The Oakham Curry Club (OCC) UK branch continued on the quest to discover the finest curry establishment the world has to offer with its most recent trip to The Taj Mahal restaurant (hereinafter simply named ‘Taj’) in Market Deeping.
As is tradition in my blogs, I will begin with the scores which are as follows:
Customer Care: 7.19 Service: 8.00 Value: 7.94 Quality: 7.04 Atmosphere: 6.63
Total Score: 7.36
Located at Unit 1 of the Rainbow Centre in Market Deeping, the Taj has sole representation of Indian cuisine within the world renowned Rainbow Centre. OCC members were excited about visiting the name sake of the most culturally iconic Indian mausoleum. In terms of how the Taj Mahal influences this restaurant’s food, it is known across the world for its beauty, symmetry and perfection, it is with this quality in mind that the restaurant has its name as they strive to serve the best Indian cuisine the world over.
The Taj will be known as one of the smaller restaurants the OCC has visited, however the efficient use of space was commendable. Eleven OCC members were seated with no problems and we were neighboured by a few other diners. It is worth noting the level of detail the restaurant has gone to to emulate the Taj Mahal, most notably the walls were designed to imitate the white marble that the Taj Mahal is built from (a lovely touch).
As the OCC settled in and started engaging in conversation, the poppadoms were served with a selection of sauces as of the typical request to bring out ‘alllllllllllllll the sauces’. It was believed to be a satisfactory amount and the poppadoms were suitably crispy in their texture. It was a positive start to the Taj dining experience.
It was only when the starters were delivered we were greeted and surprised by the delivery of a ‘secret sauce’... needless to say this triggered murmurs in the group as we had requested ‘alllllllll the sauces’ for the poppadoms. A very minor blip though. The starters ranged from mixed starters, to chicken and lamb tikka with good sized portions to wet our appetites.
In between tucking away the starters and before the mains arrived, I took a moment to observe our surroundings. It was clear the restaurant was a popular spot for locals having their Friday night curry before sinking a few beers (or other choice of liquor) in the Stage (if you’re ever in Market Deeping on a Friday or Saturday night, this is the pub I’d recommend visiting).
Food and drink were served swiftly throughout the night and a continuously great effort was made by management and staff to ensure the OCC were continually watered and happy. As we can appreciate with a group of this size it is a difficult challenge to appease each and every member. There was no ‘real’ disgruntlement with the food (except for one fussy member claiming the vindaloo wasn’t spicy enough) and the only criticism of the restaurant is that it is exactly as you would expect an Indian restaurant to be. Which in reality is no significant criticism at all.
However, there comes a point within this club where we have visited the best curry houses globally and we have reached a time where if you were to win the CHOTY you really do need to stand out, you need to have some quirks, you need to have a competitive advantage. Stop being part of the crowd and take a step out into the unknown where you might be viewed a little differently but when you strive to be the best you have to be a little different.
Overall, the staff were great and attentive, the food was served swiftly and was enjoyable and finally, as always, it was great to share a meet with the OCC!
Taj Mahal of Market Deeping, we thank you.