IT’S a bold move opening another eaterie in the Dearne Valley, where food outlets are now more common than deckchairs on Blackpool seafront.
Only the brave will survive and quality is the driving force – and Spice Lounge has some hard acts to follow.
The venue is a former shop and functions mainly as a compact restaurant, catering for about 40 diners, with a small waiting area and bar for takeaway orders.
I’m partial to sweet Indian dishes, after travel experience of the sub-continent taught me the finest food is always a triumph of flavour over temperature.
The menu of chef’s specialities says Tikka Makanwale is a new dish of marinated chicken, cooked in mild spices, with cream, coconut butter and almond. It came in a thick orange sauce, full of delicate tastes and soft meat. Accompaniment was the sweet Kashmiri rice, full of fruit and nuts, that had me humming the song of that 1970s advertising fruit-and-nut case Frank Muir.
The Chicken Moosak was a similar main, a mild tikka dish in a creamy sauce, topped with nuts and honey. This really is sweet, with delicate flavours.
The menu says it is perfect for beginners but it’s pretty good for those with a little more match practice.
I paired the Moosak with a Peshwari nan, that was as good as the rice, a large, soft bread full of... well, fruit and nuts.
The whole ensemble was mild but so-called curries should never be a testosterone-fuelled contest to see who can stand the hottest.
The Spice Lounge experience was just about perfect for this fruit-and-nut case.
Address: 112 Church Street, Swinton –
01709 584558 / 586753.
Opening hours: Weekdays 6pm to 11pm, Friday and Saturday 6pm to 11.30pm.
Delivery: Free on orders over £10. Ten per cent discount on collected orders over £10.
Atmosphere: Relaxed, with smart and modern decor.
Service: Pleasant and efficient.
Parking: Designated places outside.
Prices: Chicken Tikka Makanwala £5.75, Chicken Moosak £5.50, Kashmiri rice £2.05, Peshwari rice £1.90.
How it tasted: Sweet as a nut, while feeling fruity.