Express & Star

Food Review: Top-notch tucker at Balti Palace, Eccleshall

Happily, when you're looking for a good curry in our region you can't really go wrong.

South Indian Garlic Chilli Chicken

The West Mids and Shropshire is populated by a plethora of fantastic Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants, and when the urge strikes, one's curry thirst is easily sated. Be that as it may, variety is the spice of life, and so recently my father and I ventured out to a curry house we hadn't frequented for many a moon.

Located in the heart of Eccleshall, Balti Palace proudly flies the flag for high-quality Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine in a town that has no shortage of top-notch restaurants.

Balti Palace, Eccleshall

With an ethos focussing on the fact that food is not merely for the body, but also the soul, the team at Balti Palace have constructed a menu packed full of heart, designed to create a dining experience all customers will remember.

For two weary travellers seeking refuge on a cold Thursday evening, it seemed like just the place to frequent.

Walking into Balti Palace, I was immediately struck by its very vibrant yet heart-warming decor. This was a jolly restaurant, run by a jolly crew, and the way it was kitted out reflected that instantly.

An interior neon light beaming the words 'Hello Eccleshall' reflected Balti Palace's pride at being a part of the town it clearly loves, and ostentatious wallpaper throughout embraced the fun to the fullest. This was far from a quaint rural eatery – Balti Palace was large and in charge, and instantly seemed to conjure up a grin on the face of everyone who was walking through the door.

Balti Palace, Eccleshall

We were met by a charming member of the front-of-house team, who showed us to our table and swiftly furnished us with a pair of beverages.

Browsing the menu at Balti Palace, it was lovely to see a curry house that didn't feel the need to over-offer in terms of its range of dishes. This was a restaurant that was proud of its menu, and confident enough that it didn't need to pad it out with page upon page of filler dishes it knew customers were never going to take a second glance at.

Perusing the appetisers, I quickly decided where my cash was going to land, and ordered up a plate of tandoori king prawns. Dad swiftly made his mind up with a tandoori mix kebab starter, and then it was on to choosing our mains.

I'm a Madras man through and through, and as such it was hard to avoid what I'm sure would have been a fine delicacy. Yet, when looking through Balti Palace's list of signature dishes, the South Indian Garlic Chilli Chicken compelled me to say 'yes', and I ordered said dish with my taste buds going into a frenzy of anticipation.

Dad opted for a chicken dhansak – his go-to curry of choice – and I was curious to see how it would compare to that offered by another Eccleshall restaurant recently reviewed.

After we had enjoyed an ample serving of poppadoms, our starters arrived, and were nothing less than delightful. My prawns had been cooked perfectly, and the sauce in which they were bathed was divine. Fragrant and with just the right level of kick, my starter ticked all the boxes, and primed me well for the main course that was to follow.

Tandoori king prawns

Dad's mix kebab garnered a sincere thumbs-up, and so Balti Palace was doing very well with the Morris men.

Between courses, our front-of-house extraordinaire introduced us to the chef – a delightful young man with a promising career ahead of him. His enthusiasm for his craft was palpable, and following our chat I was all the more eager to get stuck in to my main.

Before this however, our pair of hosts took the opportunity to show us around the rest of the restaurant, including a fun party room that had been established upstairs. This private chamber was the cherry atop the wonderfully ostentatious cake that was Balti Palace, and any large group looking to celebrate without the worry of disturbing other diners would be perfectly at home here.

Balti Palace's party room

Still, on with the food! When it was time for our mains, my South Indian Garlic Chilli Chicken arrived accompanied by an intoxicating aroma that drew me to dive right in with gusto.

In a word, this dish was superb. The chicken was packed with flavour, cooked beautifully, and packed all the punch that you would hope for from a dish with the words 'garlic' and 'chilli' proudly adorning its masthead. I could happily dine on this one every night of the week, and for a few more nights after that. Accompanying egg fried rice was fluffy and delicate – a perfect partner to an exceptionally crafted bit of tucker.

Chicken dhansak

Dad's dhansak elicited a magnificent grin, and clearly ticked every box my father was looking for from his go-to favourite.

Not a bite was wasted on either of our plates, and we both toasted a fantastic meal.

In general, our experience at Balti Palace was smashing. Service was prompt and with a smile, the decor was fun, and the food itself was delicious.

In a town with numerous options for a great curry, it was lovely to see that this restaurant was punching at an equal weight with the best of them, and that its chef was clearly enthusiastic to make his mark.

Top marks fully deserved, and I very much look forward to my next visit.