Food and Drink : Zara’s Indian Restaurant, Crookes, Sheffield.

I’d heard good things about Zara’s in the run up to visiting this place. Apparently one of the better Indians in Sheffield, you can tell from the off that they pride themselves on their cooking due to them showing off the awards gifted to them by local newspapers in the front window. Walking in, we were instantly greeted by our waiter who seated us in the same fashion. We were served our drinks alongside a jug of water immediately shortly before our poppadoms and pickle tray arrived.

This was when I first got the sense I was in for a good meal. The poppadoms were good but they were completely outshone by the pickle tray. Not only do you get the usual four of onion salad, yogurt and mint, mango chutney and lime pickle but also apple with coriander, apricot and mango, tamarind, and coconut.

They all provided unique yet mouth-watering tastes which are perfect to mix and match and suit as a prime mixing board for any Indian lover. The pots were also filled up after we had emptied them which I always love when I’m out for a curry.

We opted for chicken madras and lamb madras for the main course alongside pilau rice and a garlic naan bread. The curries came in huge ceramic dishes and were topped with chopped coriander. The meat was drowning in a spicy, tomato-based sauce – something that always excites me. Both of the meats were cooked to a tender perfection with the lamb stealing the show with its depths of rich and juicy flavours.

The sauce accompaniment was also special, leaving a burning tang on my tongue that I couldn’t seem to stop myself going back for – with the garlic naan providing the perfect mop for my plate. The rice portions were massive and no complaints could be made as we finished pleasantly satisfied.

As usual, we couldn’t fit in a dessert, so we opted for the bill instead. Poppadums were 80p a pop and the chutney tray cost £3.50. The majority of other starters were all under a fiver. Our curries cost £7/8 with most others also following this pattern, though some are heading up to the £15 mark. Rice was £3 and the garlic naan cost £3.50 so not a bad do all in all. All the prices are reasonable and the quality of the food is exceptional – I could find no faults with this place at all.

Anyone looking to eat at Zara’s can find them at 216A Crookes, Sheffield, S10 1TH. Their website is zarasrestaurant.com and their opening times are 17:30 – 23:30 (00:30 Friday/Saturday).