Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Ryde Tandoori, Union Street Ryde Tandoori, Union Street
Ryde Tandoori was one of Matt and Cat’s earliest reviews. They’ve been back a few times, and in the meantime readers have added a... Ryde Tandoori, Union Street

Ryde Tandoori was one of Matt and Cat’s earliest reviews. They’ve been back a few times, and in the meantime readers have added a mixed batch of comments. So M and C decided to return and see how Ryde Tandoori measured up these days. The original review from March 2006 is further down the page.

Ryde tandoori

December 2009 Review

You know how it is on a Sunday night. You’ve spent the afternoon burning out your retinas in front of the telly or computer and it’s time for tea. A glance at the forlorn contents of the fridge means that you have two options – lettuce soup (it’s part-way there, having turned to mush in its bag) or eating out. This is the situation that Matt and Cat found themselves in recently. The answer was a no-brainer.

Scouring the County Press Weekender for somewhere to eat, they caught sight of Ryde Tandoori’s advert for a Sunday banquet – three courses for £9.99. The decision was made and, buttoning up their winter coats, Matt and Cat headed off to Union Street.

Ryde Tandoori

The restaurant’s windows were steamed up when Matt and Cat peered in – and the reason was obvious; Sunday is a very popular night at Ryde Tandoori. Luckily it wasn’t so popular that there was no room at the Indian. The waiter offered a choice of tables for the pair and they plonked themselves down under a seraphic picture of a tiger swimming towards a water-lily. Taking their coats courteously, the waiter disappeared to hang them up, returning shortly afterwards with the menu. This put your reviewers in mind of their first visit when they remarked on the old-fashioned and now less-often seen practice of restaurants accommodating coats, and how enjoyable it was.

Banquet night is on both Wednesdays and Sundays, and is a cracking deal. For a relatively small reduction in menu choice diners are offered at a good price a very generous spread, including most of the main menu unchanged. The banquet night choice of starter is from only four dishes, but the main course could be any lamb or chicken dish chosen from the usual menu, plus a side dish, rice or naan. The final course is either a portion of vanilla ice cream or tea or coffee. Anticipating a decent feed, Matt and Cat weren’t worrying too much about the afters.

The food was without exception decent, generous in quantity and sensibly presented
Ryde tandoori

Matthew chose shish kebab for his starter and Cat opted for chicken tikka. Both dishes arrived with an almost indecent haste – certainly not the usual leisurely service that you get in some establishments. A neat pile of freshly shredded iceberg lettuce plus other salad offerings accompanied both dishes, all brightened with a lemon wedge for dressing. Both starters were excellent. The kebab was lean and tasty. The tikka was augmented by a generous topping of sprightly coriander. Nice.

The waiter was particularly attentive and, moments after Matt and Cat’s cutlery clattered to a halt on their empty plates, the crockery was whisked away. Other tables were also experiencing this level of service and the place was bustling with diners and staff – plus the occasional takeaway shuttling out of the building. Intimate it was not, but it all made for a lively and pleasant atmosphere.

Ryde tandoori

For her main course Cat had chicken moglai. Now, Cat has two particular and oft-rehearsed complaints about Indian restaurant menus. First, Cat does not like cooked fruit in her main meal, and will stamp her paw in indignation if the most meagre sultana slips onto her plate unannounced. Secondly, the menu small-print tends to identify a dish’s contents; but this doesn’t always make it easy to choose. Take this example from Ryde Tandoori’s own menu: ‘Chicken passanda: thin slices of chicken breast marinated with spices and lemon juice, then cooked in a creamy sauce dressed with almonds’, and compare it to ‘Moglai chicken: tender pieces of chicken breast cooked in a delicately spiced yoghurt and herbs, enriched with almonds and cream’. How to choose? It’s the same stuff, isn’t it? And, guess what? When it arrived, the moglai had mango in it! Where was that mentioned on the menu? What would be really helpful would be an accurate description of the content. However, despite the unannounced fruit the dish was plentiful and subtly flavoured, but the mango was pushed to the side where Matt appreciated it later.

By the way, speaking of menu accuracy, whilst reading the takeaway menu for the purposes of research for this review, the words ‘chicken organ’ floated before Cat’s eyes. Perhaps, for once, this was too much detail… or more likely this was actually an entertaining misprint of chicken rogan.

Matt and Cat’s bill
Banquet night special x 2: £9.98
Drinks: £4.40
Total £24.38

Matt’s chicken korai sizzled its way to the table in the classic hot metal bowl. Big hunks of green pepper competed for space in the balti bowl with hefty pieces of chicken – a tangy sauce held the lot together.

Included in the banquet’s price is a side dish. This was a great feature for meanies M and C as they usually share a side – this time it was one apiece. Cat’s dish of choice was mushroom bhaghee and M had saag aloo. They helped themselves to both, soon working their way through this banquet and enjoying every bit.

Having finished his own meal, Matt scooped up The Cat’s leftovers: rejected mango quarters, a couple of lumps of chicken and, with deft use of the remaining naan bread, he mopped the sauces with his eager hand. After the main courses were cleared a complimentary plate of very fresh orange slices arrived for a delicious and welcome palette-cleanser.

Finally, coffee was delivered – all included in the price – and M & C had a chance to consider how Ryde Tandoori had fared.

Overall the service could not have been faulted for speed and accuracy but it was pretty impersonal. As is sometimes the case with any customer/staff interface, whether it’s a waiter, hairdresser or manscaper, sometimes a little chat will help the client feel less processed and more like a human being. The food was without exception decent, generous in quantity and sensibly presented. Top of the list for commendation though must go to value for money: this banquet night would be hard to equal anywhere. Whether this deal persists through the summer months too remains to be seen, but even at the standard prices the Ryde Tandoori is not the most expensive offering on what is fast becoming a very well-populated Indian restaurant market in Ryde. Matt and Cat recommend it.

Below is the original review from March 2006.

For a cold Monday evening in March, the Ryde Tandoori was doing brisk business. Matt and Cat, in their dedication to this eating out diary, were amongst the clientèle – having braved the night’s windchill.

The staff were attentive and friendly. The restaurant – a pleasingly traditional curry house which has eschewed laminate flooring and bright lighting – is clean and well laid out. There were no surprises on the reasonably-priced menu and, like any good Indian restaurant, a plentiful choice of well described fare. After the diners were allowed a few moments to catch up with their friends, orders were taken and poppodums produced. A few more poppodums than diners were on the plate, which betters the meagre ration offered in some restaurants.

The main course arrived in a timely manner. Cat felt compelled to have her favourite chicken moglai balti; the dish contained generous pieces of meat served up with a delicious creamy sauce. Matt’s chicken tikka bhuna was well presented with a nice garnish. Perhaps not the most generous of portion sizes but a pleasant meal nonetheless. Matt and Cat’s companions chose prawn korma and, for one less adventurous diner, roasted vegetables and egg fried rice.

Today such old-fashioned service is noted and appreciated.

When the party rose to leave, almost before they were on their feet the swift and smiling staff brought from an inner room their coats and scarves – much needed on this chilly night. Each item was delivered to the right person. At the door, a waiter was on hand immediately to open the door and wish a courteous goodnight. Small touches, which might have once been taken for granted, but today such old-fashioned service is noted and appreciated.

Ryde Tandoori is a classic Indian restaurant which has no pretensions to be a trendy nightclub or wine bar. The food is good and the staff are welcoming. No wonder the restaurant has been established for many years – and seems likely to be there for a good few years yet.

  • PAUL MULLERY says:


    I have eaten here a few times and found the food to be good quality and value for money. It is with regret I must add a sour note to the latest visit.

    Yesterday our son made a surprise visit from the mainland and we decided to have a curry and watch the England match on TV. I took three Tesco curries from the freezer but my wife thought we ought to splash out and have a curry from the Tandoori. I ordered them by phone at 6.30pm and they said it would be ready in 30 minutes. I arrived at 7pm and the place was packed out. I had to wait a further 10 minutes, paid just over £27 and left.

    When we opened them the sauces were more like runny soup than sauce. My son and I had ordered mogli chicken but we both agreed it tasted no different to a korma. The chicken pieces were also rather sparce. It was as if they couldn’t cope with the orders and used some leftover sauce and diluted it for two portions. Very disappointing and we wished we had used the Tesco ones as the chicken content is far superior for £2 than the price paid at the Tandoori.

  • anna says:

    always a darn good curry takeaway from here, big portions, not greasy, garlic naan is out of this world! banquet is such good value. only gripe is its often hard to understand the guys taking the orders over the phone.

  • wasim says:

    i love it ther it is facinating i love the chicken dansak and the chicken tikki biriani I LOVE IT OVER THER IT IS BETTER NOW IM THER BEST CUSTERMER!i go ther every day if uthink its bad ur wrong

    oh and im freinds with the staff and ther actually better when you get 2 no them better

  • Suzannah says:

    Staff very rude and made us feel very uncomfortable. Food luke warm and when we complained about this it was taken away and came back microwaved! meals all came at different times and we felt like we had to prompt them for everything even though they were so rude that we almost felt afraid to ask. The worst thing of all is that after we had to practically complain about everything (and you know your evening is ruined after you have had to say something even once) they told us to get out! It was extraordinary and the worst restaurant experience i have ever had. The other thing i really noticed is that because it was a Wednesday and meant to be ‘deal’ night we were like 2nd class citizens, i actually felt like they resented us for only buying the offer they had advertised! All in all it was TERRIBLE. There are lots of other curry houses in Ryde so why go there for such bad service and food? ive eaten at them all and the only other place half as bad (with a similar attitude especially on deal night) is the one is east cowes called Purple Mango, they actually told us we had had enough to eat! All the others have been ok. and some great.

  • Steve says:

    Three and a half hours for three courses, had to prompt for everything, never ever again ! OK it was Mothers day, why do I get dragged out for these occasions ? Maybe it would be better on a normal day, but I’m not going to chance it.

  • Rob says:

    Always had good service be it take away or sit down meal, good service attentative staff.

  • Trencherman says:

    In terms of quantity the banquet nights still seem popular, but far less so on other days. The reason Matt and Catt found their meals differed from the written menu is that, in my long experience of eating here, they change the ingredients at will and never more so than on banquet nights when the contents of the dish are reduced (in terms of meat) and more expensive ingredients are swapped for cheaper ones. You know the expression: there’s no such thing as a free meal!

    I still won’t be going back to Ryde Tandoori because the quality varies depending on the chef and the service is still unfriendly and at times even intimidating. The new banquet nights (Sunday and Wednesday) at the Cinnamon down the road are far better and only a £2.50 more expensive a head.

  • D says:

    Andrew, Cinnamon are affiliated to Tamarind in Newport but have no affiliation to Monsoon. Cinnamon and Monsoon are two very different establishments with different staff and different menu’s. Personally I rate the three Indian restauarants in Ryde – Cinnamon, Ryde Tandoori and Monsoon in that order but as with everything it’s down to personal taste. Their special offer menu is cracking value for money though. I went along on a Sunday a few months ago enticed by the sandwich board outside and the bargain price promised. I wasn’t disappointed with the quality or quantity of food in fact it was very nice and a definate good bet on a Sunday night. The waiter was still surly as usual though.

  • Charlie Nash says:

    Sadly this place does seem worse these days and people are voting with their feet. Just passing, there are many free tables. We don’t go there anymore as the last two times the service was poor and the food not particularly good.

  • Trencherman says:

    Ryde Tandoori used to be good – I have been going there for about 7 years BUT recently the new intake of staff are very unpleasant, with one or two of the younger ones full of attitude. The standard of the food is variable to say the least; on one recent occassion we had part of the meal comped as it was awful. I have also been ill after eating there recently and can say I WILL NOT BE RETURNING..

  • Jay says:

    I have eaten here for years,both as a takeaway,and inside.I am known for being very fussy about my curries,I do not like them too salty,or over cooked rice etc.Always find the food here to be great,and would recommend it to anyone.Staff are very good also.

  • Andrew says:

    Having just returned from having a meal with a few mates, I can say its been one of the best curries I have had for a while. Plesant taste with an atmosphere to match.

    Waiting times are reasonable and you are not hurried along like in some places. Yes I would go there again and the my mates also all agreed that it was a good place to eat.

    As for the Cinnamon comment and I may be wrong but was given to understand that they are owned by those that run Monsoon.

  • DRFox says:

    Chaz and Stuzer while I would too be horrified at pink chicken, it is not usual to have poppadoms without the side bits. If you order poppadoms they come with it unless you specifically ask them not to be brought. It’s a bit ordering a ploughman’s lunch and being annoyed that it came with pickle.

  • The Billo-bob says:

    Please ignore the nasty comments on this place, we went there due to all the comments hoping they wern’t true.
    To our delight it is still a great place to eat nice curries as-well! I would recomend this to anyone in a curry mood.

  • D says:

    I’m going to keep this simple – the food is very good – nothing out of the ordinary on the menu here. However the service is usually c.r.a.p. Take my word on this – use them as a takeaway but don’t eat here. In fact – Cinnamon just down the road does just as good a takeaway if not better so just use them. PS. Monsoon is even worse!

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