Queen’s Tandoori

May 7, 2012

Probably the nearest restaurant to my house is Barceloneta, the tapas bar on Queens Rd run by Leicester legends the Hussein brothers. It’s been there over 20 years and has all their trademark flair, yet the food tends to divide people and that’s partly why I’ve not had the chance to go for several years. Having seen a colleague give it a good review in the new issue of  Great Food and liking the look of the specials pasted on the window whenever I walk by,  I thought it was a good time to pop round and celebrate my birthday.

Sadly the “Sunday before Bank Holiday” phenomenon caught us out and and it was fully booked. So sorry then, but no review.

However, we did get into the neighbouring Queen’s Tandoori – a venerable place, recently taken over by new owners with a long track record in Leicester.   Now I was a regional newspaper restaurant critic  for five years and my heart used to sink slightly when asked to review an Indian restaurant. Not because I don’t love the food, its just that most conventional British/Indian/Bangladeshi restaurants manage to achieve a consistent level of reasonable food and it’s hard to find much of great interest to say unless something goes very wrong.  And besides, I think people tend to just find a place they feel comfortable with and that becomes their reference point for Indian food  – if you like the lamb bhuna at the Star of India, nothing I say about a similar place round the corner is likely to make much difference.

So if I don’t say too much about Queens, it’s in the belief it’s just not worth saying too much beyond answering the question was it ok? And the answer was, yes it was.  Prawn puree was very nice thanks, in fact the bread, like the chapatis we had later, was pretty impressive. A lamb tikka starter was also good.  Service was friendly, maybe a bit slow – they too were busier than I think they were expecting and some spillage on the table never got cleared up which was mildly annoying. A main course of black pepper chicken was well-spiced – fragrant, distinctive but not overpowering – though I think the menu, or staff,  might have made clear it came without sauce. Fortunately we had enough gravy  to wet it a bit from a paneer curry and an aubergine massala side dish. Both these dishes were fine  – aubergine was well  cooked and the paneer was good quality.

So not much more to say. A neighbourhood curry house producing good, enjoyable food in the style Brits have come to love. Doesn’t break the mould, may not convert you from your favourite place, but can be visited in confidence.




3 Responses to “Queen’s Tandoori”

  1. Ed said

    I agree with most of the thrust of your comments, most Indian restaurants are much of a muchness.
    Only three fall outside this in Leicester for me, the stupendous and consistent Kayal, the similarly consistent Khyber on Melton Road, and most times Paddys


    • riponia said

      Absolutely agree about Kayal and Paddy’s – both of which I’ve written about here. The Khyber I’ve never been to but I have heard good things from friends.


  2. Neil said

    Interestingly the Kyber tended to be the one place that would lure my old man down the M1, certainly more so than other bigger names on Melton Rd … top food, nice variations and a fab staff curry. That said, my last visit wasn’t all that special but everyone’s entitled to an off day.
    Would give the ever-improving Chutney Ivy a thumbs up too, particularly if you’re willing to look beyond the more generic ‘standard fare’ dishes.


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