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Food Review: Experience a capital curry at London House Restaurant, Eccleshall

When your taste buds are craving a good curry, nothing else will do. Last week, when the old man and I were experiencing the same lust, we made a short pilgrimage to a restaurant that we hadn’t dined in together for nearly 20 years.


Situated on the town’s picturesque high street, the London House Restaurant has been a solid mainstay of Eccleshall’s dining scene for decades.

Indeed, I remember very well the days when, as a teen, I would devour its delicacies on an almost-weekly basis.

Yet, with a plethora of other restaurants and eateries now happily flying high in Eccleshall, I must confess it had been far too long since I had darkened its doors.

London House Restaurant

With a strong reputation for high quality Indian cuisine, London House has been a hot spot for destination diners for many years, and much of Eccleshall’s current food and drink scene owes this restaurant – and its undeniable pull since the early noughties – its success.

Eccleshall plays host to another dine-in Indian restaurant, and is also home to a takeaway-only eatery that I have often claimed produces the finest Lamb Madras this side of Birmingham.

Yet, for ambiance and finesse, London House has always worn the crown of Eccleshall’s go-to curry house.

Booking a table in January was of course not too difficult, but staff manning the phones were particularly delightful and encouraged excitement for our forthcoming visit.

Upon arrival on a cold Thursday night, we were greeted warmly, seated swiftly, and quickly furnished with a beverage.

Decor at London House is very pleasant; nods to the subcontinent whose cuisine it champions, yet also unimposing and minimalistic in a very western way.

The ambiance was perfect for the relishing of a well thought-out Indian meal, and as soon as I was seated (on a particularly comfortable chair, it has to be said), I was eager to explore the menu and get stuck in.

When it comes to a curry, we all have our favourites. Yet, I was resolved on this occasion to avoid my usual staples and give London House the chance to delight me with one of its showpieces.

The menu featured a wealth of house specialities, and this was where I directed my attention.

Drawn to the sound of the Almezzana – marinated chicken barbecued and cooked with pan fried prawns, mushrooms and fresh cream, my decision for my main course was quickly made.

For my appetiser (often the shining star of any Indian banquet) I opted for the Tetul mix – chicken and lamb tikka cooked in tamarind sauce and served with thin paratha.

Tetul mix

Pop did indeed decide to opt for an old fave for his main, wondering how London House’s version of his go-to Chicken Dhansak would measure against others he had long since set his watch by.

A Tandoori platter starter featuring a mixture of sheek kebab, lamb tikka and chicken tikka was ordered to pave the way, along with a duo of onion bhajis.

With poppadoms and the requisite selection of dips ordered to preface the feast, we were on our way to a hearty supper that would surely leave our curry craving sated.

Our food was brought over by a charming waitress who was nothing less than a delight for the whole evening.

Following the poppadoms, appetisers swiftly followed, and I was wholeheartedly impressed. My Tetul mix had just the right kick, and the chicken and lamb had been cooked to perfection.

The delicate paratha was a nice touch, and I could happily have gorged on a triple portion of this sterling starter for my main.

Pop’s onion bhajis got the double thumbs-up, as did his Tandoori platter.

Again, both the chicken and lamb were perfectly cooked; succulent, juicy and bursting with flavour.

Tandoori platter starter

I was permitted a nibble or two, and thoroughly enjoyed the melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness of this classic curry house appetizer.

The sheek kebab also hit the spot, and rounded off a perfect first course.

When my main arrived I was impressed with the presentation.

My Almezzana looked both hearty and delicate, and, coupled with its aroma, was one of the most inviting plates of food to have crossed my path in a long time. I have commented before about my disappointment when a prawn dish features a decidedly low volume of prawns.

This one did not, and in fact I was delighted at the quantity of pan fried crustaceans that graced my plate.

The chicken, once again, was divine, and the dish as a whole, while mild, packed a fearsome full-fat flavour punch.

I was worried I would have regretted avoiding my standard curry house choices.

Such worries were alleviated with the first bite of my main. It was simply delicious.

Across the table, my father had dived into his Dhansak with gusto, and his silence was telling.

Chicken Dhansak

Clearly London House’s version of his old favourite was an absolute winner, and I knew far better than to interrupt anyone who was enjoying their dinner so earnestly.

Stuffed and sated, we left London House wondering why on Earth it had been so long since we’d dined there, and resolved to return again at the earliest opportunity.

In a competitive world, it can be difficult for an Indian restaurant to stand out from the crowd.

But this one always did, and it certainly still does.

Service was spot on from start to finish, the setting was lovely, and the food was sublime.

Eccleshall’s dining scene is experiencing a golden age right now, and it is great to know that one of its stalwarts has kept pace with exciting newer entrants.

Top marks thoroughly deserved.

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