On Saturday evening the other half and I decided to drag ourselves off the sofa and headed to Nu Delhi for dinner.
Now before you start thinking what a glamorous existence this doll must lead, flying half way across the world on a whim for dinner, it was actually to an Indian restaurant on Bruce Street in Belfast.
With modern décor, dim lighting and a lively atmosphere, at first glance Nu Delhi Lounge resembled a swanky wine bar until the aroma of spice reminded the nose it was indeed a restaurant.
Our table was booked for 8pm and we were seated promptly and did not wait long to order; prioritising we ordered a bottle of Vianto Pinot Grigio, reasonably priced at £15.95, and poppadoms to graze on.
The crisp poppadoms were coated in a red dusting, which tasted like cayenne pepper, and came with separate mint and mango dipping sauces and red onion salsa. The raw onion in the salsa was a little bit on the chunky side for my liking – my only gripe throughout the entire meal.
Since my intention was to review this restaurant, I was adventurous with my selections (well by my standards anyway) and ordered two courses never tried before and encouraged my dinner date to do the same.
For starter I had Chicken Banjara priced at £4.50, delicious pieces of soft chicken marinated in yoghurt, chillies and ginger, served with the best coleslaw I have ever tasted; a crunchy julienne of white cabbage, red onion (this time slithered to precession), tomato and coriander, with not a drop of mayonnaise in sight.
When the waitress came to collect our plates I quizzed her about the coleslaw and she revealed the vegetables were tossed in lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper – a dressing light enough to allow the vegetables to retain their crunch.
My other half ordered Lamb Taka Tak priced at £4.95 and received a small bowl with thinly sliced lamb fried with onions and peppers. I am not a big fan of lamb, but these delicately spiced strips tasted moreish and were not in the least bit fatty.
Continuing my journey of culinary discovery I ordered from the Head Chef Recommends list and choose Chicken Khurchan priced at £11.95. This was chicken pieces, mixed peppers, tomatoes and onion coated in a thick sauce that provided just enough moisture to soak up rice and naan bread.
I was blown away by the intensity of this dish where each mouthful had two distinct flavours; the first of juicy chicken with a hint of coriander and tomato, the second a burst of heat from cardamom and black pepper.
The spicing was perfect and when the waitress told me that heat wise it was on a par with vindaloo, I was pleased to have scoffed the lot with mascara still on my lashes and a dry nose.
The other half opted for the Punjabi Butter Chicken priced at £10.95 which was served in a sweet, and rich sauce.
On the side we had pilau rice and traditional naan bread priced at £1.95 each. The naan bread deserves a special mention, glistening with oil, light and soft it looked like it had just left the oven and was delicious.
Half way through our meal a guy started to sing and play the guitar. This live acoustic session was a nice touch and added to the ambience … and ensured there were no awkward silences as we literally could not speak because the food was that mouth wateringly good.
The waiting staff were friendly and well informed about the food, the portion sizes were just right and after two decadent courses we settled for a cocktail to finish our meal, for me a refreshing Strawberry Daquiri and him a Whiskey Sour.
His verdict was that with a sugar syrup the cocktail was slightly more sweet than sour, but when the bill arrived at just under 70 bucks for two courses each, a bottle of wine and two cocktails there was no way Nu Delhi could leave a sour taste in either of our mouths.