Last Saturday I’d organised to go for a curry with two friends and a toddler. I’d normally go to my local favourite Amaans in Morley, but I wanted try somewhere else and also venture a little further out, rather than my usual or the city centre. Having lived in Kirkstall a number of years ago I knew Horsforth and Cookridge quite well, but hadn’t been to any of the restaurants in a very long time!!! I’d asked for some advice on Twitter and one of the places that kept being tweeted was The Golden Bengal, when I did a bit of research I then suddenly realised I’d been there about 12 years ago when it was called The Golden Gate. On arrival we were greeted very warmly and this really set the tone for our meal. When we sat at our table, I was definitely having a déjà view moment as I was sat in the same seat looking out onto Low Lane that I’d sat in before. The interior is much different to how I remember, much lighter with a more open feel to it.
The menu as you can imagine is very extensive and with the usual starters and main dishes, they also have some interesting curries in their signature and fusion dishes. After looking through the extensive menu, we were also given some helpful info on the dishes we decided. Our pickle tray arrived with all the customary goodies – zingy lime pickle (a fellow diner really loved it), the onion relish good because the onioniness, if that’s even a word had been tempered down. You can’t go wrong with a decent mango chutney and a very yummy spiced yoghurt dip.
Our starters arrived and looked great, I surprised myself for not ordering my usual prawn puree, prawn bhuna combo but opted for a Aloo Chaat on purée instead. A huge thing for me this!!! I was glad for once that I didn’t order my usual, the potato was soft with a hint of garlic and the sauce was mildly spiced. The puree was crisp and the ratio of puree to chaat was just right. The other starters also went down a storm and were polished off in a matter of minutes.
Our main courses were brought out and I was looking forward to my prawn bhuna to see it if had changed much from the meal years before. After the first mouthful it felt like I was transported back 12 years, it tasted exactly how I remembered it. Aptly at the end of the meal one of the sisters said that they had the old chef back in the kitchen working his magic. Prawns perfectly cooked and a great tasting sauce, not too much tomato so just right for me. One of the best bhunas I’ve had in a long time!!! Accompaniments of pilau rice and chapattis were just as they should be too. The butter chicken was spot on!! Very moreish, soft chicken with the wonderful creamy sauce. We also ordered a Byngon bhaji and a plain omelette for a toddler. The Byngon bhaji was a lightly spiced aubergine side dish in a mild masala sauce, it was very tasty indeed and a new one for me, but definitely something I’d order again.
In terms of cost our total bill was £48 for a pickle tray, 3 starters, 4 main courses and lots of accompaniments and side dishes. The restaurant has a bring your own policy which makes it good value for money. Over the years the Golden Bengal had seen many changes, when I first ate here the father of the family, Mr Abdul Rashid ran the restaurant, but after his passing in 2010 his daughters took on the challenge of running the place. Their hard work has really paid off and it was great to be back after all these years. It’s a fab place for friends and families, the staff are very hospitable and really make an effort in welcoming you and making you feel at home. The food is just as good as I remembered it!!The Golden Bengal Low Lane Horsforth LS18 5NY 0113 2580751 http://www.thegoldenbengal.co.uk