Well, it was a bit different. The BBC came along to film us for a possible TV programme
later this year. Ironic, of course, and complete coincidence, that the venue was
MK's pride and joy, the Jaipur. That in itself was strange as we were followed around
in the pub (good old Wetherspoons) and then in the restaurant and trying to behave
as we normally would and ignore the cameras, mic booms, lights, etc. Still more weird
was the curbed language except when the camera was switched off!
However, all in all it was still a good MKCurry evening and we were at our critically
acclaimed best! At the pub we were pleased to be joined by the now aptly named curry
groupies who were all looking for their 5 seconds of fame. The service at the pub
was incredibly fantastic. Never have I been there on a Friday night and been served
so quickly...can't think why...
The table at the Jaipur was booked (and ready) for 8:30 p.m. We sat first of all
in the reception area to have a quiet drink and brace ourselves (and re-adjust our
make-up). Going to our table we completely ignored the camera crew and got straight
on with ordering popadums, drinks, and looking at the menus. Now remember, this is
the Jaipur. A high class Indian cuisine restaurant with a fantastic building to look
at from outside and well decorated inside with high ceilings to bounce the noise
around. You know that you will not pay less £25 per person - and that is somewhat
reflected by how much you drink. It is the kind of place to take your most valued
customer and should be the kind of place to take your loved one if you want more
than just the food experience. Of course, you'd expect the service, quality of food,
ambience, and cleanliness to be in line with that. Well, it was. Well, nearly. So
It was busy when we arrived, although by 10 p.m. it was quite empty. The presence
of the cameras made sure that the attentiveness of service was excellent. But we
were here on club business. The plain popadums were good and the spicy ones were
a little twee. Rolled into a conical shape, but crisp and fresh, nevertheless. The
pickle trays were made to be enough by the provision of four sets (there were nine
of us) and were of average quality. The mango chutney was a little bit too lump free
for my liking, but OK. The onion salad had carrots in, the mint sauce was fine, and
the (vegetable?) lime pickle was different.
I started with a meat mixed starter, shared with Richard. I have to say, here was
the first disappointment: it was only just luke warm; really not acceptable for such
a restaurant. In fact, I think only Ian's was hot and Dave's was positively cold.
Next disappointment. I wanted a chicken dhansak, but could only see a king prawn
dhansak on the menu. So, as you do in those circumstances, I asked the waiter if
the chef would do me a chicken dhansak, and he flatly refused! Yet, when I asked
for an onion bhajee (which was also not on the menu) he was happy to do that. Both
these dishes I would consider menu staples, but only one would they do! I settled
for the other old favourite, chicken jalfrezi.
Next concern: the wait between starter and main course was too long. Something in
the region of 90 minutes, I think (check the web site for timings). We were brought
a very nice prawn dish in between time - compliments of the chef. This gave me two
impressions. Firstly, there would be a long wait between starter and main course;
second, the BBC cameras were there. Please write into the web site any other customer
who got a complimentary dish between starter and main course that night so we can
see if this is a regular occurrence.
When the main course arrived, there was plenty of food. In fact, there were two more
complimentary dishes which were very nice. Next problem, however, was that the chicken
was very dry and overcooked making it a displeasure to eat...in fact I need to check
our last visit in December 2002 because I'm sure this was raised then. The rice was
acceptable, and the nans very good (keema and plain). The onion bhajees were also
So, back to the price...it was £30 per head, so no surprise there - even though some
of our members were outraged. I can understand that. Value for money? Not in my opinion.
If I want a meal as good or better than that in the area, I'd go to the La Hind or
to Maharajas every time before the Jaipur. But remember what I said at the beginning:
"the Jaipur is a high class Indian cuisine restaurant with a fantastic building to
look at from outside and well decorated inside with high ceilings to bounce the noise
around. You know that you will not pay less £25 per person." Well, make that £30.
The choice, as always, is yours...but I'm off to the Rose of India for my next curry
as it is still the tops...
Oh, and Carol, if you read this, remember to get me that job...