Before I begin, this is a positive review.
When you hear the name Taj Mahal, what do you think of?
Ah yes. The name suggests grandeur, beauty, etc, etc. Well the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Taj Mahal in Lochgilphead are not only thousands of miles apart literally, but also metaphorically as one displays grandeur and the other displays “This is a restaurant?”.
Before I continue, I want to state now that the food and service is absolutely amazing. The restaurant itself is what would normally make me turn back and run. It’s a tiny place, with a couple of tables slotted in to maximise seating numbers. The outside building is almost nondescript; the toilet is a cupboard that has been converted; the bar, is a fridge with a poster above informing you that they don’t have an alcohol license but you’re welcome to bring your own. Had this not been a restaurant I’d eaten in many times as a child, I definitely wouldn’t have entertained it as an adult. How truly unfortunate that would have been!
We (my sister and I) ordered a mixed pakora with dip, which is our standard choice and a tandoori chicken was also ordered.
Our beautiful pakora was presented alongside a big plate of poppadums and a set of sauces and dips. We had: standard pakora sauce, mint raita, spiced onions, a creamy yellow sauce (it was yoghurt-y), mango chutney and then sour chilli relish. It was to die for! We’d driven two hours from Glasgow so I was helping pass the empty plates over when I realised I should have taken a photo!
Pictured is the food when it all arrived for us all. Next to my Diet Coke you can see my Chicken Tikka Masala, to the right my sister’s boyfriend’s Chicken Chilli Masala and to the front is the same but with lamb. Not pictured is my dad’s Lamb Madras, which was the same colour as my dad’s sweaty face by the time he was done!
The menu has every dish you can think of and you can tell it’s all made fresh. The food is served with nuts as per tradition but the friendly staff are happy to leave them aside if you ask.
Above is the Chicken Passanda – nice and mild!
My Tikka Masala – bold, beutiful orange with a good spice kick but a comfort to eat.
We ordered three naan breads – Garlic, Plain and Peshwari as well as fried rice and our drinks. The total bill was approximately £80 which was no more than £20 per person. It was an absolute feast of authentic Indian food. If you’re in that area, you should drop by. I highly recommend it, and beg people to forget their surroundings and focus on the food!
41 Lochnell Street
Tel: 01546 606296