Gandhi @ Sandy
This month, the OCC were venturing to the somewhat unknown commuter town of Sandy, discretely nestled in the eastern corner of Bedfordshire. Due to the potential risks that could occur stepping into such unknown territory, Giddings and I selflessly volunteered to complete a reconnaissance mission before the rest of the OCC members arrived. This turned out to be a great success, with beers in The Bell and The Sir William Peel being both cold and plentiful. We gave the green light for the meet to go ahead.
Gandhi was the name of the restaurant, whose name is held sacred by the OCC, he also happens to be the true owner of our mascots (Peterborough and HK), the sacred Flip-Flops. Similar to the Flip-Flops, which have held strong through the test of time, the beautifully converted Georgian house looked as good as new. Unfortunately, there was a building site in the front garden which was being used as a base for the construction of a large extension.
Once inside, we understood why an extension was needed, it was packed! Clearly this was a Friday evening treat for many of the folks who reside in Sandy. The 7 of us were shown to our table that, really, was too small for a party of our size. Menus were dished out and we were promptly served our first round of drinks. It was all going so well, but then as often with such busy restaurants, we were pretty much left to it for a long while.
We eventually took the initiative and found a waiter to put our poppadom order in (all the sauces), which actually came quite quickly. Personally, I think these were some of the freshest and crispest poppadoms I have ever had, however it was completely let down by the quality and quantity of sauces on offer. There was just Mango Chutney, Mint Yoghurt, and Onions… not even any lime pickles for the heat seekers of the group!
Starters and Mains were ordered together, although we were forced to read the menus in the candle light as it was incredibly dark, perhaps they had switched to romantic mood lighting for the countless tables of two that surrounded us. It was at this point though that we began to realise just how cheap it was at Gandhi, being able to bag a starter for as little as £2.50! So cheap that some of us ordered two, as well as main, rice, naan and sides…Augustus Gloop would have been proud.
The starters were enjoyable, although the theme of store bought samosas seemed to continue (Why can’t establishments give us just one big, fat, juicy homemade samosa?) but they were quickly gone and so began the longest wait of our night. It became noticeable that they were not ideally equipped to deal with such a busy restaurant, for instance when asking for chillies to complete our punishments, the waiters were a touch snappy to begin with (although I must add apologised afterwards), but even these took a long time to come.
When the main course did arrive, everyone seemed to be slightly disappointed with different things, although nobody left hungry. We always like to give both positives and negative feedback, so let’s start with the good. The Chicken and Lamb was well cooked and the rice was as good as it gets, portions were plentiful and the food was hot (kept heated by some nice plate warmers in the middle of the table).
On the flipside however, the Naan breads were terribly burnt, the curry wasn’t spicy (The Vindaloo not even Madras hot claims the chairman), and it was virtually impossible to eat comfortably with such a small table with so much crammed on it. Also the soft drinks were warm, and on a personal note I thought the Saag Paneer was really rather slimy.
As I mentioned, this didn’t stop us all going home with our bellies full, and it also didn’t burn a hole in our wallets. The whole meal came out to a very reasonable £25, quite possibly the cheapest meet the OCC has ever had. In conclusion, The Gandhi is probably not worth a long trip cross country, but if you were nearby and wanting a cheap Indian meal in a lovely location, it will do nicely. Just expect to get what you pay for!
Customer Care: 5.8 Service: 5.6 Value: 8.3 Quality: 6.1 Atmosphere: 8.0 Total Score: 6.75