The Capital Durham Indian Restaurant

Here’s a promo video for The Capital Indian Restaurant in Claypath, Durham. I’ve been there many times and I’ve never had a bad meal yet, but be sure to book yourselves in as it gets very busy, especially at weekends.

Directly above The Capital you’ll also find Palm Sugar.

We called in on the way back home after a day in the town. The rain had been incessant, and it was good to get into the dry for a bit. Surprisingly for the time of day (7pm), the restaurant was empty, so we took the chance to get fed up before the rest of the Friday crowd turned out. The Capital, in my opinion, is the best Indian Restaurant in Durham. Tonight that was proved beyond doubt. Mrs Durham Food and Drink hadn’t been before, but she was only moderately impressed the last time shw came out for an Indian meal, at the Spice Lounge, so this was a new one on her.

We started with Poppadoms and pickles. We asked for two plain ones, when they came there were three. The pickles are the standard four, lime pickle, mango chutney, onion relish and mint raita. Usually, the one Indian Restaurants get horribly wrong is the lime pickle. I’ve tasted some pretty ropey attempts in the past. The Capital do the definitive lime pickle. It is absolutely superb! I started raving about it straight away. Mrs DFD agreed. But there was more to come.

capital durham indian restaurant

For the mains, we selected Balti Special Garlic Chicken and Chicken Nawabi, with a Vegetable Pilao and Peshwari Naan. The Chicken Nawabi was the most fantastic taste i’ve had at an Indian Restaurant for a long time. Creamy and delicate, with huge pieces of chicken. The Balti chicken was subtle on the garlic, but enough to give it that distinctive kick. Delicious stuff this. A huge peshwari naan bread mopped up the remnants, with a Cobra Beer each.

The Capital Durham lived up to my billing as the Best Indian Restaurant in Durham City, bar none. The service was as efficient as ever, with the waiters always there to get the order in and food delivered to the table as quickly as possible, but without hovering over you. Food quality was superb, with subtle spicing leading to a fantastic dining experience.

Price was only £34 for two, which included £6 for the two beers, so a bit of a bargain really.


Durham Food and Drink Ratings
First Impression : 9, Service : 9, Food : 9, Value : 9

capital durham rated nine

The Capital Durham
69 Claypath,
Durham,
County Durham
DH1 1QT
Phone : 0191 386 8803

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The Spice Lounge Durham Indian Restaurant Review

The Spice Lounge Durham is a little Indian Restaurant that we’ve been going to for years, but it’s hidden away behind the Market Place, so you have to know where it is or you’ll probably be looking for it for weeks without finding it. It’s tucked away in a little alley, down between the Durham Indoor Market and St. Nicholas’ Church. It’s long and narrow and you just wouldn’t expect to find it there. The entrance is through a small door, and once inside the little foyer, with it’s ‘fish-tank-esque’ window, you are in front of the bar area. Once again, we hadn’t booked (need to get that sorted out), but after only about 5 minutes wait they found us a table. Hot diggety, no trouble.

spice lounge entrance

The waiters are all smartly turned out in trousers and waistcoats and are very attentive, getting our drinks sorted out as priority before taking the food order. We stuck with Cobra Beer (mega bottles) and a house White wine. We also got complimentary glasses of water just in case the food was too hot. The menus are nice and clean, bound stylishly and are well laid out, making choosing our meal very easy. Starting with poppadoms and pickles, they were plentiful and tasty, and as usual, we made a mess of the nice crisp table cloth. Sorry guys! Pickles were fresh and zingy. I always gauge the pickles by the Lime, and this was sharp and spicy without tasting of soap like some Indian Restaurants seem to serve (why is that?).

spice lounge staff

The girls played it nice and mild, ordering the Lamb and Chicken Pasanda, done in fresh cream with yoghurt, cous-cous, almonds and cashew nuts. Us blokes went for the ubiquitous Chicken Tandoori Masala and I decided Chicken Tikka Jalfrezi was the thing for me. Rather than the food coming in little bowls over a candle powered warmer, the meals are in dishes, like soup-bowls, which is a bit unusual, but cuts down on the table clutter. The Jalfrezi came served as a sizzler, so the waiter spooned it in while balancing the sizzler and plate precariously on his arm. It looked impossible to do without covering himself and us with sauce, but he managed without spilling a drop. Vegetable Pilao Rice was nice and fluffy and the Peshwari Naan passed the Mrs DFD test (it’s the only Naan she’ll order).

The bill at Spice Lounge Durham came to about 75 quid between us, including drinks, so quite reasonable and they didn’t try to hurry us out of our seats afterwards, which was nice as we just wanted to sit and talk for a bit. Highlight of the night was the customer who leaned back a little too far on his chair and went a**e over t*t, thanks to a helpful nudge from his Mrs. I thought only kids did this, but it was pretty funny, and he wasn’t hurt, just a bit embarassed. We tried not to mock and point, but it was difficult 😉

spice lounge serving food

Spice Lounge, Durham Menu

Price : £75 for four

Durham Food and Drink Rating
First Impression : 8, Service : 9, Food : 8, Value : 8

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The Spice Lounge,
St. Nicholas Cottage,
Market Place,
Durham,
DH1 3NJ
Tel : 0191 3830927

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Gilesgate Tandoori Durham Indian Takeaway Review

Gilesgate Tandoori Durham

This is actually the 2nd time we’ve been to Gilesgate Tandoori Durham. It’s close to our house, within shambling distance in fact, so it would be rude not to really, wouldn’t it? We were really intending to have fish and chips just down the road at Bells, but it’s shut on a Sunday night so we had to divert here instead.

gilesgate tandoori Durham indian takeaway front of shop

The first thing you notice is the difference from outside to inside. From the road it just looks like an ordinary takeaway, slightly tatty, in an unremarkable terrace on Sunderland Road, but get inside and it’s a different story altogether. It’s also impressive that you can actually see into the kitchen as the food is being prepared, and the chef actually wears a proper chef’s hat. 🙂 The lads who staff the place are very cheery and like to have a bit craic and there’s a couple of tidy leather couches to sit on while you wait, with magazines. There’s also a TV if you want to watch: it was The Simpsons Movie. We had a good laugh at Spider pig. 🙂

The wait for our food was about 20 minutes, once I decided what we’d order (again I found myself ordering for other people) and everything was neatly packaged in a nice sturdy brown bag for the walk home.

Opening up, the food was all neatly partitioned into containers, none of which had leaked (like you get with some Indian takeaways), so serving up was a nice clean experience, without ending up with sauce all over the kitchen. Presentation was also a cut above the rest, with containers garnished with herbs before being sealed, so you get a nice pattern when you open up. Food quality is superb, probably the best i’ve had from an Indian takeaway. Rice was nice and fluffy, naans were done to perfection and the meat in the main courses just melted in the mouth. We always try to get a variety of meals from hot through to mild, then everyone gets a little bit of each. As usual though, we’d still ordered far too much. Even with two rices/two naans between four of us, it didn’t all get eaten, hard though we tried.

We’d recommend Gilesgate Tandoori Durham to anyone who likes their Indian food. They serve class produce, at a pretty reasonable price. Even if we lived further away, we’d happily travel or pay the delivery costs on this. It’s superb scran!

 

Price : £27 for four

Durham Food and Drink Rating
First Impression : 8, Service : 8, Food : 9, Value : 8

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Gilesgate Tandoori,
39 Marshall Terrace
Durham
Co Durham
DH1 2HX
T : 0191 383 9699

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