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2LF. Tel:01983 563165 „
After negotiating countless stone steps at Carisbrooke Castle one Saturday afternoon, we had worked up a good appetite and had just enough time for a bite to eat in Ryde. Having gone for Italian on the previous occasion, I agreed that Indian would be worth a try and we headed for the Ryde Tandoori restaurant on Union Street. As soon as we went in I admired an over-sized Arabesque coffee pot in one corner and a delicate floral display in another. A large photo of a Bengal tiger on one wall seemed quite unusual and more striking than the Bengal landscape on the opposite wall.
We were seated at a table for two in a front corner of the restaurant. Although it was a small table, we did at least have room on the floor in the corner for our belongings. I noticed that all the other tables already had mango chutney, lime pickle and chopped raw onion ready and waiting on them, but ours didn't. Each table also had a pink carnation in a small vase, and ours had unfortunately seen better days. The waiter handed us a menu each and handed us our linen napkins to put on our laps straight away. We ordered a fruit juice each and started to have a look at the menu.
When our drinks were served, the waiter asked if we would like any poppadoms so we ordered three. As it was approaching 6.30pm and we had to catch the last hovercraft back to Southsea at 7.45pm, we asked if we could also order our main dishes then. I'd had a quick look at the specials, but then I'd noticed tandoori trout (£7.95) on the menu. I love trout and had never seen it on an Indian menu before, so I looked no further and decided that it would be my choice. My son had previously tried and very much enjoyed the moglai chicken (£8.45) amongst the specials, and he picked this again. We also order a portion of pilau rice (£2.15) and a vegetable stuffed paratha (£2.45), deciding that we would share everything between us.
Having finished our poppadoms, I hoped the main course would soon be served so that we wouldn't have to rush too much. A few minutes after we had arrived, a couple came in with their two grandchildren. It was obvious that they were regulars from the way they were greeted and chatted to after they had sat down. I was rather peeved that they were served before us, especially as we had been so quick in placing our order. We wondered if it was because tandoori trout takes longer to cook, so perhaps I should give them the benefit of the doubt.
It was nearing 7pm by the time the heater was brought to our table and the waiter brought the food on a trolley. The chutney and pickle had been left on the table, and there was just enough room for everything else. The whole trout was served alongside a salad consisting of two slices of cucumber, two tomato quarters and some finely sliced iceberg lettuce with red cabbage. A slice of lemon was also added. The fish looked gorgeous; I cut it down the middle and passed the tail end to my son. I started of with some rice alongside the trout, which tasted as good as it looked having been cooked to perfection. After a while I tried the moglai chicken, which comes in a creamy almond sauce with pieces of mango. It wouldn't be the right choice for someone who likes hot, spicy curries, but we both enjoyed the fruitiness and the smoothness of the sauce. The chicken was very tender, but nothing could quite compete with the trout for me. I realised that I was neglecting the paratha so had a few pieces of it as I finished off the moglai chicken.
When the waiter came to clear the dishes, we asked if we could have the bill straight away as we were in a hurry. There was no time for dessert - perhaps one day we'll go back on the ferry instead of the hovercraft so that we can have more time to linger. Orange segments and hot towels were brought first, followed by the bill with After Eight mints. The total was £26.90 which we paid by card, leaving a tip in cash.
My son told me that on the previous occasion he had been there, the Ryde Tandoori had been full, although it had been later in the evening. This time, there were plenty of customers coming in to collect takeaway orders, but not many eating in. It's hardly fair to judge, however, as England were playing in the World Cup that evening. I did feel that the tables were a little close together and there wouldn't be much privacy if all of them were occupied.
In terms of food I would say this was one of the best meals I have had in any Indian restaurant. The service was polite, but our waiter did seem a little lacking in confidence. I liked the restaurant itself; it is small with stylish furnishings and décor. Indian music is played at a fairly low volume that does not intrude on conversation.
Not everyone would enjoy the main dishes that we chose, but for those who like spicy Indian food the usual curries are on the menu. I noticed that one of the children who was with her grandparents was having chicken and chips, so there are options for members of a group who don't go for oriental food.
The toilets were perfectly clean, but there were one or two tiles coming away from the wall in one corner. Paper towels were provided rather than a hand drier.
I would definitely recommend the Ryde Tandoori on the basis of food, but I would prefer to go early before it gets too busy. If I lived locally I can imagine I might use the takeaway service rather than eating in. I should mention that the staff were very friendly and welcoming towards the children who were there. The restaurant is just five minutes' walk from Ryde Esplanade, and therefore ideally located for anyone travelling to the Isle of Wight by ferry or hovercraft.
The Ryde Tandoori is open for lunch but closes between 2.30pm and 6pm, seven days a week.
Ryde Tandoori Restaurant
45 Union Street
Isle of Wight
Tel. 01983 563165
Also posted on other sites.
I do enjoy a good curry, and luckily my hometown of Ryde has a good selection of Indian Restaurants to choose from. Located in Union Street, 'Ryde Tandoori' was one of the first Indian Restaurants in the area, and to be honest it's an eatery which I've neglected a bit in the last few years in favour of some of the newer ones which have appeared in the vicinity.
The venue is quite small, and as such, Ryde Tandoori is a place where booking is essential - otherwise it's unlikely you'll be able to get a seat, especially on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.
The décor is pleasant, and I would describe it as an 'old-skool' looking Indian compared to the modern and minimalist 'Cinnamon', and 'Monsoon' - two of the other Asian restaurants in the area. The walls are painted in pastel shades, and feature large pictures of Tigers - it's pleasant enough without being too formal.
As it's located in the middle of the town, parking for Ryde Tandoori can be a bit of an issue - you can gamble on leaving your car on the street outside, but there isn't always a space, and if you're visiting in the evening it's probably best not to leave a vehicle, as there are often drunken groups spilling out of Wetherspoons, who are occasionally prone to a bit of wing-mirror bending. Luckily, there is a car park close by, which would probably represent the best option for drivers.
Ryde Tandoori serves a decent selection of Traditional Indian food - and whilst it's not the most exciting of choices, the chef's have obviously refined the most popular cuisine - the Korma's, Tikka's, Biriani's and Balti's of this world.
My most recent visit to Ryde Tandoori was with fellow dooyoo'ers 'tomflint', 'adambrown400' and 'jbsabbath', and it turned out to be quite an unusual event, not least because of the unusual service which we received. Our waiter was quite difficult to communicate with, and didn't seem to want us to order any main courses! Also, when he brought our drinks over, he slammed my pint down in front of me with a ridiculous force which startled the rest of the diners in the building. After bringing our poppadoms, our server couldn't decide where he wanted to put them, initially giving them to Tom, and then trying to pull them back off him in a makeshift tug-of-war! Thankfully, we beckoned another waiter who was much more efficient and friendly.
There is a fairly good selection of drinks on the menu, ranging from the traditional Indian beers to the British favourites. The prices for beverages are surprisingly reasonable at under £3 for a pint - not like the £6 for a bottle of Carlsberg which an Indian restaurant in Devon tried to charge me last summer!
Our food didn't take long to arrive, and my Chicken Korma was delicious. The sauce was nice and creamy, and the chicken was beautifully cooked and very tender. Similarly, the rest of our group seemed pleased with their food, and our only complaint was with the slightly bizarre service.
There are bathroom facilities in the building, which I found to be clean and tidy, although the hot tap in the sink was permanently turned on, and wouldn't turn off even when I tried hard to do so.
All in all, Ryde Tandoori is a reliable Indian restaurant from a food perspective which *usually* represents a decent night out. Yes, the service on this particular occasion was a little strange, but seeing as it's a seemingly isolated incident, I would still recommend the venue as an excellent place to dine out.
Indian food is by far my favourite style of food and I love visiting my local Tandoori in Ryde, aptly named Ryde Tandoori. I have been to this establishment many times and it is with some authority that I write this review as I have had both sit down dinners as a couple, as well as larger groups as well as having take way.
Situated on Ryde's busiest street, Union Street, Ryde Tandoori isn't the largest Indian restaurant in the Ryde District. In fact, quite a number of Indian restaurants have appeared in more recent years, but Ryde Tandoori seems to have weathered this competition quite well. It is cleverly situated next to some of Ryde's busiest pubs most notably Wetherspoons and quite a large amount of business must be generated by people coming out of the mega-pub after a bellyful of beer.
I think it is fair to recount our most recent visit to Ryde Tandoori, which was for my 29th birthday. In fact it was a bit of a Dooyoo reviewers get together - both 'JJJJ' and 'tomflint' were there as well as my brother and Carry-On reviewer extraordinaire 'jbsabbath'. Being one of my favourite restaurants I thought it might be a nice place to go.
As with most people I expect there are a few dishes that you enjoy and you usually go for one of those. This also helps because you can gauge the price of your favourite dish against other restaurants that you have been to. I usually go for a few popadoms followed by a keema naan and a lamb biryani. This is exactly what I chose to have on this evening.
We were seated towards the middle of the restaurant on quite a busy Saturday evening. The tandoori itself is nicely decorated, with the occasional tiger picture on the wall. The staff are smart, dressed in the same black outfits. There is Indian techno music in the background, but quiet enough not to grate too much.
Our waiter comes to our table after a short while and we order our drinks. Most of us go for pints of Carlsberg or the Indian favourite 'Cobra' beer. Our waiter doesn't quite look up to the job and mumbles throughout. I even get to ordering my main dish before he clears off to get our popadoms. When our popadoms do arrive our waiter is unsure as to what to do with them initially giving them to tomflint, but then decides against that idea and tries to wrestle them back off him, before placing them towards the centre of the table. Odd!
Theres nothing like popadoms with chutney and after wrestling with them from the waiter, we got stuck in. Once finished, there was quite a long period of time before I had to call a different waiter over so that we could order our main. This guy was much better and knew what he was doing. He took our main orders and promptly went off the kitchen. JJJJ and tomflint went for naans along with chicken korma. I think jbsabbath went for a chicken balti.
Our food arrived promptly and a hot plate was placed on our table. It was a bit of a squeeze trying to get all of the food onto the table at the same time, but we managed after a bit of table Tetris.
My keema naan (naan with mincemeat) was excellent - not too overdone, but soft and warm. My main dish, lamb biryani, was huge! The meat was tender and not too tough with the curry sauce being not too hot or spicy. An excellent dish. I know that JJJJ in the past has complained that his chicken korma has been so tender that it felt like butter melting in his mouth. I think this put him off before, but he seemed to enjoy his dish this time.
We all finished out food off pretty quickly and felt suitably stuffed. I asked for the bill which was quickly forthcoming. However, after paying by card and sitting back with our quarter oranges - another waiter brought me over another bill! I didn't think that they deserved to be paid twice, so I complained bitterly and promptly showed him the receipt from a minute or so before.
Annoyed slightly, we left stuffed and went for a beer in Yelfs, the bar next door. I've been served better in this establishment on many occasions and was quite surprised by the bizarre service we received this evening. Our food was really good, you couldn't fault that, but the service left a lot to be desired.
I would definitely go back to Ryde Tandoori and recommend it to others who want a decent curry on the Isle of Wight. Its just a shame that the service was so weird on this particular evening.