“ Address: 18 Boulevard / Weston-super-Mare BS23 1NA „
When it comes to eating out its one of my most favourite pastimes! I adore food and I particularly enjoy Indian food so when my parents came up from Coventry for a few days to Weston Super Mare to visit me I knew with their love of eating out and fine wine and so on my hips was about to suffer!
However I am a Midland girl and believe that when it comes to Indian food Birmingham have it nailed! Here in Weston Super Mare we have a few Indian restaurants and takeaways and so on but they are really hit and miss.
This one was recommended to me by a friend of mine who goes there often with family and friends and for the past few years has even gone their Christmas day. Myself and my friend have been using the takeaway service from here for ages now and it was only the other night with my parents we actually went in and sat down for a meal.
The Bengal Raj
18-20 The Boulevard
Weston Super Mare
Bs23 - 1NA
Telephone: 01934 6258/420824
So first off I will talk about that visit if I may!
The first thing is I would always book. Even mid week when you think you'll be ok I've walked past and seen it really busy looking inside. Situated on a busy main road and right almost in the town centre of Weston Super Mare this is an ideal place to go due to it being a walk away from the beach and bars there and shops and basically all the nightlife in Weston is local to it including the theatres we have. There is a taxi rank very close by, call it a minutes walk in fact and there are lots of buses that go past here often too. The only problem you may have is parking because there is no car park close by at all and parking is limited....unless of course you have a blue badge or something like that lol! Lucky for me my home is less than five minutes walk away from here!
So we had booked, that was easy by calling them. My party of four was greeted at the door by a couple of smart waiters and we were pleasantly taken to our seats. There are various sized tables in the restaurant, a small bar and the kitchen is at the back. The restaurant is sort of divided into two rooms with a slope to make way for both, the decor is very dark and tables are lit with candles. There are toilets that are clean and very basic and I have to be honest when we walked in although the staff were very attentive this place did look rather dark and basic to me with low music playing. I felt this was a more traditional style restaurant than modern and although the place was rather full of people and large groups of people at that we weren't sat too close to others and it wasn't rowdy.
We were handed very extensive menus plus a drinks list and were surprised by the extent of the dishes and the drinks equally that were on offer. Pop, coffee and tea like was there, Cobra was £2.20 a bottle which I thought was great and there were lots of bottled beers to choose from and again lots of wines though not any alcopops. We ordered a bottle of white wine for our table which was £11.50 and so nice we actually had another one. That was the cheapest but it really was a very good wine and classed as the house one. We didn't have starters but we had a plate of 8 poppadums come out which were huge and really nice and crispy and I have a saying that if the poppadums are good the rest of the meal is gonna follow suit. They came out with lime pickle, mint dip, onion salad, chilli onion salad (which was amazing and I'd never had before!) and mango chutney and the waiter explained to us about how they made the chilli onion dip up and seemed very proud of the food they served. Our waiter was lovely and nothing was too much trouble for him even talking to us when we'd consumed 2 bottles of white wine rather fast and had a couple of drinks in a local bar lol. The poppadums came in at £6.00 including the dips and at first when I saw that price I thought wow really that's high but they were truly worth it.
It took us ages to decide on our mains and me and my mate had a chicken tikka masala each knowing already we loved it from here at £6.50 each and we shared a cheese nan (£2.25) and shared a special fried rice (£2.50). My Mum went for the chicken bhuna (£5.25) and my stepdad had chicken tikka, madras sauce and bombay aloo (Bombay style potatoes as I know them lol) and his meal came to about £11.00 and then they shared a garlic nan (£2.10) and egg fried rice (£2.50).
What I did notice about eating in was that the portions didn't seem so large as the takeaway ones however the food was superb , really hot and served on hot plates and I actually asked as we were eating for a score out of 5 rating and the three of my party stated 5 as did i. Nothing was left uneaten, my mum raved about her melt in the mouth chicken, my stepdad loved everything about his meal and believe me he is a very hard man to please indeed and my mate was silent munching away which was a good sign!
We were tidied up promptly and offered coffees and so on which we all declined and we didn't feel rushed to leave. My waiter took a shine to me and asked me if I was a model and called me very beautiful so that compliment made my evening too! You can pay by cash or card, my stepfather paid by cash and left a £10.00 tip too as he was so impressed by the whole night and the meal itself for the four of us came to about £74.00 (not including tip of course) and we all felt that was worth the money and were not shocked when the bill came at all.
We were seen out, asked if we wanted them to get us a cab which we didn't as we were off for another drink and I can really recommend this place for having your dinner and in the week (Mon-Thurs) there is a deal on for a starter, main course rice or nan, for £9.95 from a set menu. I haven't been to this yet but will certainly be doing so believe me as I reckon that will be amazing value and a nice treat for me and my mate.
There are plenty of vegetarian dishes as well to pick from, lots of the usual starters which I never had in the restaurant but certainly have as a takeaway in the past few months!
I order from here and my food usually makes it in half an hour and always arrived well packaged and very hot indeed. I have no problems placing my order, in fact they know who I am now and I can pay over the phone by cash or card and I opt to pay cash usually. The portion sizes are huge, I usually get now free poppadums and dips and what haven't we had from here eh?
For starters we've had prawn puree rather often (£2.95 each), Onion bhaji's of which you get 4 of those with mint sauce and a bag of plentiful salad which are so yummy and ungreasy and we've had the King Prawn butterfly from here (£3.95 each) too, although you don't get huge amounts of king prawns, maybe four of them at most an they are big, very tasty, juicy and fresh. Main courses...... well we've had the chicken balti, chicken korma, chicken makani, prawn korma well you name it we've tried or are about to and prices for those dishes are around £5.50 mark which is really good value for money and by the way you pay no more or less eating in or out. The breads and rice are equally as good with my favourite at the moment being their gorgeous coconut rice (£2.50) and their mushroom fried rice at the same price. There are a few English meals you can eat in and takeaway ranging from £5.50 -£7.95 though the menu for this isn't large with three omelettes on it and fried chicken and chips only! There are set meals you can order too and plenty of extras though no desserts at all!
Free delivery over £12.00 is given in a 3 mile radius though go to collect your meal you'll usually be given a plate of poppadums and dips and so on free whilst you wait which encourages a beer or two I bet whilst you wait and I saw people being offered this.
All In All:
I love this place, the quality of the food, prices and the choice. Ok the restaurant itself wasn't amazing to look at but the food was wonderful and we all felt very comfortable in there and its a place that I award every Dooyoo star to as for me this is the best we have on offer in Weston with a great menu! The only thing I didn't see was a disabled toilet however you can use the ladies or gents down a slope if you can navigate yourself into the cubicle that is!