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It has been quite some time since I was last in the Ban-Diuc Indian Brasserie in Inveraray, so I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived to a bright and open restaurant.
It may have been as simple as removing a partitioning wall that used to be there but the space feels so much bigger and brighter.
On arrival we were warmly welcomed by staff and taken to our table – we were glad we had booked as the restaurant was busy with visiting tourists and there was plenty of customers through the door collecting takeaway orders.
With a menu boasting such a wide selection it was difficult to make a decision, so when our waiter suggested he would pick for us we were more than happy to let him.
The staff at Ban-Diuc clearly know their stuff and without too much guidance from us – other than preferred type of meat and how hot we could handle – our server made a great, varying selection for us.
Light, crispy poppadoms appeared first, with a selection of four dips – fruity mango chutney, calming mint yoghurt, a delicious red spicy sauce and a refreshing onion and cucumber salad, each dip complimenting and contrasting the others and proving to be a promising start to the meal.
A colourful selection of starters were brought over next – tandoori grilled tiger prawns and the vegetarian mixed combo of onion bhaji, mushroom pakora and vegetable pakora.
The selection of starters in the mixed combo were all pleasant enough but a little samey, I presume due to having the same batter coating. The batter, however, was crisp and golden and hid fresh, flavoursome vegetables.
As someone who is not the biggest shellfish lover I did feel a pang of instant regret when I was presented with the prawns – maybe I should have thought to tell the waiter this before we let him put our surprise
order in – but nothing ventured, nothing gained was my mentality as I gingerly tried them.
Their bright pink colouring was a little dazzling but it was clearly down to the spicing. The prawns were big and meaty and full of flavour and my fears were put to rest – I would happily have them again.
On to the mains – out came orange and ginger chicken and lamb karahi akbori, with pilau rice and peshwari naan.
The orange and ginger chicken sounded very promising and was a definite hit. Tender chicken in a rich, thick sauce made for a very tasty curry but admittedly the orange and ginger tang I was looking forward to was a little lacking in some mouthfuls.
For me, the star of the show was the karahi akbori, a drier curry cooked in a sort of stir fried fashion. The succulent lamb melted in the mouth and the chilli gave it a warming kick but didn’t overpower the other more subtle flavours in the dish.
The staff were incredibly attentive throughout our meal and showed the same regard to takeaway customers too. The attention to detail, from just little things, such as opening heated wipes for diners after their meal or holding the door open for customers as they left, really added to the experience.
All in all, the meal was delicious and filling. The portions were generous and the staff couldn’t have been more pleasant and helpful.
I’d gladly make the drive to Inveraray – even just for a takeaway.
Scrumptious starters. no_a34indianreview01
The star of the show: lamb karahi akbori. no_a34indianreview02
A main course feast. no_a34indianreview04