The right side of spice

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With heavy snow and plunging temperatures, it is lucky that I have a meal experience at all to write about in this review.

It was Saturday night and after spending most of the day snuggled on the sofa with trashy television, my partner and I decided to venture out.

After digging my car out of the snow, I thought that an Indian meal would be the perfect antidote to the freezing weather.

We headed - complete with winter coats and gloves - to Zara’s in Tickhill.

My friend lives, who lives in the village, is a big fan of the Indian restaurant and has often urged us to give it a try.

Zara’s website promises the cutting edge of Indian cuisine, combining traditional classic with contemporary favourites.

With that in my I had high hopes as we drove along the A631 from Maltby.

It was early evening when we arrived at Zara’s. I was expecting a pretty busy restaurant - surely with the snow people would stay at home in the warm? How wrong could I be,

It was around 6.45pm when we arrived and the restaurant was already bustling.

We ordered our drinks and sat in the waiting area while our table was prepared.

What struck me straight away was the varied dishes on offer.

Of course there were the classic dishes you would expect at any Indian - korma, bhuna and biryani, but then there were th e more specialist dishes.

Chuza anmol promosed chicken breast in cream tomato and dill sauce, while the lamb pasanda nawabi was lamb cooked in cream, ground nuts and mild spices.

Anyone who has read my reviews on Indian restaurants will know exactly what my partner ordered - chicken korma (£7.50) with plain rice (£2.50), which was a slight variation on his usual accompaniment of chips.

I on the other hand always try to be a bit more adventurous when it comes to food, so ordered Zara’s special with chicken (£10.90). All the menu said about the dish was medium spiced and strongly flavoured . I was intrigued so had to order it.

But before our main course we decided to share a mixed starter - seekh kebab, chicken tikka, lamb tikka and tandoori king prawn (£5.20)

The meat and prawn were cooked to perfection with the right amount of spice that got our tastebuds wanting our main courses straight away.

The only problem, we’d only ordered o ne, and it was so delicious we wish we’d didn’t have to share!

We were not disappointed with our main courses either.

My Zara’s special smelt lovely as it arrived at the table.

A shallow dish was filled with slices of chicken in a thick sauce full of onion, chilli and spices.

I tentatively had the first mouthful, wondering exactly how hot ‘medium spices’ would be.

I wasn’t left disappoined. The heat was perfect for my liking and I enjoyed every forkful accompanied with my fluffy pilau rice (£2.70).

My partner said his korma was creamy and full of flavour. The portion size meant he got two good servings of curry which left him pleasantly full but not bursting.

We also shared a naan bread (£2.50), which divided opinion. It came crispy which I prefer, however my partner preferred the base to softer and fluffier.

We passed on seeing the dessert menu, not wanting to spoil what we’d eaten.

After that it was back in the car to get home before the next wave of snow arrived.

by Sam Chetwynd