I adore curry. Having lived on the ‘curry mile’ in Manchester for some time, I like to think I know a good curry when I taste one. Ali’s in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire certainly serves some very good curry, so Mr MAC and I decided it was the perfect venue for a Saturday night meal out.
We originally booked our table for 8pm however, we rang up earlier in the day asking to change our reservation to 7pm; this was not a problem at all. When we arrived, the restaurant was pretty quiet with several people waiting for takeaways in the bar area. This soon changed however, and by 8pm the restaurant was heaving. Ali’s is very popular with locals and people from farther afield alike; with some excellent reviews on tripadvisor I am not surprised that people are willing to travel some distance for a meal here!
The restaurant is nicely decorated with various bits of jewellery displayed, lantern light features and material hanging from the ceiling. Even the plates and table runners have the name of the restaurant on them which both Neil and I thought was a nice touch.
We started our meal with some poppadoms and a good selection of chutneys. The sweet chilli sauce had a really kick and the mango chutney was deliciously sweet. I must admit I didn’t try the spicy pickle…I am a bit of a wuss!
I don’t usually go for a starter when I go for a curry but at Ali’s, I really couldn’t resist! I had visited a few months earlier and my fellow diner and I were given a complimentary starter of an ‘alternative’ onion bahji – something that wasn’t on the menu and whisked up but the owner himself. I raved to my boyfriend about this dish for months so had to ask if I could have it again. The dish had a lot of texture to it and sweetness coming through with a hint of coconut, truly scrumpcious!
On to the mains. We both decided to try something different and opted for a dish from ‘Ali’s Recommendations’. I chose the Raj Shahi Khanna, spicy meatballs stuffed with garlic cheese covered with a medium hot bhuna sauce garnished with strips of fried potato. The meatballs themselves had a lot of flavour and the cheese just oozed out. The sauce definitely had kick to it but it was very tasty indeed. I was very pleased with my choice!
My boyfriend chose the Murg Mossala, fillets of marinated chicken cooked with spicy minced lamb and potatoes in a medium hot thick sauce. The dish was really tasty. The meat was tender and although the sauce was quite mild, it had a real richness to it.
We shared a house special fried rice, which contained lots of chickpeas, peppers, prawns and meat and we also had a naan each. I opted for my favourite, peshwari, which was nice and crispy in a few places but fluffy and light in others – just the way I like it! Mr MAC had a cheese and garlic naan which looked more like a mini pizza which was not something we expected! He said it was nice but he is unsure whether he would order it again.
After all that food, we were far, far too full for a dessert. We did manage to eat an After 8 each when the bill arrived washed down with a complimentary drink. Each time I have been to Ali’s I have been very impressed with the service. Not only will dishes be recommended or made to your taste, complimentary drinks and dishes are often offered. The service really is excellent and the owner really does appear passionate about the food he is serving – not something you see that often at your typical curry house.
Whether you live in Wellingborough or a bit of a drive away, I would recommend a trip to Ali’s – it really is a place worth visiting.
Service: Excellent AND included a free round of drinks!
Food: Very yummy and a little different to your average curry house
Bill total: £40.50 + tip (included two glasses of wine and a coke)
Marks out of five: 4.5