“ Indian / Address: 3 High St / Barkingside / Essex / IG6 2 / Tel: (020) 8551 5550 „
~A FRIENDLY, LIVELY ATMOSPHERE~
I enjoy going out for a meal but, as I don't eat meat, finding a place with a decent menu to suit both myself and my husband (who does eat meat) isn't always easy. I find that my preferred choice of restaurant is definitely Indian. I find this food is usually of good quality, good value and, as many Asians don't eat meat, always seems to offer a great choice for vegetarians as well as meat eaters. The area where I live, in the London/Essex borders, has quite a high population of Asian citizens, and so this may well be the reason that we have a wonderful selection of Indian restaurants.
One of my favourite choices from this type of restaurant has to be Sharod Indian Restaurant, located in Barkingside, Essex.
I have dined in here many times now. This is a very popular choice for dining out in my local area. A few years ago, before I had sampled the delights of Sharod, it had been recommended to me by several friends, and also by my eldest daughter who dines here with her boyfriend and workmates.
So, and this is now some years ago, I first went to Sharod with my husband. As we went on a Saturday evening we had thought it prudent to first book a table but, on arriving at the restaurant we found that the table wasn't ready. This actually put me off because as this is a small restaurant if you aren't seated at a table then there is little room to wait in comfort. Eventually we were seated and enjoyed our meal but it did put me off and so I didn't return for some time. But I now think this was unfortunate as I now see the great appeal of this place.
After this initial visit we have dined at several similar places in our area and, although some are excellent, if you happen to choose to dine either mid-week, or on a Sunday evening, many of these places are empty and therefore sadly lacking in atmosphere.
And then about two years ago my husband, myself and our teenage daughter were returning, on a Sunday evening, from south London, where my daughter had just taken part in a singing competition. It had been a long, though successful, day and we hadn't eaten. Our daughter insisted she wanted to go home; she had school the next day and was happy to have a take away McDonald's meal. She said we should go out and have a meal together. After a quick spruce up, off we went, intending to eat at our most frequented Indian restaurants but on driving past we saw that it was empty. We decided to try Sharod to see if that looked a little busier; it did. Not packed to the gills or anything but there were enough table occupied to give the waiters something to do and to add some ambience. And since then we will now always go to Sharod if dining on a day when most restaurants seem to be pretty vacant. We know there will always be more of a pleasant atmosphere to be had in Sharod's than anywhere else that we have been to in the area.
On a Saturday night Sharod's will be packed. I have on a few occasions reserved a table again but usually have to wait, although not often for too long a time. Recently I dined here with my husband, my brother and his wife, and again a table had been booked but it wasn't ready. This time we had booked but as usual we had to wait a while for a table. I found a seat and we had a drink while we waited, but this was uncomfortable as, apart from two or three chairs in a small recess, the only waiting room is standing in the aisle between the tables. We were given a complimentary drink while we waited which helped a little. But on this evening a large party of sixteen (it's a small restaurant) was expected which may go in some way to explain the wait.
Eventually we were given a nice round table by a window which is a pleasant spot. We had ample space for all the dishes that we ordered.
For the purpose of reviewing this restaurant I will not concentrate on one particular visit as I have been there often now, so will talk in more general terms of the Sharod experience and what to expect here.
Poppadoms are quickly brought to the table with the usual accompaniments of salad, yoghurt and a chilli type dip. These are delicious. Several beers are available, one being Kingfisher and another Carlsberg. Spirits and liqueurs are available, as is a selection of wine by the glass, or bottle, or house wine by the carafe.
The menu in here, although looking adequate, doesn't at first seem as extensive as, for example, Abshars, which is another popular Indian restaurant in the area, but, as this is an extremely accommodating restaurant it is, in fact, good; if you want something in particular to eat then they will probably be able to serve it.
On ordering, I always explain that I don't eat meat and am then told that as well as the vegetarian choices such as vegetable bririani, vegetable curry and jalfrezi and a few others, any vegetable side dish will be available, if requested, as a main dish. When asking the waiters what is contained in which item from the menu, I was informed that if I wanted a particular curry but perhaps wanted poataes added, or something else, then I only had to say.
I try to vary what I have and have sampled several vegetarian dishes in here. I can honestly say that I have always enjoyed whatever I have ordered but don't usually finish as the portions are of a good size.
My husband usually chooses to have a dish which is half chicken tikka and half tandoori. It's medium hot. Moist and delicious.
All the usual dishes are served here such as tandoori chicken, bririanis, jalfrezi, madras. My relatives always speak highly of the meat choices and really there never has been any compliant of a meal not being cooked to their liking. My brother and sister-in-law dine out more often than my husband and myself and are partial to Indian cuisine in particular, but they hadn't been to Sharod's until they went with us. They both said they were very impressed with the food, the service and the ambience (although they said atmosphere NOT 'ambience').
When we dine here with others we often choose to share dishes. The starter selection is good but we prefer to think of the poppadoms as starters and then choose a side dish or a starter as a side dish and then share this. I absolutely love the Bombay potatoes served here and to be honest I'd rather not share these! Really I cannot fault the food.
I never manage to make it to desserts but there is a good choice of Indian desserts and ice cream. A small plate of sweets are brought to the table with the bill and then usually an invitation to partake of a complimentary drink. If we feel we have had enough alcohol then you can choose tea or coffee.
It isn't 'posh' in here or contrived; just an extremely friendly place with great service; staff are always attentive and prompt to serve.
Now this restaurant is cosy. Some of the tables are slightly partitioned and so afford more privacy but there is enough space between tables. But, in my opinion, the main appeal of this restaurant is the ambience of friendly cheerfulness; one doesn't need to be tucked away.
I went here on my last birthday with my husband. I ordered red wine and was asked would I like a bottle . When I said that a bottle would be too much I was told that they would recork any I couldn't drink so that I could take ithome. But I chose to have a half carfe of house red . During the meal my husband mentioned to a waiter that it was my birthday. Immediately he called over to a waiter by the bar to bring me more wine. I exclaimed that I had enough wine so he rushed off and returned with a bottle of red wine for me to take home.
On other occasions I have been given a box of maltesers and my daughter, who dines here often, is always given a small and very welcome gift.This is a nice touch as it really makes you feel as if your custom has been appreciated.
On leaving the reataurant the door will always be opened by a waiter or the manager and thank yous will be voiced for your patronage.
Sharod Indian restaurant is well placed on the high street being close to bus stops and a short walk from two underground tube statios (Barkingside and Fairlop) on the central line. There is a car park nearby and also on road parking is available for a small charge.
~A WELCOME FOR ALL~
This restaurant is situated on one level so can be accessed by wheelchair. As the restaurant isn't spacious I feel it would be wise to first book a table if you are a wheelchair user so that space can be made for the wheelchair.
~COMMENTS FROM THE MANAGEMENT~
Sharod's Facebook Page:
'First Established by Kois & Malik over 20 years ago, this family run restaurant in historic Barkingside has grown in size and reputation over the years. Due course, we have developed a range of menus and style of food that we believe presents you with the widest and finest Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine. Twenty years of expertise has enabled Sharods to suffuse the modern with the traditional, offering you the finest flavours accumulated from all corners of the Indian subcontinent.'
~SHAROD'S AT HOME~
Take away meals are also available from Sharod's.
Including All Bank Holidays
Monday - Friday: 1700 - 2230
Saturday - Sunday: 1700 - 2300
3 State Parade
Essex IG6 2EY
Telephone: 020 85515550