Friday, August 7, 2009
24. India: Nizam, Haywards Heath
139 South Road,
Easing into my long summer holiday, I met up with the Vicar for an ‘ethnic eat’ in Haywards Heath. The Indian Restaurant we had planned to visit was closed so we toured the town again and found the Nizam.
It is deceptively large inside and can seat 70 but still feels cosy and welcoming. The décor is smart, modern with an Asian twist. We were seated near the window on very comfy chairs and were given our menus. At first glance it looked like the usual fare at acceptable prices- 15 starters priced from £3.25-£5.50 and mains from £6.95 for Vegetable Balti to £13.95 for King Prawn Balti, but on closer perusal I was very pleased to finds some dishes I had not seen before such as Tunafish Burra the Bagoon Paneer, aubergine and cheese, (£4.95) I chose for my starter and some very interesting sounding specials.
We began with popadums of course, and they were very crispy and came with a good set of dips and pickles, pictured above left. Notable was the hot pickle component. It was very spicy but also exceptionally tasty with many different types of hot peppers. The Vicar started with the Salmon in Spice with a caper sauce (pictured right, £5.50) and was very pleased with it. The seared salmon was perfectly cooked and full of flavour and complimented well by the creamy, subtly tangy sauce and had him cleaning his plate all up. I am a big fan of aubergines and often try then when out. Sometimes they are marvellous; sometimes they are rubbish. The Bagoon Paneer, (pictured left, £4.95) were just marvellous: perfectly cooked to be soft but still intact, not bitter and really enlivened up be the cheese and peppers- I definitely recommend them.
Our mains arrived in good time and looked scrummy. The Vicar’s Lamb Biryani (pictured right) was accompanied by a good vegetable curry. The Balti was very well done. The lamb was very moist and tender and the fine rice was subtly seasoned. He really enjoyed it and was very impressed with the layers of taste. My Chichen Tikka (pictured left) came with a salad and was just delicious. The meat was well marinated and seasoned, tender, moist and the portion size was good. The Bindi Bhaji, (below, £4.50) we added was much better that the usual tomato-based dish; it, like all the Nisan’s food was artfully flavoured.
Service was at all times courteous and attentive. I can imagine that the Nisan gets quite busy on the weekends so would suggest you book. Take away is also available.
A sumptuous dinner for two with 1 ½ pints of lager, a big bottle of still water, peppermint tea and coffee, excluding tip, was £52.00. The Nisam’s quality if food definitely earns it a place in my top picks.
Food presentation: 2.5
Food quality: 4*
Value for money: 2