Prana Indian Restaurant
Go back 30 years and Indian restaurants offered a fairly limited range of dishes; mild korma for the wimps, madras for the masses and volcanic vindaloo for the bravest tastebuds. But in recent years curry houses have had to diversify to survive, offering new and innovative options for more refined palates.
Prana Indian Restaurant is one such success story, having gone down the gourmet cuisine route, winning numerous awards for its inventive approach, the latest Restaurant of the Year 2017 in the English Curry Awards.
Run by Kobir Ahmed, a former banker whose heritage in the food industry dates back 150 years (his family still run the same restaurant in Sylhet, Bangladesh), Prana opened in its current format in 2016, on Mill Road. It's light, airy, and contemporary, tables impeccably dressed with crisp white tablecloths (iron-pressed, no less).
The menu caters for all tastes, offering dhansak, bhuna, dopiaza, madras et al for takeaway traditionalists, fresh seafood choices and a multitude of vegan options (including a vegan naan made without milk and eggs, so original it's garnering national attention).
Signature dishes include melt-in-the-mouth Sikandari Lamb (a shank cooked over 48 hours and served in a chickpea sauce), and fragrant Korai Kabab Khyberi (chicken marinated in a mix of exotic spices). The platter appetisers, thoughtfully named after Kobir's son Rizwan and daughter Amira, are also bestsellers, mouth-watering medleys of street food, samosas and pakoras.
Prana's ethos is to not compromise on quality, so ingredients are sourced from premium suppliers, and curry powder is banned from the kitchen, chefs creating flavour by blending aromatic herbs and spices.
Prana in Indian means 'soul' or 'life' and there's no doubt Kobir has put his heart and soul into this venture. Judging by his awards roster, it's paying dividends.
97, Mill Road
Tel: 01223 229988
Always best to check holiday opening times.