Anoki means “unique” and as its name suggests we found our dining experience quite distinctive; from the impeccable service provided by polite and welcoming waiters, the theatrical decor, to the excellent cuisine offering carefully crafted dishes taken from a rich cultural heritage.
Climbing the marble staircase to the large spacious restaurant, the high, barrelled ceiling and floodlit pillars provide an elegant ambiance.
Started in 2003 by Naveed Khaliq, Anoki has amassed numerous awards, an accolade to Nav’s quest to provide delicious food in authentic surroundings. After the outstanding success of the Derby restaurant Nav quickly expanded into Nottingham and Burton with the same style. These three unique restaurants have, during successive years, won awards both locally and nationally including the Michelin Guide and The Times Top 10 Guide.
The spices and methods of Indian cuisine are not ones that I’m overly familiar with, so my companion and I decided to enjoy the tasting menu designed by Anoki to provide a balanced selection of dishes and dip a little into the authentic rather than Anglicized dishes we feel comfortable with.
A bowl of popadoms with trays of dips were presented first, from hot and spicy to creamy, cool, minted yogurt, these awoke the taste buds. Our starter course was hot fish, fresh pieces of cod, battered with a touch of hot chilli, tender lean little lamb chops and onion bhajis served with a fresh dressed salad. Not overpowering, just delicious flavours.
Chicken pieces, marinated then cooked in a tandoori oven and beautifully presented with artfully cut vegetables were served next, (reshmi tikka and chicken tikka).
The main courses were laid out between us, with three different chicken dishes, chicken makani, chicken saag, and chicken jalfrezi. One lamb dish, pilau rice a vegetable dish, Bombay aloo, and a selection of fresh breads from the tandoori oven. This is my perfect way to dine, to enjoy so many superb flavours, with such variation and to compare the sweet sauces with chicken, marinated in yogurt and cooked with spinach. Lamb haandi cooked on the bone just fell apart it was so tender and Bombay aloo with potatoes softened in tomato. This also is a very sociable way to eat and enjoy good company as the evening progresses in a very pleasant and unhurried fashion.
Then to clear our palate: lemon, mango, passion fruit and raspberry sorbet, which were sharp and fresh.
Finally, we couldn’t miss out on the dessert which was delicate pieces of fresh fruit, vanilla ice cream and small sweet dumplings, although I must be truthful and admit we did have to share this!
Over coffee we relaxed and reflected on just how unique this fine dining experience is, and planned a return visit to share our experience with friends. As we left we shook hands with Abraham who had cared for us so well, and felt we had made a new friend.
To find out more about Anoki and view the full menu visit www.anoki.co.uk
ANOKI Derby. Old Picture Hall, 129 London Road, Derby. DE1 2QN 01332 292 888
ANOKI Nottingham, Barker Gate, Nottingham. NG1 1JU 01159 483 888
ANOKI Burton. A38 nr. Egginton. DE65 6GZ 01283 704 888