Having to make an on-the-spot decision because my original choice of starter wasn’t available resulted in one of the highlights of our night at the Viceroy.
A favourite of mine and my partner Jack, the Viceroy Indian restaurant in Leyland never fails to impress us, from the service to the food.
And our visit on a busy Saturday night was no different – only this time, we made a conscious effort to choose meals we’ve never had before.
We normally got for the chicken chat and mushroom chat to start with (deep fried breads with the main ingredient mixed with onions, tomatoes and peppers in a spicy sauce).
This time, however, Jack opted for the king prawn butterfly, and I went for the kakra chat, which comes with crab meat.
Unfortunately, they were all out of crab, as the kakra chat is a popular one with the takeaway crowd, so I had to make a last-minute decision to try the lamb chops.
The prawn was spiced and deep fried in batter and bread crumbs, and was tasty, but not as good as our old favourite chats.
The lamb, on the other hand, was a real winner.
It was cooked in a tandoori sauce and was really succulent and mouth-watering. Definitely one to go for in future, although I’m still keen to try the crab when that’s available.
The mains were the best part of the meal though.
Again, we went for curries which we wouldn’t normally consider, having tried and enjoyed a selection of both the classic and specialities that the Viceroy has to offer in the past.
This time, both of our choices came from the chef’s specialities section of the menu.
Jack stuck with the fish theme and ordered salmon tikka salsa, which is cooked in a mustard and fenugreek sauce with potatoes, peas and tomatoes.
He said the salmon was cooked to perfection - slightly soft in the middle, and the meat just melted in the mouth.
The sauce was quite refreshing and not at all heavy, and was a good alternative to traditional hot or creamy curries.
My Viceroy thawa consisted of chicken and lamb tikka, garlic chicken and a lamb chop ‘prepared with the finest herbs and spices’, according to the description.
I’m not entirely sure what spices and herbs were used, but I can tell you that it was one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had.
The sauce was deep red and brown in colour, and had pieces of onion and peppers in it, which created a good texture.
It was of medium strength so was ‘warming’ without being too spicy, and was extremely tasty. The chicken tikka and garlic chicken were my favourite parts, and each had their own distinctive flavours.
The lamb was also pretty good, but I don’t normally choose red meat so by the time I’d had lamb chops for the starter, I preferred to eat mainly chicken for my main.
We had rice and peshwari naan bread, which was sweet and doughy, washed down with a few beers and whiskey and cokes.
The restaurant was really busy but the service was excellent, and the food was probably the best we’ve ever had there.
The Viceroy opened the same year that I was born, and seems that, like me, it just improves with age!
The bill, with popadums and an aloo gobi side (potato and cauliflower in a light sauce), came to around £60.