Next up in Blog Preston’s series of reviews – Best and Worst Preston Takeaways According to Just Eat – is Halal Indian takeaway, Tiger Belly. Scoring an impressive 5.2 out of 6 in reviews, customers praise the “amazing bhajis” and the “polite delivery driver”. I was expecting good things from Tiger Belly.
The food arrived promptly at the time requested, with a smile from the delivery driver. I unpacked my order, which was all correct and contained two complimentary poppadoms and chutneys. Unfortunately the top hadn’t been put securely on the little tub of raitha, which had thrown itself all over the cartons, but I managed to salvage a little of it.
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The plain naan bread at £1.90 was a decent size, and had an authentic taste. It had become soggy in its packaging, but a couple of minutes in the toaster crisped it up again.
The £4 mixed starter consisted of a seekh kebab, two small samosas and one onion bhaji. The kebab was uninspiring yet edible, but the onion bhaji was overwhelmed by the gram flour, making it soft, dense and heavy. If my excitable mother Yvonne had been with me I’d have considered gently throwing it at the back of her head to see what kind of noise it would have made. I’d guess maybe a forlorn “puh”, instead of a crispy “crosh”. The two small lamb samosas had a decent flavour and a spicy kick. A salad garnish accompanying the starters would have brightened things up a little.
The £6 chicken butter masala contained plenty of chicken, but little spice, and it was so overpoweringly sweet that I couldn’t eat more than a few mouthfuls. Many curries have a degree of sweetness, but this barrelled past a balance of korma style sweet/savory and into murky Heston Blumenthal dessert curry territory, making it a Class C gateway food. Fairly innocent, but once we get accustomed to it we’re on a slippery slope to pilchard cake.
The £8.60 lamb tikka biryani came with a side of curry sauce. There wasn’t an abundance of lamb considering the cost, but it was lean and tender. Unfortunately the rice was bland, without the complex, aromatic depth of spices that bring a good biryani to life. The accompanying sauce was also lacking in flavour and cloyingly sweet.
A side of tarka dhal at £3.20 had dodged the excessive sugar, and contained a substantial amount of fried garlic that gives a dhal it’s recognisable taste. It was the best of the bunch, but again was under-seasoned and unremarkable. I had asked for extra coriander in the curries but couldn’t taste any.
The £2 chips turned out to be thin, stringy fries which also went uneaten. I’ve found that with french fries there is about a two-minute window when they are edible. A minute too soon and they’ll burn your taste buds off, a minute too long in a polystyrene box and they’re spaghetti. Regular chips aren’t great the next day but they’re good enough with the other leftovers, whereas old french fries develop a kind of spuddy rigor mortis that shaves off a piece of your self-respect every time you eat one.
Read more: “Wooden, dry and mealy” fries from this Preston Thai takeaway
As Tiger Belly has received so many good reviews, I was expecting great things. However, I found the food overall to be uninspiring, and ended up throwing most of it away as the amount of sugar made it unsalvageable and inedible. A number of the most recent reviews on Just Eat also describe the curries as bland, so perhaps they have a different chef or manager.
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I’d consider giving Tiger Belly another try as so many people rave about it and every restaurant has off-days, though only if friends are ordering from there. It is one of the city’s more expensive Indian takeaways, but on this occasion it didn’t live up to its reputation.
Read more: Ten of the highest rated places for a curry in Preston
Do you rate the curries from Tiger Belly, or do you prefer a different Indian takeaway? Let us know in the comments below.