ONCE it was a lighting shop – could a switch to the food trade do the trick?
House of Spice knew it would have to be good as it sits next door to Napoleons and smack in the middle of Takeaway Central - aka Ecclesall Road.
And its answer to the challenge is to provide an intriguing menu, offering extensive choice and some interestingly named dishes.
Starters include Chicken Chat, which is spicy chicken served on flaky pastry, and Chana Chot Poti, which is chickpeas stir fried with onion and peppers, served sizzling.
For mains there is the standard range of Tandoori and Balti dishes.
But there’s also something called Balti Spi-Chi, which is described as nutritional dishes prepared with spinach and chickpeas. Spi Chi might be a strange play on words, but at least they’re trying something different.
The authentic dishes include Chicken Kalia - sliced tikka, medium spiced with garlic, green chillies and sour spices - and Lamb Shatkora, cooked with lime pieces to give a tangy taste.
All the usual suspects are also on the list including Korma, Bhuna, Samber and Dansak.
Side dishes include the fresh vegetables you’d expect with all the usual rice, nan and sundries.
Go to House of Spice for a midweek takeaway and it can seem pretty empty, which does you make wonder.
But any fears soon disappear thanks to a warm greeting from the friendly staff, who take time to explain the dishes.
They are clearly passionate about their food and restaurant.
We opted for the Fish Fry starters, which were lightly done with a tangy finish.
For mains we opted for a Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Samber.
The chicken was creamy enough without losing its spice, while the Samber kicked appropriately.
The cost was the same as most takeaways - between £4-7 for a main, £1.75 for rice.
This is value for money and you get plenty.
Venue: House of Spice, 842 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, S1 8TD
Telephone: 0114 266 6681
Opening times: 5.30pm until late, seven days a week
Parking: On street
Atmosphere: Lively at busy times
Delivery: No. Order by phone and collect
Range of menu: Extensive and refreshingly different
How did it taste: Authentic
Verdict: Spot on