As it was a week of ongoing celebrations, this meant that there were a fair amount of meals out. On this particular evening, we decided to stay local and opted for The Sitara.
The Sitara describes itself as “The Indian Jazz Restaurant”. We were intrigued and not quite sure what to expect. Entering the restaurant, we were welcomed by the friendly staff. Framed pictures lined the red walls, tables lit by candlelight and jazz music softly playing in the background all contributed to the mood of The Sitara.
Our round table had the turntable in the centre, which made it a lot easier for us to share the dishes throughout our meal. As the menus were black, we had a little bit of trouble reading them as the restaurant was dimly lit. The kitchen was at the back of the restaurant and it was nice that we could see the food being prepared from the dining area.
For the starters, we had the meat samosas, pakoras and special mixed grill. The meat samosas came as a portion of two and were filled with minced meat and onions. The pakoras were deep fried onion bhajees and were fairly spicy.
The favourite was the special mixed grill. A sizzling plate of tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, sheekh kebab and lamb tikka. All of the meat was cooked perfectly and it had a wonderful delicious thick sauce. The sauce of onions, tomatoes, fenugreek and capsicum completed this special mixed grill.
Originally, we chose a few main dishes to share as we were not sure how big they were going to be. The main curries came in small silver bowls and after they were brought to the table, we decided that an extra one was needed. A selection of meat, chicken, lamb, vegetables and fish made up the main meal.
The karahi chicken was a tomato based dish with tender chicken cubes. The tasty sauce was made with garlic, spices and capsicum. The saag gosht had a fair amount of spinach in it and the taste slightly overpowered the lamb. Saying that though, it was still nice enough.
The dish that we added at the later stage was the fish masala. There was a good amount of cod pieces coated in the masala sauce. The fish was not overcooked and remained flaky.
For the vegetarian option, the matar panir was chosen. You can’t go wrong with the cooked cubes of cheese, together with peas in a spiced tomato sauce. We were also tempted by the classic dal tarka but this will have to wait for another visit.
To accompany the curries, rice, plain naans and garlic naans were chosen. The naans were piping hot and were freshly made. The rice was served on oval silver dishes.
The staff made sure that everything was the way we wanted throughout the meal. Even though the food was freshly made, we didn’t have to wait too long for our meal.
The Sitara is a gem of a restaurant! It’s great that all the food at The Sitara is made fresh to order and not prepared beforehand. The Sitara will definitely be our local Indian restaurant of choice.
The Sitara, 784 Holloway Road, Archway, London, N19 3JHRating: