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The Elaichi @ Belper

DO_Elaichi_1_Oct13The Elaichi is in the heart of Belper with easy parking across the road. The restaurant is thoughtfully laid out; downstairs there are sofas so you can sit in comfort and have a drink whilst ordering or waiting for your takeaway, upstairs is just for diners, with a further floor which can be booked out for parties. The first thing I noticed, as I love a pint of Cobra, was the beer pump and next to it a beer called Mongoose. I have never seen this drink before but apparently, after speaking to the staff it is brewed in Leicester by some ex-employees of Cobra. What a beer…. I have been converted so it’s Mongoose all the way for me from now on. We were shown to the first floor restaurant which is stylishly decorated with the space in this old building being used to great effect. We started with the traditional poppadoms, pickles, sauces and an onion salad. This was all washed down with a Mongoose (it’s not every day you can say that). We were told by one of the waiters not to expect them to be busy because it was a Tuesday, but it was interesting to note that as the evening went on they did fill up, a birthday party in one corner, about 10 businessmen out to entertain and a scattering of couples who decided to come for their tea instead of cooking at home. This to me was already a good sign that the food we were about to receive was going to be special. A note for all, we asked the waiter to choose our food for us, I can not recommend this enough so give it a try and don’t just stick to your usual curry. We started with the Shole Kebab – skewered tandoori chicken with minced lamb and this was my favourite. The skewered chicken curled around the minced meat inside, with the combination of the two a perfect match and full of flavours. Our other starter was a Chicken Tikka stir fry – onions, peppers, sweet sauce and pieces of tandoori chicken; the large pieces of onion and peppers gave the dish a real crunch which complemented the earthy taste of the marinated chicken. DO_Elaichi_2_Oct13I recommend you order the Bullet naan bread, don’t worry I had not come across this before either but you will enjoy it. We also chose a cheese and garlic naan and then our waiter chose for us the special fried rice – eggs, peas, onions – and the lemon chilli rice with pineapple to accompany our main courses. I must admit I would not have picked the chilli rice with pineapple but I’m glad the waiter did. This, along with my lamb literally made my mouth water. The sharpness of the pineapple with the succulent lamb made for a dish I would definitely order again. Between us we tried three different curries; my partner had the Chicken Tandoori Butter Murgh, pieces of tandoori chicken cooked with sultanas, roasted almonds, cashew and pistachio nuts all cooked in a creamy sauce, this was a medium heat. Recommended to us was the King Prawn Tawa – a dry(ish) Bangladeshi curry with peppers and onions, this is a dish that you would find in south eastern Asia. You may not have come across a Tawa dish before, but if you favour a dry dish not covered in sauce where you can taste the spices, then this is the dish for you. The Shai Lamb is a lamb shank cooked in The Elaichi’s special sauce and you know when you’re going to get something different if, at the end of the description on the menu it says in brackets ‘Exclusive’. DO_Elaichi_3_Oct13I must say when they brought this dish to me it caught the eye of the other diners; a succulent lamb shank, where the meat just fell off the bone, sat on a base of…….well, I would like to tell you but it is their secret recipe so all I can say is it was delicious, this dish I would highly recommend. The dessert menu features traditional Indian desserts but all attractively garnished with fruit. All our dishes were beautifully presented. The waiters are very knowledgeable about their menu and happy to recommend a dish that will suit your palate. The menu caters for all tastes and preferences with over 30 vegetarian dishes and 12 fish dishes including scallops, sea bass and monk fish. Starters start from £2.95 and mains from £6.45 so good value as well as very tasty.


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