REVIEW: Spice up your life with second to naan South Yorkshire restaurant

Second to naan restaurateur, Doncaster Aagrah partner Liquat Ali
Second to naan restaurateur, Doncaster Aagrah partner Liquat Ali

An award-winning regional eatery continues to serve success on a plate.

Aagrah Doncaster still has spice of life-affirming menu that remains tasty testament to its milestone 21-year recipe for success (accompanied here by "what's your favourite Indian dish" quiz and illustrative video).

The contemporary Kashmiri restaurant – whose Sheffield city centre and Crystal Peaks sister sites similarly serve up Indian and Pakistani regional traditional tastes – is widely considered a red hot winner, reinforcing repeated Eastside Magazine Best Indian Restaurant accolades.

But proof of the pudding, as time-honoured proverb attests, is in the eating. And this Woodlands 150-seat eating establishment does not disappoint.

Chicken pakora (£3.50) was pick of extensive starters in shape of delicious, delicately seasoned diced chicken and sliced onions in suitably spicy deep-fried batter. Served with green salad, it proved a suitably scintillating ap​p​etiser, stimulating taste buds for what was to follow.

Equally appetising grilled chicken tikka (£3.50) came as charcoal cooked cubes of succulent breast, marinated in glorious gathering of ginger and garlic. Tones of tumeric, coriander, cumin, yoghurt and lime juice also infused a delicacy, served with salad, onions & pepper.

Chicken hyderabdi (£8.95) proved distinctly rich dish cooked with chicken, tangy spices, green coriander, fresh cream, yoghurt, tomatoes, garlic & ginger, marinated in bay leaf juices, cardamom & cloves, full of distinctive flavours.

Mixed vegetable pilau rice (£3.20) and spiced mince meat stuffed garlic nan (£2.95) proved perfect accompaniment while cheeky side came in form of aloo palak (£3.50), an exquisite marriage - surely made in Shangri-La - of new baby potatoes and spring leaf spinach, cooked with onions, mustard seeds, tomatoes, fresh coriander and other selected herbs & spices aplenty.

Mixed Grill (£10.95), coming as a complete meal, amounted to carnivorous carnival of exotic flavours, a meat-eaters’ mélange of machli masala and sizzling seekh kebab. Lamb chops and quarter chicken tandoori completed, and complemented, the substantial meal, supplemented by pilau rice, fluffy as it was light.

Also accompanying this satisfyingly succulent feast were ample amounts of mixed vegetables and salad to ensure fully satisfied diners.

Cooking up storming success, Doncaster Aagrah's bustling kitchen

Cooking up storming success, Doncaster Aagrah's bustling kitchen

Washed down by (£3.30) pint of 3.6% ABV specially brewed resfreshingly sharp Lal Toofan lager, the bill came to equally refreshingly reasonable £40.

Aagrah has long curried favour, as well as dishes, within the local community, offering emergency services staff and student discounts as well as mouth-watering offers for sister title Doncaster Free Press readers.

Other services include exclusive family-friendly buffets, slimming menu, vegetarian options, private functions, separate bar and reception area, disabled access, free parking and, for those on the go, takeaway food to same high standard.

General manager Asif Ali explains: "It’s all about good quality food and good quality service - nothing else".

Starter's order for quality, Doncaster Aagrah manager Asif Ali

Starter's order for quality, Doncaster Aagrah manager Asif Ali

The "family affair" is confirmed by dad Liquat. "I’ve run Aagrah in Doncaster for the past 21 years, serving the people of the area.

"Doncaster has been good to me. I am passionate about bringing the best to local people and maintaining high standards.

"We have put our hearts and souls into this business," added a man, ever hungry to research bygone eating habits, whose chain has published its own Hand Over Fist cookbook.

Visit Aagrah Restaurant, Great North Road, Woodlands, Doncaster DN6 7RA and website or call 01302 728888.