High Lane is now becoming all a bit foodie! There is, of course, The Red Lion, which we visited here, the Robin Hood pub is now a restaurant, Thai Fusion, which is quite acceptable although a little bland inside and The Lime Lounge, a stylish curry house which has very good food. There are other places but no reports as yet to encourage a trip elsewhere. So we elected to return to The Lime Lounge to see if the food was as good as our last visit.
The restaurant is on the small side with possibly 40 covers and the management try to maximise turnover by using a loose two sitting system. Having said that, there is no suggestion of anyone being hurried along and rushed through their meal. Given efficient service, there is no reason why you can’t be in and out within an hour and a half. In summary, the decor is stylish, with unusual feature walls of some almost granite like dark wall coverings, recessed lime coloured lighting,only a small bubble feature by the bar counter, table runners and orchids on each table. There are no naan stands.
Their menu is fairly standard now in the more aspirational Indian restaurants, with references to the “old school” dishes of Madras and Rogan Josh, Vindaloo and Dhansak, a section of Tandoori and Shashlik main courses and the latest thing, the Signature Dishes. The cynical might say that Signature Dishes are an invention by the Indian Restauranteur’s marketing guru, Mr Miah. The man who brought you Balti’s, recessed lighting, Bubble Walls, Naan Stands and now this upmarket section of the menu. But Mr Miah is just a construct of my imagination, an invention of my own, although the Signature Dishes always share some characteristics: they are always a pound or two more expensive and they invariably have unfamiliar names. But this is OK, Indian food is usually very reasonably priced anyway and no one is forcing you to have these dishes
We passed on the offer of papadums, as we find they tend to fill you up. Instead we had starters of Lamb Chops, quality cuts pronounced very good by the carnivorous OH and Seekh kebabs for me, again very tasty minced lamb and well presented with small dishes of mint sauce, chilli sauce and a tamarind sauce.
Our main courses were both from the signature dishes, so easily persuaded,and we chose the King Prawn Delight and the Behari Murgh from this section of the menu. The owner took the trouble to ask if we had had the prawn dish before and explained how it would come to the table. Less of a traditional curry, more of a plated meal with very large king prawns butterflied and grilled with some light spicing , presented with a salad, some lightly fried rice in a timbale shape and a separate dish of a fairly mild coconut sauce. It was very good and I was impressed with size and quality of the seafood. The Behari Murgh was also a nice dish, pieces of Chicken Tikka, not over spicy and with chickpeas in the thick sauce. Alongside, We took a single portion of pilau rice, a crispy plain naan and a side dish of Aloo Gobi, the potato and cauliflower vegetable curry.
For once, we had not over-ordered and ate everything that was brought to the table. No complaints about the food although we should have ordered dishes that were more of a contrast. Overall the Lime Lounge offers above average Indian Food at reasonable prices, attentive, smart waiting staff as is usually the norm from a restaurant from the sub continent.
As we paid our bill, which came with a complimentary liqueur and chocolate, we chatted with the owner, who explained how he personally supervises every dish that leaves the kitchen, and his views on the trade. He struck us as keen to maintain high standards and give his customers what they want. I am sure he will continue to succeed.