WE are a nation of curry lovers and no mistake, with anglicised creation Chicken Tikka Massala even having been hailed as the nation’s favourite dish by the New Labour Government back in the noughties.
It is no surprise then that this area is awash with Indian restaurants all vying for a slice of the chapati that is the £3bn spent the UK each year on Indian cuisine.
In a competitive market like this, where daringly different might not suit the majority of naturalised British curry eaters, it pays to serve up classic dishes solidly and effectively.
And with the arrival of a new chef, Bombay Dream in Wooburn Moor does just that, while at the same time offering something that bit different for the more adventurous diner.
It is fair to say that the restaurant, instantly recognisable to locals with its position by the A40 towards Beaconsfield, is more attractive on the inside than it promises from its tired exterior.
The surprisingly calm space is tastefully decorated and roomy without being cavernous, with some modern touches and soft lighting - plus single the fresh flower on each table was a nice touch.
There is no more classic British curry house starter than Chicken Tikka (£3.95), and mine couldn’t be faulted.
The soft, succulent pieces were marinated and cooked to perfection, and the presentation surprisingly modern and refined, even if it could have done without the Harvester-esque Iceberg garnish.
My girlfriend Tori opted for the Paneer Shashlik (£3.95), with the charcoal-grilled, spice-coated pieces of soft cheese charred in all the right places and kick-starting the appetite with their deep-red lustre.
For main, new chef Habibur Khan had specially selected a pair of his favourite creations - available as Chef’s Specials - and here is where Bombay Dream got its chance to shine.
‘Tiger by the River’ (£10.95) uses influences from Chef Khan’s 16 years working in five-star hotels throughout India and touring Asia to master different flavour combinations.
It drafts in Thai ingredients like Lemongrass in the deliciously zesty sauce, shot through with meaty flavour from the mouthwatering - and gigantic - Tiger Prawns pouncing from the plate.
The Spicy Nutty Chicken (£8.95) is an accurately titled, if a little unimaginative way to describe the wealth of flavours at work in this surprisingly dry, complex, textured dish containing cashews and almonds.
Accompaniments were solid and gratifying - a jab of garlic through the Dal Tarka (£2.95), earthy warmth from the Sag Aloo (£2.95) and a satisfying al dente tug from the Parata (£2.95).
People look for different things in their local curry house, with many fiercely loyal and resistant to change.
But with a talented new chef on board, if you’re looking for good quality, robust Indian classics with a touch of the exotic available on the menu to keep things fresh, you could do worse than make this your curry house of choice.
Bombay Dream, London Road, Wooburn Moor. HP10 0NJ. To book a table, call 01494 673001