Robert Kelly enjoyed his Indian experience at East Z East in Preston that he thought he was at the Taj Mahal.
They say the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and that is certainly the case with me.
After the stress and strain of exams and a long three-hour train journey across England from Leeds to Preston my wife came up with one of the reasons what I love about her - suggesting we go for a meal.
Carolyn picked me up at Preston train station and some of her friends from work had raved about an Indian restaurant in the town centre.
With the clock ticking down to just five months before the birth of our first baby she has had cravings for spicy Indian food and I was happy to just relax and feed my brain.
She told me that the restaurant was called ‘East Z East’ which brought back memories of the 1999 comedy film ‘East is East’ about ethnic integration in 1970’s Britain which initially put me off as it was one of the worst films I have seen.
However, yet again she knows how to change my mind about things by telling me about the high quality food and even a large naan bread which hung from a tree and stand.
We walked to the restaurant and I could have been confused for thinking that I was going to high-class nightclub from the outside as it looked dark and had a contemporary feel with a fish tank lighting one side of the room.
I was also impressed by a traditional Indian sultan opening the door for us which some people may think it cheesy but I thought it was really nice touch.
It was a Friday night and the place was so busy but we literally had 10 minutes to look at the menu before being taken to a table.
In that time I scrolled through the appetisers, main courses, and vegetarian options.
I also had time to put in two calls to my colleague Charlotte Wareing who was tired and dozed off to sleep on the Blackpool North train and needed to get off!
Anyway, we were showed to our table and even though you were sat close to other couples there was a bit of privacy with lighting on each individual table.
We ordered three poppadoms (55p each) as an appetiser which came with a pickle tray (£1.95) including sweet chilli sauce, pickles, mango chutney, sour cream sauce and onions.
I also picked the onion bhajis as a starter (£2.55) without thinking about my eyes were bigger than my belly.
After the poppadoms I was starting to feel full so I pleaded with Carolyn to try one of the bhajis which I drizzled with the sour cream sauce.
It was served with a side salad but the bhaji was massive and was not greasy like you get at some restaurants.
After the starters I thought about playing it with a straight bat as my editor Chris would say and opting for one of my traditional favourite of chicken korma (£8.95).
Anyway Carolyn told me to try something different so I opted for the Saag Murgh Handi (£8.95) which was fresh chicken and spinach cooked in a sauce with onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and spices.
She plumped for the Karahi fish and potato (£9.95) which was cod cooked with potatoes and we shared a pilau rice.
As promised, Carolyn got the family naan (£2.95) to share which was hung up on the tree and must have been 45cm long by 30cm wide.
My main course came in a sizzling hot pan and was a generous portion.
The herbs and spices had my tongue tingling and even though it was rated as medium spiced on the menu it was really hot for me and I did not leave anything on my plate.
The garlic family naan bread was big enough for the two of us and dried up all of my sauce.
Just in the interests of a fair restaurant review I tried Carolyn’s food hoping that the fish I was eating was not out of the massive fish tank.
It was not as hot as my meal but was full of flavour with lentils and spices which she enjoyed.
Our bill came to £45 but that included three rounds of drinks and I think you don’t mind paying for top-quality food.
Carolyn told me it was the best Indian food she had ever had which is praise indeed.
We will be going back in future and it will save us money from going on holiday to India for really spicy top nosh.
Name: East Z East Indian Restaurant
Address: Church Street, Preston, PR1 3BQ
Cuisine: Fine Indian food with old traditional favourites and more spicy adventurous dishes
Telephone: 01772 200084
Rating: 10 out of 10