Papa J’s Review – November 2019
Big expectations at Papa J’s based on previous visits here plus a venue which has a very good reputation among the curry community locally and beyond Milton Keynes. First surprise was how few tables were occupied at 8pm on a Friday night which is not something I remember before. Then after sitting down we noted large A3 double sided paper menus which have replaced the normal book type menu. Bit of an odd one and to be honest makes it feel a little more down market. I assume these are use once as well so not very eco-friendly.
Friendly introductions from the staff who ran through the Tapas style options with a few recommendations which was a nice touch. We decided to go for 4 tapas portions for starters and then to follow a more traditional mix of mains, veg, rice and breads. A handful of poppadoms were supplied; the masala variety with salsa and herbs on the top made the poppadum a tad soggy underneath which I don’t think really works.
So then we waited and waited. After about an hour lovely warm plates appeared and then we waited and waited and the plates were then cold. The 4 tapas dishes then did arrive and cold plates were replaced with hot plates. The 4 dishes were very good, in particular Chicken 65 and Chilli lamb. Portions are larger than a normal starter so 4 dishes between 6 worked well for us.
Another wait and a repeat of the plate fiasco and then our mains appeared.
A little bit underwhelming to be honest, although the Lal Maas was
excellent, but only one of the two we ordered arrived so we had to remind
the staff one was missing. Rice and breads fine but the couple of Sag
dishes had a rather unnatural luminescent appearance, looked a bit odd I
thought. Dal Makhani was excellent.
Something has changed at Papa Js. Owner or manager maybe? The underlying food is still good but it took too long, too many front of house mistakes on a night when it wasn’t even very busy. It needs sorting if Papa J’s want to maintain their reputation in my opinion. We left feeling quite negative about our evening which is a real shame.
Common Curry – Above average but better value if you select wisely. Menu has changed from two years ago which, of course, means that prices have increased. A bottle of Cobra has gone up by 71p!
Certificate – None awarded.
Web site – http://www.papajs.co.uk
Summary – Surely this review puts the restaurant in a false table position. On another night the kitchen may have got their act together.
- Masala poppadum spicy but a bit soft when left for too long
- Nice selection of tapas for starters, particularly the chilli lamb
- Lamb Lal Mass main very good
- Dal Makhani tasty
- Nans cooked to some’s preference, tasty but thinner than normal
- Double sided A3 menu got a mixed reception
- Slow and haphazard service is the theme. One hour fifteen minutes for the starter. We do not expect several other groups coming into the restaurant after us to all get their food served before us!
- Some members didn’t really appreciate the introduction to the menu, trying the guide us to particular dishes without any real, useful description
- Liquid Saag on the chicken and Paneer. This didn’t work at all.