Monday, 28 December 2015

The New Lahore, Newport

Today, I'm going to let you in on a little family secret. There are all sorts of fantastic new openings in Newport at the moment, including a hefty dose of your average chain restaurants, but in my humble opinion the best has been in town since 1961.

The New Lahore is situated on Lower Dock Street, which is only a five minute walk around the corner from the new Friars Walk development. Conveniently for us, in perfect position from Rodney Parade, where we spent our traditional Christmas derby day watching the Newport Gwent Dragons get robbed by the Blues.

In need of cheering up, five of us headed on over after the match. Pre-booking is recommended as the restaurant only seats forty. Perfectly sized for good service, which is a guarantee at the LH (as it's known in our house).

The traditional recipes are kept secret, and have been handed down through the generations of chefs since Mr Islam opened up over fifty years ago. These curry sauces are known as the 'Old Style' on the menu, and are a thicker, spicier gravy style sauce.

It's not to everyone's taste, but the waiters are so knowledgeable and proud of their curry, that they will help you choose the right one. If you're not sure if it's the one for you, they will very often bring an old style sauce for you to try along with your meal.

I've had the old style before, which I absolutely adore, but something different caught my eye and I went for the Pudina Lamb. This consisted of long strips of tender lamb, in a mint, ginger and red chilli sauce. I'd definitely put it up there above a madras on the heat scale, and it was wonderful. Really thick, chunky gravy, and the mint gives it an unexpected coolness which cuts through the heat.

Between the five of us, we covered an extensive range of the menu. From the mild King Prawn Summerkand to the chef's special, to the winner of the night, the Jhal Monipuri Chicken. Mr P went for this on the recommendation of a regular, and was not disappointed. Chicken and herbs with green chillis cooked to the owner's own recipe. I had a fair few mouthfuls too, and I was a little jealous. Such depth of flavour, spicy, thick and with an almost BBQ style sweetness coming from the onions.

There was a perfectly crispy array of naans, including garlic, keema and peshwari. Sides also came in the form of a saag aloo, saag paneer and a tarkaa daal, which I definitely stole most of. I had no idea that lentils could taste so good, almost like a garlic mashed potato.

The service really is second to none at the LH. The staff are always on hand but not interfering, and they will offer advice if you're stuck on choices. They're polite and knowledgeable, and incredibly friendly. 

I haven't put the prices on each item here, but here's a link to their website menu. This is because they knocked a few bits and bobs off our bill, and I still cannot get over the value. The bill came to about £25 per person (with tip), and the amount of food we had was staggering.

Numerous glasses of wine and a couple of Cobras, a curry and rice each, plus three naans and three sides. Not to mention the poppadom tray that we demolished while perusing the menu. Plus a chocolate and a complimentary drink (whiskies and brandies all round) on departure. These guys look after you from the moment you walk in.

It's all I can do to hold myself popping back down tonight, so when you've had enough of the turkey sandwiches, wander outside your comfort zone and pop down to the Lahore. Trust me, you won't regret it.

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