Its heart is pretty compact, with quaint bow-fronted shops and chandleries, pressed into a small waterside High Street. Also squeezed into the town are four Indian restaurants; a remarkable amount. But can the town sustain that level of Eastern cuisine?
Matt and Cat thought that they had scored a hat trick with Indian Restaurants in Cowes:
And then, another one pops up. Like Pokeman, Cat’s gotta collect ’em all and so she went out into the night to try out the rather clunkily named Medina Indian Cuisine and Kebab Pizza with some chums.
The modest-fronted venue did not have the glitz of Cowes Tandoori or Saffron, nor the lure of Richard Branson (like the cozy Bahar). However, it was pretty welcoming and Cat and her six friends were accommodated despite not having made a reservation. As Medina Indian Cuisine does not sell alcohol, punters are encouraged to bring in their own tipple and soon Cat’s friends had filled the table with plonk of various kinds. As Cat was driving she abstemiously had a glass of iced tap water.
Menus were perused amidst much chatting and nibbling of poppadums. The waiter managed to encourage food orders out of the noisy pals; Cat, feeling a bit pedestrian following a sip of her chateau tap, played right safe with chicken khorma and pillau rice, and a side dish of sag bhajee to add a splash of colour. The rest of the rabble chose a variety of dishes from lamb biriani, king prawn korai and moglai chicken.
The gang was on a bit of a tight deadline but neglected to make this point to the solitary waiter. However even if they had, because the food is all cooked to order, it would not have sped up the process. Still, the Pinot Grigio Rose was flowing so what did it matter?
When the dinners arrived, the waiter showed his true professionalism by getting each diner his or her correct meal without seeming to refer to his notes. Cat’s khorma looked deliciously creamy with the biggest chunks of tender chicken that she had ever seen in a curry! The multi-coloured rice helped mop up the rich, but delicately flavoured juices and the spinach side dish was a well-chosen complement to the main dish. Although Cat enjoyed her dinner very much her companions’ opinions were mixed, some said the food was too rich, and the king prawn korai was described as bland. However, The Cat was pleased with hers.
Pretty soon the theatre beckoned and those that hadn’t finished their dinners were left with the choice to leave the remains or gobble them down. Cat decided to take the third way and asked for her substantial leftovers to be put in a catty bag. The waiter was more than happy to oblige.
So, what to make of this accelerated dining experience? The service was friendly enough, the prices moderate and the food was pretty good. So, to paraphrase those fantastic electro-wierdies Sparks, this town ain’t big enough for four of us? Yes it is, just about!