REPEAT custom is often a sure-fire way of establishing the quality of a restaurant and judged on this alone, the Royal Jaipur Indian restaurant, in Brighton Road, Worthing, is a top-notch eatery (writes Dan Cain).
On Sunday evening, my girlfriend Natalie and I went to the two-time Worthing restaurant of the year for a delicious selection of curry dishes.
Restaurant owner, Ali, warmly greeted every diner upon their arrival, the majority of which he knew on a first name basis. This immediately created a warm, friendly atmosphere and it was good to see such a rapport between the customers and restaurant staff.
We began our evening by nibbling on some complimentary Bombay mix while we faced the tough task of deciding what to order. The menu is extensive, with all the dishes you would expect from a decent curry house, from masalas to baltis.
We are self-declared prawn purée fiends so our starter choice was a no brainer; if only the same could have been said for our mains. Indeed, this required a lot of thought so we ordered poppadoms with a pickle tray to aid us with our decision making. The mango chutney and lime pickle were particularly good.
The prawn purée did not disappoint, the pastry was light, and the tomato sauce was fruity and rich with a spicy kick. It reaffirmed just why we think this dish is the ultimate Indian starter.
We decided on a chicken balti, pistachio chicken, one portion of pilau rice, one keema naan and one peshwari naan for our main courses.
Both chicken dishes looked impressive and the ingredients fresh. The balti, topped with coriander, was of medium heat and incredibly tasty.
The pistachio chicken was rich and creamy, with a sweet taste not too dissimilar to a korma.
Even though the rice portion was quite small when shared between two, our eyes were still bigger than our bellies on this occasion, as we could not quite finish both naan breads.
Dessert would have been a step too far for us, although there were plenty of options for those of you with a sweet tooth.
When speaking with Ali after the meal it was clear he prides himself on providing good quality food at an affordable price for the people of Worthing. He even has a special menu he introduced because of the prolonged recession we are in, which includes a three course meal for under £10.
We will definitely eat at The Royal Jaipur again, while decoratively it may not set the world alight, the personable staff and fantastic Indian cuisine are definitely worth shouting about.
The restaurant boasts a take-away service that is hard to rival, with free delivery within a five mile radius and a 15 per cent discount on orders of over £15.
Phone 01903 201170.