Curry Week in Peterborough - it is second to naan!
It is difficult to avoid so-called 'awareness days' - from the very worthy Breast Cancer Awareness Month to the slightly barking Wear Your Whiskers Day, both of which appeared on the calendar in October.
National Curry Week, which ended on Sunday, has been inexistence for 20 years and was set up to raise awareness and appreciation of the burgeoning Indian restaurant industry.
Our love of curry is remains as strong as ever than ever, and it is not just restaurants - most supermarkets now do take-out curries and you will always find one on any self-respecting pub menu.
To do my bit for the cause I popped in to the reigning Peterborough Telegraph Curry House of the Year (2017) and Restaurant of the Year (2018) - Sonargaon Tandoori in Whittlesey’s Market Place.
It is a small, unassuming place tucked away in the corner - but it has been dishing up top notch kormas, bhunas and vindaloos since before the launch of curry week.
The interior is traditional but tidy - the tables are always beautifully dressed. But what it lacks in razzamatazz, it makes up for with its food offering - as its awards from a loyal fanbase testify.
The a la carte is pretty extensive, and includes most dishes regular curry lovers will have heard of plus a few they haven’t.
Sunday is a buffet (served to the table, not the help yourself type) which worked out perfectly as what is on offer is curry-based.
There is a choice of starters (one a vegetarian option) and a choice of half a dozen curries for main course - chicken lamb or vegetable - with a variety of sauces depending on your mild, medium or hot preference.
The rustic looking onion bhajis were decent enough - a little crisp around the edges but soft and tasty too. The chicken tikka was terrific, though, smothered with slightly sweet, sticky onions.
The salad garnish - chopped lettuce and a slice of tomato - was soothing and cleansing and did the trick.
My lamb dish was nicely spiced and fairly hot, without being overpowering. The meat chunks were small but tender.
The vegetable curry sauce was not dissimilar with the cauliflower, green beans and carrots retaining a bit of bite.
For the four and five-year-olds still finding their feet a chicken tikka masala - nice and mild, a thick, sweet tomato-heavy sauce and a flavour of coconut running through. They loved it.
The rice was well cooked and the naan breads we shared were soft with those little burnt bits around the edges for extra flavour.
The poppadoms and pickles went down well, too, the service was good and the bill (£10.95 for adults, £7 for children) didn’t break the bank.