WITH a name like Almas Indian Brasserie you know you are talking upmarket.
The takeaway menu claims the restaurant has been the ‘foremost Indian catering establishment in Dore since 1998.’
Presumably the tiny Sheffield suburb doesn’t tender that much competition, but with a wall bearing more awards than Jessica Ennis’s mantlepiece there’s clearly substance in the boast.
Almas stands out immediately on several sophisticated menu options, offering some unfamiliar dishes beside the favourites. Stuffed Kumber on the starters list drew the eye but Macchi Pakora got the vote. These spice-coated strips of deep fried white fish were tasty but, alas, gone in a couple of mouthfuls.
Onion bhajis are always a good test of a place and the trio offered here were moist, firm, perfect with the little bag of salad and yoghurt sauce.
Plenty of the “evolved” main course options intrigued – Goan Seafood Curry, duck-based Bhatak Zal and Pur Puri Raan – but the Murgh Gosht was ordered. Chicken cooked with mint, coriander, fresh and pickled chillies in a spicy sauce – this hit plenty of right spots but failed to stun quite as one might have hoped. At least it didn’t stint on ingredients.
Star of the night, however, was the humble Vegetable Biryani, perhaps surprisingly. Quality herbs and spices in the rice worked well with rather than competed with a mouth-watering curry sauce to give a pleasing mouthful that demanded a second visit to clean out the foil container.
All in all, a satifying combination of dishes, well cooked and nicely prepared, but sadly nowhere near as mind-blowing as the slightly pretentious menu tended to suggest. Final bill came to £23.50 with a portion of pillau rice.
Address: Almas Indian Brasserie, 34 High Street Dore, Sheffield S17 3GU. Tel: 0114 2620883 Opening times: Monday to Sunday, 6pm-late. Parking: In bays out front. Atmosphere: Polite, smart, efficient. Service: Calm and quick. Delivery: Call restaurant. Range of menu: Extensive with some less obvious options. Waiting time: 20 mins. How did it taste? Fulsome, well spiced. Verdict: Tasty, but not overly memorable.