When I fancy “a curry”, I have a few reliable go-tos in Peterborough, but further afield it is something of a lottery.
Well, there is plenty of choice in Stamford and with the intended venue unexpectedly and annoyingly closed for lunch, we ventured in The 8848 on Broad Street - on the basis that we had found a parking space right outside.
The name refers to the height in metres of Mount Everest and its particular take on “Indian” food being Nepalese.
It’s a nice looking place, quite modern inside with a few hints to the authnicity - not least the aroma as you walk in, and the music.
It was very quiet, which I don’t mind, and the service was accordingly very attentive and friendly.
Be it Indian, Bangladeshi or Pakistani, Asian restaurant menus have a familiar ring to them with a few specials for good measure, which is where I tend to turn.
I have had the “Momo” - lamb dumplings on a visit to another Nepalese restaurant so went for the 8848 mushrooms special (£4.95).
The dish sounded good - mushrooms stuffed with mince meat, garlic, ginger and herbs, served with home made tamarind chutney - and when it arrived it certainly looked the part with great attention paid to the presentation of the dish. That said it was a tad disappointing.
There was a nice crunch to the coating and the mushrooms were nicely cooked, but as for the filling it was almost non-existant and didn’t conjour up the flavours promised.
Eyes closed it was deep fried breaded mushrooms, with a fruity chutney.
Donna, sticking with the house dishes - went for the 8848 special fish parcel (£6.50) and fared somewhat better. Golden, crispy pastry which splintered to reveal tasty chunks of monkfish, salmon, shrimps and onions, with a spiced baby aubergine purée.
Surely I couldn’t go wrong with the “house special” karahi (£10.95) could I?
Well it didn’t have me in raptures, but was pretty decent to be fair, and there was plenty of it served up in an iron souk.
The large chunks of barbecued chicken, lamb and sheek kebab and tiny prawns were alll nicely cooked - moist and tender - and the sauce, although a little heavy on onions, did reveal the odd burst of coriander. The soft, fluffy vegetable rice wasn’t bad either.
The fillet of monk fish (£16.95) promised so much, and on the whole delivered, if a little dry in parts. The tandoor spiced fish with wild mushrooms, spinach and yellow lentils, a strange collection of colours, certainly tasted better than it looked.
The roti and a couple poppadoms, washed down with a draught lager, went down well, going some way towards rescuing the lunch somewhat after a disappointing starter.
Brad Barnes dines at The 8848, Broad Street, Stamford, tel 01780 767600 www.the8848.co.uk