Love Indian food? Check out more from our recent Blanc NRI review below – Stone’s modern Indian restaurant
Please note: This article was written before lockdown. The restaurant has now re-opened with a take away service.
I’m a huge fan of Indian food and while I have no idea how many Indian restaurants I’ve frequented, it’s safe to say, it’s A LOT. So, believe me when I say the curries at Blanc NRI were the best I have ever tasted.
Usually, most Indian restaurants offer the standard affair; personally, I opt for a Jalfrezi, Achari or something with plenty of chilli. Don’t expect the usual at Blanc NRI. The modern restaurant, located just off the A34 on Stone Road between Tittensor and Meaford, offers nothing less than a fine dining taste explosion and every dish has a completely different flavour.
The seasoned chefs specialize in serving kebabs and curries ranging from the North West, The South, The Awadh Region and the streets of Delhi.
We were treated to a selection of starters so we could try a bit of each of the most popular dishes.
Chicken starters at Indian restaurants can sometimes be quite dry, but this was not the case here, especially with the crispy fried Chicken – 65 dish tossed in yoghurt and spices. It was bursting with flavour, rather than spice and will be a firm favourite with those who don’t like too much spice.
One of the things we always keep an eye out for in the starters list is paneer. This creamy Indian cheese soaks up the flavour of other ingredients. The Kaffir Lime Leaf Paneer Tikka was an unexpected change, with a gently spiced kacchumber and pesto, this starter is perfect for people who enjoy a milder taste experience.
It’s unusual to find crab cakes on the menu of an Indian restaurant, but there they were, and they had to be sampled.
They would have rivalled any Thai dish and immediately you could tell these chefs were not afraid to branch out into new flavours.
My husband opted for the Teknaf Tandori Drumstick, which had been grilled in a clay oven in a spicy tikka marinade. The rich smoky flavour came through from the first bite and the chicken was very tender. I decided to try the King Prawn Puri, being a prawn fiend, and I was pleased to enjoy some spice, although the sauce was described as ‘bhuna’, which I don’t usually find spicy.
Moving onto the mains, we sampled the lamb Kagahi Khurchan in crushed coriander and red chilli masala with peppers. I tend to stay away from lamb curries because previous experience has taught me to believe the lamb will be chewy and full of fat. I can honestly say there was no fat in this lamb and it was so tender that it was the definition of ‘melt in your mouth’. It is described as spicy and I’ve had much hotter curries, so I wouldn’t describe it has a ‘hot’ dish, but rather a dish with enough spice so you get that satisfying tingle on your tongue but you can still taste the accompanying flavours.
I would say that the dishes at Blanc NRI are less about adding in spices to make dishes hotter, and more about using spices to convey unique flavours and textures.
We also tried the Chicken Satkora, described as a ‘bowl curry’, which contained highly flavoured spices and Bangladeshi lime, but I found it very mild and perfect for those who want something adventurous, but not too hot.
The wildcard of the menu was the Lobster Moilee. If you’re taking someone special out on a date and you want to impress them with a showstopper – order this dish. The lobster meat was served in little balls between the shell, so there was no faff, and came in a rich coconut sauce flavoured with ginger. It sat on a bed of molgapodi mash, which had a different consistency to standard mashed potato – maybe it was the dry condiment which accompanied it.
We didn’t try the desserts because, as you can imagine, we were absolutely stuffed after all that, but we are already planning a return visit, so we’ll certainly try them then!
Overall, Blanc NRI offers an entirely different Indian dining experience, not just with its delicious menu, but with the modern, quality setting. Tables and booths are spaced out enough so you don’t have to listen to other people’s conversations, and you can sit back and enjoy the evening.
As with any fine dining restaurant, the prices reflect the quality of the food. A starter will set you back around £6, and mains are between £10-18 (the lobster being £18). A plain naan and rice came to £7.
Owner Husban Ahmed told me fears over the coronavirus had begun to affect business. People were opting to stay in, which is such an incredible shame because they are really missing out! If you long for the quality cuisine offered by Blanc NRI, but you’d rather eat a meal at home, you can grab a 15% discount on collection orders.
Blanc NRI is open 6 -11pm Tuesdays to Thursdays, 6 -11.30pm Fridays and Saturdays and 5.30 – 11pm on Sundays.
For more information visit www.blancnri.co.uk.
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