Farewell Fadiq

For the last few months, I have been regularly enjoying a curry at a local Indian Restaurant. But it is to be no more.

As we pulled up outside the other night, we were disappointed to see the windows covered with newspaper. So no more can I enjoy what I felt was by far the best Indian cooking I have found for miles around. And when I say “miles”, I mean it. With a friend, I have travelled extensively to sample curries. It is an hours drive to one of our favourites, “The Sultan” in Lancaster, which, housed in a converted chapel, has a traditional menu and a wide range of fruit drinks (but no alcohol).

East Lancashire, also about an hour away, has also been visited on several occasions, and I have a favourite in Windermere, even further away, which is reached by climbing a fire escape staircase to the first floor of an old building, is cramped and crowded, but is exactly the kind of curry house we remember from 20 years ago.

The other winter, we surpassed ourselves. “Diva”, at Centro Commercial Playa Flamenca, Torrevieja, (near Alicante in Spain), was featured on Channel 4 “living the dream” which documented the owner moving from Scotland to Spain and setting up his “dream restaurant”. The programme made a hero of the female “Maitre d'” from Liverpool, and we were happy to observe her at first hand. A two hour drive to Birmingham airport, followed by a £9 flight to Murcia by low-cost airline and a hired car was all that was needed to sample their fayre. The pickle tray was disappointing, but the tandoori mixed grill was both delicious and immense.

I am looking out for another cheap flight deal, in order for us to visit “Restaurant Real India in Villamartin”… a few miles from “Diva”… I ate there while on a family holiday and it is just incredible… a British chef who studied at “cordon bleu” in Paris, and her Indian husband who acts as head waiter. Popular with the golfing set (as it is by three courses) the food is excellent. They also have probably the best possible email address in the world: cu@rri.es

Much closer to home, Indian Ocean opened in Southport a year ago, but, hidden on a side street, was never busy and although they established a growing home delivery trade, it seems that it is not viable to remain open. The food was always tasty, and the Naan bread was as large as the table-top! Add cold “Cobra” lager, together with excellent personal service from Fadiq, the owner, and you can see why I was a fan.

Disclaimer: Regular after dinner drinks “on the house” may appear to have been bribery for a good review…………..

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