Friday, 31 July 2009

November 2007 - Sherpa Kitchen, High Street, Esher

(01372 470777)

This time we had starters rather than desserts

Starters: Tekero Squid (tempura); a salmon dish whose name we can't remember; Duyalu (a potato cake with lentils)

Main: Gawlar Chicken; Pork Masu; Mayalu Lamb; with rice, plain naan and Gulyo Roti (like a Peshwari naan)

Drinks: House red; Singha beer

Cost: £60.00, inc service

The squid was well-cooked and tasty, the salmon delicate and fresh, with the potato cakes being earthy and satisfying. Subtle but deep flavouring.

Similarly, the main courses were well-balanced with a delicious depth of flavour. Although we chose dishes in the 'one chilli' range, Lyn and Chris in particular still found the heat more than enough.

The Gulyo Roti and naan were very good versions of their kind.

Altogether, a delicious meal in charming surroundings, somewhat reminiscent of a long house with oriental touches liek Buddha heads.

Our rating: FOUR STARS - good value for money

25th October 2007 - Simply Greek, Fir Tree Rd, Epsom Downs

Tel - 01737 373776

We opted for the meze, as a way of gauging the mettle of the kitchen.

Starters: Olives, houmous, tzatziki, taramosalata, loukanika (sausage), lounza (slices of pork loin) and fried haloumi with pitta bread

Main: Keftedes (lamb meatballs), chicken kebab, kleftiko, stifado, Greek salad and rice

Desserts: Galaktoboureko, ice cream

Drinks: A pleasant house red for Lyn, Mythos beer for Paul and me.

Cost: £71.50 plus service

Nice decor - interesting paintings of beach scenes. Background music - very Greek but relaxing.

The starters, while standard meze fare, were good of their kind - and they all went. I enjoyed the marinated olives.

All the main courses were vert tasty, although Lyn found the cloves in the stifado overpowering. The kleftiko was a generous two lamb shanks of melt in the mouth meat every bit as good as Mr Roberts' lamb in Dolgellau. The Greek Salad was good and fresh. Paul & I enjoyed the galaktoboureko (long a favourite from our visits to Crete) and half of Lyn's ice ceam. The ice cream was smooth and tasty - just a bit too much for her after all that food.

The service started well; the waiter was helpful and friendly. But it became a bit lax later, leaving us waiting for 10+ minutes to orderour desserts and there was some trouble figuring out our bill.

Our rating: FOUR STARS

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

28 Sep 07 - Le Raj, 211 Fir Tree Road, Epsom Downs

This was our first official 'Nosebag'. Just the three of us; Chris, Paul and Lyn.

We had no starters.

Our main courses were:-
  • Murg-e-Muntazan (chicken cooked with medium spices, cardamom, fenugreek, yoghurt and parsley)
  • Murg Tikka Masalla
  • Murg-e-Jafrany (chicken with onion seeds, cumin seeds and honey)
  • With saffron pilau, a plain nan and a Nairol nan (coconut, sultana and honey)

For dessert:

  • Gulapjam (a Gudjarati dessert - milk dumplings in honey)
  • Sorbet (raspberry and mango)
  • Kulfi (pistachio)

We drank - 2 halves of lager and a bottle of Bangla beer.

Total cost: £74.00 plus service

Note: The chefs at Le Raj make a point of not using the normal food colourings that many Indian restaurants use to make their dishes look 'appetising' to their customers.

All three of us agreed that this set a formidable standard for future outings. Each dish was delicious. The Tikka Masalla was considered by us all to be the best version of the dish we had ever tasted. The Muntazan, however, was the outstanding dish of this selection; a subtle blend of spices and yoghurt that set the taste buds tingling happily.

Even the popadums were far fresher and crisper than is usual, with an excellent selection of chutneys. The nan were light, crisp and delicious. The deserts were fine; the sorbets were especially wonderful, with the raspberry being extremely fruity and the mango containing luscious fruit. The Gulapjam reminded me of a soft treacle pudding. The kulfi was a good version of its kind.

The service was discrete and efficient.

Our Rating: FIVE STARS

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Start up post - 28 July 2009

Hi anyone who is reading this - my, but life must be dull!

My intention - and I'm full of good ones - is to post past Old Horses' Dining Club reviews first, then add the more up to date ones. I may even manage to get them up to date before our next foray.

So... I bet you're wondering 'What the f*** is the Old Horses' Dining Club and anyway who are the Old Horses?' Don't blame you, but it's simple really.

The Old Horses' Dining Club is a group of friends, mostly based in Espom, Surrey, who from time to time get together at a reasonably local restaurant for a good meal and then rate it according to our own criteria.

The Old Horses are Chris (that's me), Paul (my partner of almost 25 years), Lyn (our next door neighbour) and Hazel, a friend who pops by occasionally. We also, once in a blue moon, have a guest Old Horse.

Why Old Horse? A long and rather silly story, which I may go into one day.

None of us are gourmets, we just like a decent meal and are prepared to eat our way through lots of restaurants to find it!

Watch this space.