Express & Star

Food review: 'I tried this Wolverhampton Indian restaurant and found it was worth the price'

An Indian meal is something that can, at times, promise a lot, but not really deliver on that promise.

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Combine all the parts together and you've got yourself a really nice meal

At times, you can be met with undercooked or overcooked meat, too much chilli or not enough flavour, or just something that fills a hole but doesn't challenge you or make you feel like you've had a good meal.

Some places, however, break through and leave you with your taste buds tickled and your senses overloaded with taste, flavour, aroma and wonder at the meal you've just had.

Just walking up, you can smell the good food coming from the restaurant

The Bilash in Wolverhampton city centre is one of those places and, since 1980, has endeavoured to provide quality Bangladeshi/Indian cuisine, something it has done very well, judging by a past Michelin rating, the AA Rosette award for culinary excellence and the top 10 ranking for restaurants in the Midlands from the Sunday Times, all of which are acknowledged on the restaurant's website.

Set opposite Wolverhampton Civic Centre and sitting in the shadows of St Peter's Church on Cheapside, the restaurant smells amazing from the outside, which is always a good start with any restaurant.

The elephant statue is one of many nice items of decor

Stepping inside, you feel the warmth of the room and of the staff as they welcome you, with the room full of patterned decor and a number of statuettes and decorative items around.

There are also two separate seating areas, situated both sides of the stairs, with tables and comfy seating along one side and wrap-around leather padded seating opposite the bar and kitchen.

The best way to start any Indian meal, with homemade sauces and warm poppadoms

The bar itself is really well-stocked, with a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, handy for me on this occasion as I was driving as I was able to have a zero-alcohol Heineken.

It's a restaurant that prides itself on fresh ingredients, with no pre-prepared sauces or out of the can meals, and the waiting staff will help you to tailor meals to your own needs, whether that's through no garlic or tomatoes or with more or less spice.

It's a well stocked bar, full of all the drinks you could ask for

The A La Carte menu is a treat as well, giving you the best of the different courses on offer and you can feel your mouth watering just by reading the list, helped by the tangy chutney and minty sauces provided with the poppadoms and onion salad.

As I knew I'd be going for a chicken-type meal for my main course, I decided to try something a bit different and certainly had plenty of choice, with the Machli Tikka (Salmon in yogurt and other ingredients) and Paneer Tikka looking pretty good.

However, I chose the Chingree Puri, an elegant mixture of prawns, stir-fried in caramelised onion, roasted red pepper, coriander and cumin, served on a puri and accompanied by a bowl of grated carrot, black chickpeas, cucumber and tomato.

The Chingree Puri looks great, smells great and tastes great