Last week, my boyfriend Stephen and I went to try out the menu at Elaichi, on Cressex Road, Booker.

Elaichi serves a range of Bangladeshi and Indian dishes and it was comforting to know that the restaurant has a food hygiene rating of 4 (good), so I was eager to try out their cuisine.

When we walked in, I noticed the restaurant could do with a bit of sprucing up as the walls were looking a bit worn in places, but other than that it had a very pleasant atmosphere, with lots of fresh flowers and the music quietly playing in the background added to the relaxed feel of the place.

The tables were decorated very nicely and the waiters were very polite and attentive, pulling out our chairs for us and putting our napkins on our laps. 

After being led to our table near the window, we were offered some papadoms, so we ordered some and they came out quickly with lots of dips and salad. My favourite was definitely the chilli sauce, which provided a nice kick. The mango chutney was a bit thicker here than I have had at other Indian restaurants, which was a nice surprise.   

The menu was wide enough to provide you with a varied choice, but not too wide that it makes you suspicious about the quality of the food.  The starters included tandoori king prawns, squid and chicken tikka. The main dishes included a variety of fish and meat and vegetarian options, including a lamb tikka, cocktail kebab mixed grill and vegetable shashlik, with all the usual sides including rice and naan breads.

I also noticed they have a good range of alcoholic drinks, including Kingfisher Lager, Cobra beer and a variety of spirits such as Glenfiddich whisky, Bacardi rum and Southern Comfort.

Onto the food; for starters, we decided to go with the classic onion bhajjis. Out of all the Indian restaurants we’ve reviewed so far, Elaichi’s bhajjis were by far my favourite. They were a perfect mix with crunchy fried onion on the outside and soft onion in the middle. They were very tasty and a good portion size too.

For mains, we chose a dish from the chef’s recommendations called chicken achar and a lamb passanda, with sides of pilau rice and a keema naan.

The chicken achar consisted of braised golden chicken in a thick sauce with sliced onion, ginger, garlic and unground garam massala. I was very impressed with this dish, there was lots of meat and the sauce was rich and tasty. For people who prefer a more bitter sauce than a sweet one, this was perfect.

I did notice that there were two chillies next to this dish on the menu, which usually symbolises a fairly spicy curry,  but it was actually very mild, so it is worth bearing that in mind when you order.

The lamb passanda was the complete opposite; very sweet and creamy. The lamb was more like slices than chunks, which meant that there was less meat in this dish compared to the chicken achar (well, it felt like there was anyway). I shared both the dishes with Stephen, which I was very grateful for as the passanda was starting to get a little too creamy for my liking towards the end. I don’t think I would have been able to finish a whole one to myself, but it was perfect to share.

The pilau rice was moist and fluffy and the keema naan was freshly cooked, tasty and stuffed full of meat.  

We decided to share an ice cream based dessert called Nouka, which consisted of vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips and chocolate truffles on top. The menu said truffles, but there was only one. This wasn’t too much of a problem for me because there is plenty of chocolate in the rest of the dessert.

The presentation on all the dishes was lovely. The chef had gone to great lengths to make the dishes look nice – there was even an elaborately crafted carrot on the chicken achar dish and a pretty umbrella in the dessert was nice.

There weren’t many people in the restaurant when we arrived at around 7.30pm on a Wednesday evening, but by the time we were leaving near 9pm, it was almost full of people having a late dinner, which was very surprising for the middle of the week as I expected it to be much quieter.

Overall, the staff were very attentive and polite, the food was lovely and the portion sizes were ample; I left feeling comfortably full.

For more information or to view the menu, visit