Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Perfect Retreat for World Cup Widows; TABLE FOR 2 KATHARINE CAPOCCI Ahad Tandoori, 78 High Street, Gosforth

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Perfect Retreat for World Cup Widows; TABLE FOR 2 KATHARINE CAPOCCI Ahad Tandoori, 78 High Street, Gosforth

Article excerpt

Byline: KATHARINE CAPOCCI

IT WAS wall-to-wall World Cup hysteria that drove us football widows out of our houses and into the welcoming haven of the Ahad Tandoori restaurant last Saturday. And a little oasis of calm it was, too, with just one other family grouping in when my friend Jane and I arrived just after 7pm.

Although there was an army of staff on hand, presumably for the influx of diners expected later that night.

The Ahad, situated just behind Gosforth High Street, has seemingly been around forever.

Owner Masuad Ahmed, who was on hand the evening we popped in, helpfully supplied the information, telling us the restaurant celebrates its 25th anniversary next year.

And it's very much a family affair with his grown-up son and daughter on board these days.

I remember from visits in the dim and distant past that the Ahad was always seen as something of a high-end Indian restaurant. And I also recall a rather fetching pink colour scheme.

These days it is very much a crowd-pleaser, popular with families and the Gosforth jet-set, as well as being busy for takeaway collections in the early evening.

It helps too that the tantalising aromas travel along the road to The County pub, handily positioned a stone's throw away.

Ensconced in the cosy bar area, all was calm, and we took our time to peruse the extensive menu which consists of the likes of tandoori specialities, authentic curries, biryani dishes, fish dishes and chef's specials.

Inside, the restaurant is spacious, consisting of three inter-linked rooms, with a tasteful brown and cream dcor, chandeliers and white table linen.

However, my friend did point out the unlit fairy lights strung along the dado (we guessed from Christmas?) should really have been taken down.

We were shown to a well-positioned table, offering a good outlook of the dining room and with a view of the large bay window. We started with nibbly appetiser of popadoms and selection of condiments (pounds 3.60 for two people), which was attractively presented. The classic dips consisted of raitha - yoghurt dip with cucumber - fresh and cleansing, chunky chutney, hot pickle and fresh oniony salad.

For my starter I opted for prawns on puri (pounds 4.25). There was a mountain of prawns (too many really) cooked in a thick, spicy, tomatoey, onion and herb sauce, and served with puri (described on the menu as puffy bread), which was particularly fresh and good.

My friend chose a chicken chaat dish - chunks of chicken breast enveloped in chaat masala, again served with puri (pounds 4.25).

The herbs and spices in this excellent dish were very much in evidence and my friend, a cookery teacher, took delight in guessing the ingredients in the sauce - tamarind, ginger and coriander among them. …

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