Moghuls Indian restaurant in Lancaster is one of those places that everyone except me seems to have visited – until now.
“It’s the best Indian in Lancaster” is a phrase I’ve heard many times, but for some reason I’d just never made it there.
It was time to put that right, I decided.
Moghuls first opened its doors in the early 1980s, and since then has won many awards.
Indeed, I remember colleagues raving about it years ago when they were invited on a curry tasting session to help pick the best Indian restaurant in the city.
It’s a family-run restaurant – and that is very noticeable.
The atmosphere is low key and friendly, and everyone seemed to be enjoying their night out.
Walking into Moghuls is a bit like stepping into someone’s house.
It’s small, but not cramped, and we sat at a table next to the large windows looking out onto a bustling King Street.
Even on a Tuesday night, the restaurant was full when we arrived – thankfully I had erred on the side of caution and had rung to book a table beforehand.
It seemed there was only one waitress covering the whole restaurant, and she was certainly kept busy and on her feet all night.
Even so, she was very patient when we took a while to choose our meals, and ferried backwards and forwards to our table several times with food and drinks.
As starters, we chose to share a plate of grilled king prawns and some mushroom pakora from a wide selection of appetisers.
We also had some plain popadoms with assorted pickles.
Moghuls doesn’t serve alcohol – something which was pointed out when I booked to ensure we knew – and so we chose a jug of diet Coke to wash down our meals.
The starters arrived piled high on their plates, and having polished them off along with the popadoms we almost felt like we’d finished our meal – before the main course had even arrived!
However, a bit of a break between courses – whether this was planned or due to a busy evening I’m not sure but either way we were grateful – and we were ready for the arrival of the main event.
I ordered a chicken korma, while my eating companion went for the chicken dalsak.
We picked a plain naan and pilau rice to accompany the curry dishes.
I’m not a fan of very spicy food – evident by my choice of korma – but even for me, this was a mild tasting dish.
It was incredibly creamy, perhaps a little too much for me, which detracted slightly from the usual coconut flavouring.
My friend’s dalsak was delicious, packed full of chunky chicken pieces, whole lentils, garlic and coriander.
In fact, it was described to me as “one of the best curries I have had in years” – praise indeed.
The pilau rice was gorgeously fluffy; I only wish I could cook rice so well.
We were stuffed by the end of the meal, such was the amount we had eaten.
And there was definitely no room for a pudding, which were mostly the usual choices of Indian restaurant sweets – although the idea of a chocolate naan was very tempting.
All in all, I was a bit taken aback by the final bill of just £27.50.
While the price is obviously a little lower than in other restaurants due to the lack of alcoholic drinks, it still felt like we had got a real bargain for the amount of food we had consumed.