Curry dining, well and truly c-ONKAR'd??
We are the Oakham Curry Club (Occ), an independent curry club that searches the east of England for the finest curry experiences the region has to offer. We recently visited Onkar in Oundle, and would like to share our review with you all. We try to be as fair as possible, and take into account the views of all of our members. At the end of the year, we will award our favourite restaurant with our prestige CHOTY award. In 2015, the award went to the 8848 in Stamford for the outstanding experience we had with them. We rate on 5 categories out of 10 with equal rating, which are self-explanatory, so here are the scores for Onkar: Customer Care - 7.33 Service – 7.27 Value – 7.59 Quality – 7.68 Atmosphere – 7.09 Total – 7.39 Summary: The night started off on a sour note, which was not the fault of the restaurant at all. It was a miserable, cold, rainy night and we struggled to find any close parking on the claustrophobic streets of Oundle. This meant a bit of a dash was in order to get to the venue in time and avoid a Chilli “late” fine, not the ideal preparations before chowing down on a delicious curry, but the evening that followed would make up for that. We were also disappointed to find out that our fellow OCC member Bolly had made the booking under an unacceptable name, this predictably got us riled up and immediately impose a chilli fine on account of his naivety. Anyway, enough about our own issues, let’s get on to the important stuff. We were greeted with friendly smiles from the owners, and shown to our table by a waiter who was potentially doing evening shifts for a bit of extra pocket money. I can’t fault his (and the rest of the staff’s) enthusiasm for serving us, unfortunately their knowledge of the menu was not really up to scratch. This would normally have been a big negative for us as a recommendation always goes down well, but his responses were honest and genuine. Had we wanted to find out more from the manager, I’m sure they would have all been happy to oblige. The staff members were both attentive and efficient in replenishing our drinks, which is a good job for Smudge as he spontaneously attempted his first chilli in a bid to improve his spice tolerance. It’s fair to say he wasn’t ready for the aftermath that ensued, shouting “F***-A-Duck” and proceeding to down 3 pints of iced water. His commitment to reach Spice Enlightenment is, and continues to impress all members of the OCC. The rest of the chilli fines were dished out without too much despair, with agreement that they weren’t the hottest we’d ever experienced. ADAM is growing his own super-hot chillies anyway, so this shouldn’t be a problem in the future. There was a distinct lack of respect for speakers throughout the meet which was condemned by the Chairman. It’s encouraged to have banter and to chip in with jovial remarks during OCC meets, but it is also encouraged to respect each other during sections of the agenda. Poppadom’s arrived nice and quickly, and there was no qualms in us asking for “All the Sauces”. They certainly delivered with big pots of mint yoghurt and delicious mango chutney, lime pickles and onion salad. Nothing more to say other than… delightful. For starters, most of us went for a meat kebab dish which was satisfactory, however the winner on the table looked like the tandoori chicken which was sizzling hot with a beautiful red colour embellishing it. Pep was very happy and claimed it to be his favourite part of the meal. It must be said that there was a little delay between courses in which we got a little fidgety, but not long enough to cause any negative marks. Mains were delicious and plentiful, and came out together and in good time (which is quite rare give the size of our group). Quotes from our members such as “My meal was juicy”, “Food was top notch” and “Very Tasty, Not Swaying” hopefully give you an idea of how the majority enjoyed their time at Onkar. In summary, this little establishment in the heart of venue gave a very good effort, and we were duly impressed. They have a young team which relies on enthusiasm to make up for a lack of experience, and the price of the meal was fair. A solid performance which is reflected in the scores, but it takes something truly special to propel the scores to the top. If this is what they are striving for, the owners should look for something that will set them apart from the competition (and also get a website!!).
Definitely a recommendation from the OCC, we would be delighted to go back one day.