Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Matt and Cat enjoy a good takeway curry. That’s not to say that they don’t like to eat in too: sitting in glory under...
Shahanaz, Lake

Matt and Cat enjoy a good takeway curry. That’s not to say that they don’t like to eat in too: sitting in glory under some recessed lighting and playing with the chutneys can be the start of a really good evening. But sometimes only a takeout will do, and their top choice for this has traditionally been Balti King in Wootton because of its excellent food and proximity to home. However, if they have a criticism of the place it’s the fact that it is closed on Mondays – albeit for a well earned rest.

So, what to do when the curry-munchies overwhelm on a Monday evening? Find a suitable alternative, that’s what. Eager to try somewhere un-reviewed Matt and Cat stopped off in Lake High Street, which offers takeaway food from all continents. Representing the subcontinent is the Shahanaz, a modest-looking restaurant and takeaway.

Matt and Cat found a convenient large car park behind the parade of shops, and, strolling round to the Shahanaz wandered through the door. Immediately a smiling member of staff came forward and welcomed them in, showed them the menu and explained a bit more about what the dishes were. Matt chose a garlic balti tikka, which came with rice included for £8.95, and Cat chicken passander – rice was for some reason extra for that, making it a comparable £9.05. Pushing the boat out they picked a mushroom bhaji side dish to share, and when the bill was totted up they were pleased to discover that there was a 10% discount for takeways when collected.

Matt's garlic chicken balti

Matt’s garlic chicken balti

Settling to wait on the slightly spartan bench provided, Matt and Cat found a moment’s distraction in some magazines which might have been passed down from a local dentist’s waiting room as too old. They then had a look around the surroundings – this small shop, as well as a takeaway, also provided a sit-down restaurant area in a comfortingly traditional style, with thick carpets and sparkly chandeliers. No laminate floors here.

Before very long the meal arrived, along with the pleasant surprise of some complimentary poppadums. Aware of the longish drive home, your reviewers wasted no time in whisking their supper away. They need not have worried. Well packed, when they served it out the meal was still very hot. Furthermore, it was delicious. Cat’s passander was tasty and enjoyable, the creaminess of the sauce tempered with lemon. Cat noted that the chicken pieces, though numerous, were smaller than those from the Balti King.

Matt’s garlic chicken balti was a really impressive dish. Not often seen on a menu, this creation really delivered what it promised; with plenty of sliced garlic giving the meat a generous, sweet flavour without a hint of the bitterness or acrid taste of over or under cooked garlic. Topped with fresh coriander, the balti was also infused with a fresh, lemony taste that dispelled any danger of over-richness. Really very good indeed. The mushroom bhaji was similarly commendable, with freshly-cooked mushrooms and chopped herbs giving the highly-flavoured side dish a really good texture that complemented the main dishes well.

An unassuming establishment which really shines in delivering excellent service and top-quality food. Matt and Cat give the Shahanaz a strong recommendation.

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  • chris

    17th June 2013 #1 Author

    Had a very disappointing take away meal from Shahanaz recently. My Tarka Dall tasted like the lentils had been burn before the addition of the other ingredients. Pilau rice also contained some burnt bits in. My Wife had a King Prawn Bhuna which she said the prawn were tough and rubbery. Also wasn’t impressed by being charged for home delivery when we live no further than Shanklin as the crow flies(Winford).
    Not a great experience and one which i will not be repeating anytime soon .

    Reply

  • Graham Robinson

    25th April 2012 #2 Author

    We live quite near the shahanaz, this is our favorite eating place, the staff are very friendly and polite. The food is of high standard and presentable. Would defiantly recommend the shahanaz for a pleasant and enjoyable evening out. ten out of ten for us

    Reply

  • Darren

    8th April 2011 #3 Author

    Hi I regularly eat in (or take away) from Shahanaz, whilst it is not my favourite Indian (that is Monsoon in Ryde), it is nearer to home & work for me; the prices are very reasonable and the food is almost always of a high standard (except once when the normal chef had gone on holiday)

    My missus likes the Korai Chicken (so do I) & their Prawn Puri is normally pretty good too

    Reply

  • Dave

    16th May 2010 #4 Author

    We don’t like it.

    Reply

  • Dave

    16th May 2010 #5 Author

    Please note that Bahar in Cowes has just one star for hygeine out of five.

    Reply

  • Matt

    16th May 2010 #6 Author

    One of the most notable Indians where you bring your own is the Bahar, in Cowes. We like it.

    Reply

  • Alice

    16th May 2010 #7 Author

    Hi, are there many restaurants on the IOW where you can BYOB, especially around Sandown? I hate to spend so much on a bottle off the wine list knowing it only cost a few pounds, when I know what I like myself and could bring it along. And, if so, what do they charge for corkage, if any? Appreciate reply, thanks.

    Reply

  • Lorna

    16th May 2010 #8 Author

    Hi, but do they charge corkage? Ta.

    Reply

  • chris

    15th February 2010 #9 Author

    Another bad Indian restaurant, don’t bother

    Reply

  • Kay

    7th September 2009 #10 Author

    We live quite near the Shahanaz and have eaten there many times. We have never had a bad meal. It is best described as a “take away where you sit in”, mainly because the decor and the carpets are somewhat shabby. At busy times you can wait a while to be served, because the takeaway side of the business is so popular. Don’t let any of this put you off though. Elegant dining this is not, but it is consistently good, honest Indian food, served with a smile. They have no drinks licence, but you can take your own alcohol which cuts down the cost considerably. (There is a Co-op about 3 minutes walk away for booze.) For a casual meal when you have plenty of time to relax, this place is hard to beat. Family friendly too.

    Reply

  • John & Kathy

    8th February 2009 #11 Author

    We visited the Shahanaz in November 2008 for a takeaway. The place looked promising as there was a queue. However when we got home the food was disgusting and completely inedible – overcooked chicken (sort of shredded and tough) the rice was old (and cold),
    the two “Curries” tasted exactly the same with bland sauce that had never seen a fresh spice! A total waste of time and money – never again.

    Reply

  • neil julie helen chris bullock

    20th August 2007 #12 Author

    Just returned from IOW and having tried the excellent Ko Sing on M&C’s recommendation we next tried this Indian restaurant and were very pleasantly suprised with the quality of the meals. But we do think it’s time to update the entrance hall carpet. We would hughly recommennd the Shahanaz.

    Reply