Cheltenham,  Cotswolds,  Food & Drink,  Lifestyle

A strong contender for Cheltenham’s best Indian restaurant

So, you’re just about to get a kitten and puppy. Obviously you’re out of your mind, but should you choose that path, you need a good blowout the night before, right?! (before you’re housebound for months on end!). But where to go?

Steph’s been on a rather bland diet recently so we were feeling something packed with flavour, and a curry’s a safe bet for that! Cheltenham’s got no shortage of good Indian restaurants; Prithvi still sticks in my mind- years after our first visit as one of the best I’ve been to. But it was time for us to try somewhere new so we made our way to Mahal, on the Bath Road.

It wasn’t our first post-lockdown meal out, but it still feels odd to be shown to your table in a face mask. Thankfully, masks aside, the whole meal felt wonderfully normal (everything was being done correctly, but the staff were so good and professional that it didn’t really notice). The main dining room was lovely, and it looked like there were a couple of more private dining areas, perhaps for larger groups.

The menu’s not your standard Indian restaurant menu, and whilst there’s a few familiar names in there, a good portion of the menu needs a little narration from the great front-of-house team. We were spoilt for choice, but with a little guidance we got there.

Aside from poppadums Steph started with a the pan-fried scallops with chilli, garlic, pineapple pachadi and smoked pimento chutney, whilst I went for a bit of everything: The Tandoor-taster with chicken tikka, minced lamb and the biggest and sweetest king prawn I’ve ever had!

Both dishes were delicious and left us with very high hopes for the next course! For our mains we had a butter chicken in silky cashewnut, tomato and green cardamom sauce, and a chicken korigassi with curry leaves and peppercorn sauce, along with pilao rice and peshawari naan.

Both dishes were rich and so full of flavour; we couldn’t have been happier with our choice of restaurant and dishes! We also had some fantastic cocktails, although I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t get the details of them. Trust me though- they tasted as good as they look! We had a lovely evening- thank you to the great team at Mahal; we’ll be back! 

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