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Arisia Lounge Review - January 2014

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So, Newport Pagnell for the start of the New Year. A good turnout of 11 members and we met at the Cannon pub on the High Street which sold a couple of half decent winter real ales. Discussion ensued about this years away trip to Brum and who was going to take responsibility for the agenda, the hotel, the train and Nick.

 

At 8:30pm we made our way to the Arisia Lounge in Tickford Street. We were all quite excited by this as it was a new restaurant on our list and the reviews on trip advisor were very good putting it as the number one restaurant in Newport Pagnell. As I understand it, the building was an old working men’s club and, although there was bright pink lights outside there was no way of telling that it was an Indian Restaurant or indeed its name. The other excitement was that it was an Indian Restaurant – in other words run by Indians rather than Bangladeshi’s. On entry it certainly had a different feel and there was a proper bar inside too!

 

Anyway, all were seated and given some menus and then some more menus as there weren’t enough first time. First opinions of the menu were that the prices were high. The manager explained that the starters were big dishes and could easily be shared by two or more.

Then something really strange happened – we made a decision to leave the ordering to the manager! So, after the first round of drinks were ordered some “dips” arrived – a carroty affair, a spicy one, and a mint sauce type…but there was also spicy peanuts!!!

 

Eventually the popadums arrived (on the menu they were called popads) one lot had tomato, cucumber and coriander on them which made them soggy and (for me) not very appetising. The normal popadums (popads) were nice and crispy though.

 

Soon the starters arrived and I have to say I thought they were fabulous consisting of (but not limited to) deep fried sliced potatoes, jeera chicken, garlic prawns, lamb chops, “casaba”(?) which was a bit like a parsnip but not as sweet, and another really good chicken dish. Most people in the group said how good they were. They were quite filling and I was wondering how I would manage my main course!

 

There was a long wait between starters and main – partly our fault as we didn’t tell the manager we were going to go ahead and he hadn’t asked. Then they brought out the plates which were nice and warm, but there was such a delay before the meals arrived, that they were cold by that time. The mains were very good: I didn’t catch the names of them, but there was a lamb dish and a chicken dish, a lamb biryani, rice and breads. I thought the rice was a bit salty, but they were all, again, very good.

 

Apart from the food, one thing I did like was that you could watch the chefs cooking the meals through a big window. Interestingly, there was also another seating area near there which might have been a better place to sit a rowdy group like us.

 

Overall I hope that this restaurant survives and becomes successful. Why would I say that? I am not sure it had much ambience, it was not that busy, and taking over an old working men’s club made for a different feel and the acoustics were a bit weird.

 

Next day was a bit interesting – pretty smelly breath and problems with the unmentionables at the rear end, a view echoed by some of us that went to the Dons the next day…

Graeme

 

Summary - Does not have to be as expensive as it looks when the large portions are shared. Lets hope they can keep it going, lots of competition and presumably, overheads. Missed out on a certificate because of the low location/ambience score.

Common Curry - Nothing common about this one. Best attempt has been made to make a fair comparison, a little pricey.

Certificate - None awarded

Web site - www.arisialounge.co.uk

 

Other Comments

Positive:

  • Attentive owner/manager and staff
  • Nice dips
  • Excellent assortment of starters
  • Coriander chicken - gorgeous
  • Spicy chicken 'on the bone' - great
  • Generally, very good mains

Negative:

  • High ceilings, felt like eating in a pub, especially as we sat near a large bar
  • Very light, poor atmosphere, we sat next to customers waiting for a takeaway
  • Something different on the poppadoms but it made them soft
  • Long wait before main course, especially poor as the manager chose it for us
  • Several comments on the 'saltiness' of the main courses

 

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