Formerly 'Taftan', under new managent - October 2011
First time eating in a long while. Ditching the lunchtime curry deal and expanding the Chinese range seems a bit weird. Standard lamb karahi was £5 and 2 chapati another £1. It was decent but has lost the quickly served Rice & 3 vibe - which is what you want at lunchtime. Hence the restricted deals that everyone goes for rather than a full menu. Well that's what I want anyway. I'd still get takeaway from here as it's very well priced, but popping in for a quick/cheap bite. Probably not. And as for the Chinese and Pizzas - well that's fine for those restricted to Halal food, but luckily I'm not - so I'll be leaving them alone.
First takeaway under new management. Rather good actually - good flavours, pretty oily but I'm not to fussed about that. Excellent samosa and bhaji, limited menu but in a good way. One to investigate further.
Chicken Karahi, Dall Tarka and Pilau RiceSeems like a short five monthssince our last post - and nearly 10 since we ate in. Taftan is still doing a lunchtime offer. This time it was 'staff curry and 2 roti' for £3.50 (pictured). I was pretty tasty actually - there wasn't much substance in the curry, but it had plenty of sauce to be mopped up with the 2 deliciously fresh roti. As well as being tasty it felt like the sort of food you could have regularly - being not too rich, fatty or salty. At £3.50 it's around the price of a chicken tikka kebab and in our view a viable, though only occaisional, alternative. If you're used to huge, rich curries that are full of meat and general 'stuff' you will be dissapointed. The whole experience was almost like having soup - though with excellent fresh bread to dip in, which really elevated the experience above the mediocre. Nice relaxed atmosphere too - though, as ever, we could do without the loud tele.
We stuck to the script and it paid off - Grills and Karahi. Don't be swayed.
Good and very reasonable takeaway, not quite as good as last time but that was probably our own fault for not sticking to the plan - remember grills and karahi!!! - A chicken tikka masala was thankfully nothing like the creamy coconut mess that's usually served and nor was the chicken 'tikka' - the word literally means so piece so actually it was tikka - but we've come to expect marinaded and grilled piece. The sauce was very sour, presumably made with yoghurt rather than cream and ghee. If you ordered it expectintg the near dessert version other places serve you'd be disappointed, I was pleasantly surprised. However, the chops and lamb karahi were predicably the stars, though the chops were much smaller than last time. 3 roti for £1 is a bit of a steal. - It's pretty basic, decently priced and tasty.
After a favourable review last week I thought I'd better try again to make sure (someone has to) and was rewarded with a really good takeaway experience. It turned out I only had access to their old menu last time - which has been expanded somewhat. The addition of chops and bhajis to their starter section is definitely welcome and they were both excellent. The chops so well cooked that even after transportation they were perfectly juicy having not over cooked in their own steam within the container as so often is the case - likewise the bhajis were still crisp - a great start. The curries were as good as before as were the rice and chapattis. I can't be bothered pointing out slight grumbles, it would be churlish at this price. It was good and very reasonable. I've no idea what the 'tikka masala' type dishes are like and have no intention of finding out. A slight word of caution is that the food is rather spicy, however the whole slit chillies are easy to spot and avoid if you don't want that level of heat. Oh, and the service was excellent and friendly. Taftan's an interesting place - if you catch it on the right day it's a real winner.
Takeaway - perhaps it's unfair to have this review here but hey ho - it's the same place after all. Basically if you can get over the 'eccentric service' - as so correctly described by an anonymous contributor below it's actually pretty good. The order was: 1 portion seekh kebab (1 chicken, 1 lamb), a portion of chicken tikka, 1 karahi lamb, an excellent pilau rice and 3 chapattis. This came to £12 - delivered to the door, which we think is pretty good. If you can actually get your order and address conveyed to the fella you may well like this place. The menu is limited but the food actually quite good if you stick to the basics. I dare say better than some of the more generic places that have been around for years making 20 variations out of the same base-sauce pot. And by that same rationale it's probably better to avoid the more generic 'Jal-Frezi' or 'Madras' type dishes that they appear to have chucked on the end of the menu for the sake of it. Karahis and the grilled/tandoori stuff seems the way to go.
Taftan is a bit of an oddity, it’s one of those Asian places that tries a bit of everything, which can make it off putting for those who just want Asian food. It advertises pasta and pizzas along with fried chicken and more conventional curries and kebabs. We partook of the £3.50 lunchtime offer of curry and rice. Chicken was the curry of the day and it was actually rather good – on the bone in a very authentic, ‘home-cooked’ tasting, sauce. The rice was just plain boiled. We also tried lamb parathas for £1 each, which was an eating experience somewhere between having a wrap, samosa and a pasty all at once. Not unpleasant but just a bit greasy, being strangely rich and yet pretty flavourless. Not particularly recommended. Ordering takeaways in the evening can be a bit of an ordeal over the phone, however they can also yield pretty good food if you stick to the karahi dishes and grills. Taftan is yet to gain our full confidence, there’s a bit of a hit and miss vibe about it, but we’re willing to persist for a while at least and see what it settles into. Currently it’s one of the better options around here – and it’s open all day.
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