“ Address: 9-11 Magdalen St / Norwich Norfolk / NR3 1LE / England „
This review is for the Indian restaurant, the "Ali Tandoori", which is on Magdalen Street in Norwich.
I've been visiting this Indian for a few years, and I personally think it's one of the best in the city. The food and service have always been of a good standard, and the prices charged are reasonable. There are also some interesting pubs nearby, the King's Head offers a superb choice of real ales and ciders, Wetherspoon's Glass House is cheap and the Ribs of Beef offers a river view from its terrace.
The restaurant is reasonably large, probably seating around 60-70, and it's recommended to book if you're visiting on either a Friday or Saturday night. However, if you just turn up, they'll always do their best to find a table for you.
One of the advantages of waiting in the Ali Tandoori is that they have a small seating area and bar at the front of the restaurant looking out onto the road. You can enjoy drinks here, and they usually provide some free Bombay Mix whilst you're waiting, which is an enjoyable extra touch.
The papadums (that spelling looks wrong, but it's how they spell it, and they know more then me about Indian cooking!) and selection of chutney dips are good, and I can recommend the starters of chicken wings, chicken tikka and the onion bhajis!
I don't usually opt for very hot curries, but they do have a range of these, including vindaloo and chilli masala, but I'm always content with the baltis or bhunas. The chicken used in these curries is always tender and the sauces of a consistent taste, and they are clearly freshly made and piping hot.
Just as an indication of prices, although they of course vary, starters are around 3 pounds, curries are around 5-6 pounds, naan breads are around 2 pounds and rice is around 2.50 pounds. The rice does seem a bit expensive relative to some other Indian restaurants, but overall it's reasonable, around 10 pounds for a curry, naan bread and rice.
I've never had a dessert here, they are just the bought in ice cream type dishes, which are fine, but clearly this course isn't the specialism of the restaurant. The portions that are served of the curry and rice are normally more than sufficient anyway, and I've never had any complaints about the portion size.
In terms of drink, they have a selection of wines and the usual selection of soft drinks and spirits. These are all priced as would be expected at a restaurant, the draught Indian lagers available are Kingfisher and Cobra, priced at 2.50 pounds for half a pint, or 4.20 pounds for a pint. Most of the other lagers or ciders are in cans or bottles.
A friend once went in at nearly midnight and asked if they were still serving, and to my surprise they were more than happy to prepare the meals. Although they took all the order at once to start preparing it, they didn't make us feel rushed, so the meal was very enjoyable, and the staff started to eat a curry of their own at the same time. This did diminish the guilt of them staying open later just for us, but it's always great to feel welcome in any restaurant, especially if being rather awkward.
Their opening times normally are 12.00 until 14.30 and from 18.00 until 00.00 seven days a week, which are generously long hours. They also allow collections, but they don't do deliveries
The restaurant is easy to find, quite a wide frontage half way down Magdalen Street. They also have a web-site at http://www.alitandoori.co.uk/ with the full menu on if you want to check it in advance. Their phone number is 01603 632101.
Overall, I'd happily recommend this restaurant and have never had a bad experience. Customer service has always been friendly and the meals cooked well and with generous portions.