The Coriander, along The Parade, in Bourne End, is an Indian fusion restaurant that serves a vast range of Indian, Bangladeshi and Nepalese specialities.

The restaurant is part of a small chain, with branches in Amersham, Ware and Buckhurst Hill to name a few.

It was also nice to see that the restaurant proudly displays its food hygiene rating of five, so I had high hopes for our meal.

My boyfriend Stephen and I received a warm welcome as we walked in on Sunday evening and the restaurant was nicely decorated and clean. I was immediately surprised by how bustling the restaurant was for a Sunday evening, which made it clear that The Coriander is popular with the locals. The restaurant was decorated in warm bronze colours, with mirrors and a distinctive wooden elephant head.

We were led to our table and handed the menus. The restaurant serve a large range of alcoholic drinks, including wines beers and spirits as well as soft drinks, so there is something for everyone.

While we decided what to eat, we had some papadoms (50p each) which were warm and freshly made and not stale at all, along with the usual chutneys, dips and raitha’s which were very nice.

For starters, Stephen and I shared a dish of onion bhajis (£2.95). There were three small bhajis on the plate and they were crisp and tasty, served with a side salad and a mix of sauces in the same pot, a spicy one and a yoghurt sauce to cool it down. I’m not keen on yoghurt sauce, so I made sure to avoid that – the hotter sauce was a very nice accompaniment to the bhajis. The bhajis themselves were slightly crispier than I would usually expect, but that didn’t take away from the flavour at all. The portion was perfectly sized for one person.

Onto the main course; the restaurant serves a wide range of meals, including the traditional dishes like Jalfrezi and Bhuna, as well as some lesser-known Bangladeshi and Nepalese dishes, like Bengal Fish and Langtang.   

Stephen and I decided to choose two dishes and share them. We went for a dish from the chef’s recommendation list, a lamb noorjahani (£7.95) and a chicken balti (£7.50), with a side of pilau rice for me (£2.40) and a keema naan for Stephen (£1.95).

The noorjahani was cooked with onions and peppers, in a sauce made with tomato puree, crushed garlic, ginger and other spices. I was apprehensive about the noorjahani as it was marked as ‘hot’ on the menu and I prefer milder dishes, but I didn’t struggle with the heat at all. It was just hot enough to give it a kick, without being unbearable. The lamb was cooked nicely and wasn’t chewy.

The chicken balti was milder and full of flavour and the chicken was succulent. The hints of garlic and tamarind really made the dish delicious. Stephen commented that it was one of the best balti’s he’s ever eaten and I would have to agree. Both dishes came with big chunks of tomato, onion and peppers which was a really nice addition. The portion sizes were just right – we managed to finish all of our dishes completely without being uncomfortably full.

The rice was very pleasant - perfectly cooked and not dry at all. I'm always apprehensive about trying a keema naan, as I think they can either be very good, or very bad.  Sometimes the meat can be a bit tasteless, but luckily, this one was lovely. The naan was fresh and soft and the meat inside was tasty.

Stephen and I shared a dessert after our mains – we chose the ‘Fantastica’, a lovely combination of vanilla and toffee ice cream, with chocolate and toffee balls on top. It was delicious and creamy and was presented really nicely - the perfect way to finish off our meal.

Overall, the meal at The Coriander was almost faultless. All of the dishes provide great value for money, without compromising on the quality of the ingredients and you could really tell that effort had been put into making every meal as tasty as possible.

The staff were very friendly and helpful and the service was impeccable. We didn’t have to wait longer than five or ten minutes for any of our drinks or dishes to be brought to us, which was surprising considering how many people were in the restaurant that evening.

Visit to order online, book a table at the restaurant or view the menu.