Restaurant60 Stamford New Road
Tel: 0845 310 6831
Dilli is the original name of modern India's
Capital city, Delhi. Dilli is the first venture to open outside
London, in Altrincham, that focuses on the ancient art of Ayurvedic
cooking. What on earth is that? You may well ask, well it is a
regime of cooking originating in India which promotes health through
the principles of specific ingredients being beneficial in specific
ways. Therefore the food is a long way from the heavily spiced,
oily, salty gruel served in the majority of Indian restaurants
across the country. The Dilli team is handpicked by chef and
restaurateur Kuldeep Singh. Other restaurants under the same
ownership are Mela, Chowki, Soho Spice and 3 Monkeys , all in London.
Itís been my good fortune to eat at Dilli on four previous occasions and this view is based on the combined experience of these visits.
The restaurant is on Stamford Street, the main street in Altrincham town centre, within easy reach of the railway station and town car parking. In fact we have found that Tescoís car park is particularly handy for free parking, as long as Tesco donít get upset!
Externally the restaurant is unpretentious, and painted a strange brown colour, however internally its dťcor is more appealing, if rather subdued. It is a large restaurant and at lunchtimes we have never had an issue with walking in and getting a table. I would imagine in the evenings it would be advisable to book, given the quality and reputation and general popularity of restaurants in the area.
There are a variety of menus from full a la carte to special lunchtime menus, currently priced at £7.95 for 2 course and £14.95 for 3 courses plus additional snack and mini menus priced at around £5-6. I have eaten off the two course luncheon menu three times and for me this represents the best value for money. At Christmas a party of us ate of the three course Christmas menu (which was the the £14.95 menu, with £2 knocked off per head).
On previous occasions we had been given mini poppadoms and chutneys, however, on the last occasion this wasnít offered, so I guess they may be reflecting on their margins as time goes on and they establish themselves. I must comment on the chutneys, which are different to the usual selection in an Indian restaurant. They are individual and delicious.
The lunch menus offer a limited, but very acceptable choice of starters and main courses on both vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus. You can also mix and match across the two.
I have had at the following starters at various times Gilafi Seekh Kebab which is skewered minced lamb kebabs, quite spicy, served with a dressed vegetable side salad, absolutely delicious. Machchi Amritsari, which is Carom flavoured gram flour batter fried fish. A specialty of Amritsar, apparently. Others have also experienced Mixed Vegetable Pakora, a selection of crisp batter fried vegetables - aubergine, potato, spinach and onion fritters, served with date and tamarind chutney and chilli sauce. Reported as very good and a nice combination of spice and sauce. This was again served with a dressed vegetable salad.
I have to recommend the following main courses from personal experience. Murgh Tikka Lababdar, which is an approximation of a Chicken Tikka Massala that most readers will have encountered at some time in their lives, only this is better. It is well balanced in flavour, not nuclear red coloured and blended for taste not visual impact. It is a Tandoor oven grilled chicken tikka in tomato gravy cooked in the classical way, finished with copious amounts of butter and cream - not a slimmerís dish. Lamb Roghan Josh, which is a classical North Indian, Kashmiri, Lamb stew. It is served with a thin curry gravy and tastes sublime.
The lunchtime menus are served with Dal Makhani, a black lentil dhall, incorporating fresh tomato and garlic, finished with cream and served with a dollop of butter. Also, Steamed Rice, Jeera (cumin seed) Potatoes and naan bread.
In my opinion Dilli brings a new level of Indian cuisine to the North West and a welcome departure from the formula food served in the majority of Indian Restaurants. Itís a la carte menu is imaginative and appealing, including some interesting dishes Ė I quote from the menu:
Tandoori Jheega £ 11.95
Shell-on tiger prawns matured in creamed hung yoghurt marinade, aromatized with saffron, caraway seeds and fresh coriander, chargrilled to a golden hue.
Methi Machchi Tikka £8.95
Chunks of salmon flavoured with fenugreek leaves and clove in a yoghurt cheese marinade, grilled on open charcoal fire.
Lobster Pepper Fry 1 chilli £18.95
Fresh lobster tossed in a peppery onion and fennel masala with mixed peppers, tempered with curry leaves
Thaaravu Roast 1 chilli £ 12.95
Tender breast of duck, pot roasted with coriander, cumin and garlic finished with pepper powder, a dish from region of Chettinad famous for historical temples and food.
Khatta Khargosh £12.95
Boneless pieces of rabbit in onion yoghurt gravy, tempered with whole red chillies, coriander seeds and garlic, finished with raw mango powder.
I have also eaten a la carte and the bill, including drinks came to about £26 per head Ė quite a bargain.
There are a sprinkling of dishes you will recognise, but my advice is donít go here to sample a variation of your old favourite, go here to be seduced by a selection of innovative and tasty dishes that will be a completely new experience.
My verdict is exceptional on all fronts and must rate as one of the top Indian restaurants in the country.