I do love a good curry – this can’t be a surprise, there isn’t really a food I don’t like. Oh, wait, there is – who on earth created crab sticks and what did we do to deserve them? Anyway, here I am getting side tracked again.
Back to curries. I very rarely tend to go out to eat curry, in fact, I don’t remember the last time I went to one in the UK. We used to go to the one down the road from the villa in Spain once in a while. I guess for me it’s a takeaway food, you know what I mean, you order the same things from the same place every time.
A couple of months ago, things changed when I was invited to review Azaros Dhaba. I’d heard great things about the restaurant, but because I was stuck in my curry rut, it was never high on my list of priorities.
Tucked away on Church Road, in what from the outside, looks like a tiny space, is Azaros. In a traditional setting where female head chefs are almost unheard of, Azaro Dhaba is not only challenging the ‘norm’, but they are also changing the way we think of the much-loved ‘curry house’.
Head chef Kirti Patel and husband Az, who attentively sees to the patrons, followed their life-long dream of setting up a restaurant that represented them and offered proper Indian food and culture with a contemporary, Dhaba-street food twist.
Azaro Dhaba offers proper regional, locally sourced, desi-food that is carefully selected for a truly authentic, Indian experience with a gastro-meets-contemporary vibe. They also cater to everyone’s needs, whether you’re dairy-free, gluten-free or vegan.
Greeted by Az, we were shown to our table, and given a drinks menu – get a cocktail they are amazing – I had a Mangollini. Az is a great host, you feel like you are in his house, he talks to you as if he has known you forever and is filled with so much knowledge (he would be really good on your pub quiz team). The more you talk to him, the more you hear how passionate he is about his culture, the food they serve and the history behind Indian food.
We started our meal with poppadums and 6 amazing chutneys, all made on-site at the restaurant. They were all fantastic. These were accompanied by Chevra (Indian street snack) and Far Far (like Indian crisps). We also had some sneaky gluten free onion bhajis - these are my new favourite thing! I could just eat these all day and be happy.
For main, I chose the Meat Thali, which is a mixture of several traditional Indian and desi dishes. Although there was a lot on my plate, it wasn’t overwhelming, the dishes were incredible, most notably Dadi-Ma’s dhal makhani was divine – I am not a big lentil eater, but I could not get enough.
Joe went for their Award winning Hyderabadi Biryani which is cooked covered with parda (bread) to lock in all the flavours and fragrances. He was defeated by the dish, but found it delicious and would order it again.
Since going to Azaro’s, I completed Whole30 and as a result, will be cutting down on gluten and dairy – so I see myself making a few return visits!
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