Aagrah is an Indian restaurant spread over two floors. The upper floor is the buffet area and the ground floor is where you can order off the normal menu.
For starters, we ordered the Aagrah special tandoori mix and the Aagrah special vegetable mix. The tandoori mix consisted of lamb chops, seekh kebab, chicken tikka and fish masala. All the meat was very tender and had a good flavour. They weren’t overly coated in spices and the meat went well with the fried peppers and onions that it was served with.
The vegetable mix had a good selection of grilled garlic mushrooms, vegetable samosas, onion bhajis and paneer tikka. The onion bhajis were a little too oily and were more like onion rings. The rest of the vegetable selection was very moreish and the paneer tikka was a firm favourite.
The poppadoms that were served at the start of the meal were the best ones that I have had at an Indian restaurant. The reason I say that is because they didn’t leave a bitter aftertaste.
The mixed thali is a good main dish if you can’t decide on a particular flavour. This is a selection of individually cooked dishes of chicken, lamb, prawns and vegetables. They are in a tomato based curry and are served with raita – a spicy yogurt dip. Again, the lamb and chicken were perfectly cooked and was so tender.
We chose two vegetarian dishes: Balti mushroom paneer and Balti mataar paneer. The latter was made with fresh garden peas. Paneer is a Kashmiri style cured cheese which keeps its cube-like shape even when cooked. Both dishes were cooked with onions, green chillies and coriander. They weren’t oil laden curries and the flavours of the delicate spices came through.
We opted for the rice dish of Balti vegetable biryani. This came with a side of vegetable sauce. I was slightly disappointed by this biryani. It tasted more just like fried vegetable rice and didn’t have the right flavours and spices that a biryani should have.
The nans were freshly cooked and could easily be eaten on their own as well as with the main curries. The keema nan had a thin layer of keema inside the plain nan. The nans are made from flour, yeast and milk. A different accompaniment is the stuffed aloo paratha. Paratha is made with flour and ghee (clarified butter) and has an added richness due to the ghee.
The Aagrah restaurant has nice decor and comfortable seating. The service was good and the waiters were very helpful when we asked for different dishes to be made spicy or mild. One thing that I did find a little strange was when I was served with a pineapple juice, it came in a small glass but then when my second drink was a mango juice, I was served a full pint glass of it!
There is a nice waiting area by the bar with comfortable sofas. There are some pretty tables in this area: tables with squares of spices trapped under a glass top!
Aagrah, 4 Saltaire Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3HNRating: