69 Otley Rd., Shipley, BD18 2BJ | 01274599800 | shimlaspice.co.uk | @shimlaspice
Type of Food: Indian
Price: Platter Starter + Another Dish + 4 x main courses + sundries = Less than £60
Occasion: Catch up with my parents
Date Visited: April 2014
Overall Rating: ***** Amazing
I must apologise for not blogging recently. I've just moved house so eating out is a bit of an extravagance at the moment. My parents came up from Merseyside to visit this weekend and to help out with some odd jobs so I thought there was no better opportunity to treat them to THE BEST CURRY HOUSE IN BRADFORD. No other restaurant I've ever been to has ever been so keen to show off the awards it's won like Shimla. And why not? There are a lot and each one is deserved.
When you walk in, the first thing you notice is that the decor at Shimla is something else. Opulent to the point of gawdy and yet it works. Above the purple wallpaper with velvet pattern and the silver mirror frames there is a sunken ceiling lit with hundreds of LEDs.
Shimla is nearly always busy. Not too busy mind, always just right. There is a large waiting area where you can either wait for your party to arrive, wait for a table (I've never waited more than 10 mins) or even wait for a take-away.
Service in Indian Restaurants can always be touch and go. Especially in Bradford. Shimla really stands apart from the others here with it's excellent service. You are always greeted by a waiter when you walk in and while you're waiting for your seat the manager always acknowledges you. Working in the service industry, I know this is a big deal now apparently but in a restaurant I am still taken aback by it (especially given how busy they are). On this visit the wait was a bit longer than normal and he came over to apologise (not only to us but the party before us as well). Once seated, our order was taken quickly and the starters were out within 10 min or so.
While eating our starter, I noticed that the lady at the table next to us was having issue with her food (not sure what but I've never seen that before at Shimla) and the manager and the waiters really went above and beyond fussing over her
When I first moved to Yorkshire I used to exclusively order Korma when I went for a curry. I like creamy mild currys and Korma largely seems like a safe bet. The menu at Shimla is exhaustive and there are about 4 or 5 different currys that fall into the category I would usually be drawn to and in the time I've been going I've had them all. I have two favourites; Mirpuri and Jaipuri. Luckily for me, my dad likes similar currys so I was able to get both tonight and share with him.
To start however we had a grill platter and I ordered a dish of Chana Chaat (a spicy chick dish) to accompany it. The platter had everything you would expect, Lamb Chops, Chicken Tikka, Kebabs, Lamb Tikka and Fish Masala and all cooked and spiced perfectly. I'd never had the Chaat before so was quite looking forward to it and it was lovely. Not too spicy and not too much yoghurt.
The currys are always the star of the show though. My Chicken Tikka Jaipuri was delicious. The Jaipuri is a tangy but creamy curry and one of their many 'award winning dishes'. My dad had the Chicken Mirpuri. The two currys are fairly similar with the Mirpuri being less tangy and less spicy than the Jaipuri. There is also more of a taste of cardamom and cloves in the Jaipuri, two flavours which I usually avoid but they compliment the creamy tangy sauce excellently. My mum went for something a bit different "Lamb Dansak" - a curry shop favourite albeit one I had avoided in the past due to the presence of pineapple, I did sneak a quick bite though and the lamb was cooked beautifully and the sauce with the lentils was not overpowered by the strong taste of pineapple. My partner had Lamb Garlic which I also had a bite of and again the lamb was cooked beautifully.
There is a reason Shimla has it's reputation. It is consistently amazing and it is just one of those places that everyone who loves curry should go. After an amazing night of food, I usually dread the bill but for all of that, the bill came out at less than £60.
I would go as far to say that Shimla is the definitive Bradford Curry House.