Consistency is essential in the food industry, we go back to places because we enjoy what they present. The beauty at the Sanam Tandoori Restaurant, King Street, Alfreton is that the chefs have remained the same since they opened over twenty years ago. So we go confident in the knowledge that we will get what we enjoy and it will be well cooked, nicely presented, quality food.
Having dined regularly and had numerous takeaways from the Sanam it can be difficult to pick something new from the menu and not default to old favourites. The three of us dining all experienced the ‘choices’ dilemma on this cold wet November evening. I always set out with such determination to be adventurous and then crumble at the death. So finding a new favourite was tonight’s quest and Iqbal, the owner of the Sanam, was up for the challenge.
With menu in hand I skipped (longingly) past my all time favourite on the chefs specialities – Karahi Chicken with its bite size pieces of chicken cooked with onions, tomatoes, green peppers and the chefs special spices. Nope, must move on. At times I’ll even pinch some of my wife’s tasty Chicken Kishan made with mushrooms, lychees, mint, yogurt and chefs spices but nope, I must change tack tonight.
Sipping a pint of mongoose I was struggling and had to seek help. Iqbal decided to make a suggestion for us all with a selection of dishes to share ( which is awkward because we don’t share!).
The starters we left to Iqbal and so after the popadoms and pickles he served : Chicken Pakora, Daryayi Bazran served with a delicate mixed nut chat, fresh salmon marinated in fresh dill yoghurt, garlic and chefs special spices and roasted in a tandoor. Adraki lamb chops, juicy slices of lamb chops, marinated in garlic and spices, cooked in a tandoor and served with salad and sauce.
For main course Iqbal guided me to the Jalfreezi Chicken, the characteristic of this dish is the puree made of tomatoes, green peppers and onions which is then poured over the curry. Perfect, I think this will be my favourite ‘stick in the mud’ dish for a while now!!
The Tandoori Mixed Grill with Quarter Tandoori Chicken Tikka, Lamb Tikka Shish Kebab and King Prawns served with a curry sauce was Alistair’s chosen dish which he pronounced delicious.
However, Scott likes a hot dish, which meant that he was extremely safe and we wouldn’t be ‘sharing’ although he did stray away from his usual Murghi Masala to enjoy the Lamb Makhan (literally ‘with butter”) Tikka. Another favourite in the making for him too.
I’ve said this before in write ups on Indian restaurants that proper Naan bread makes a lot of difference to a meal, and the Sanam specialise in them. They are cooked in a proper oven and are head and shoulders above the anaemic ones that are often passed off as Naan.
We have the best conversations with Iqbal, if he isn’t too busy serving or overseeing the ever popular take-away trade. He’s very knowledgeable on business and events going on in the world, as well as authentic Indian recipes.
All in all a cracking evening again for us all. Advanced booking is always a good idea. Call 01773 830690