To be honest I’m not really one of those people to celebrate monthly anniversaries in a relationship. I tend to keep a subconscious mental track of the months, but nothing more. However today is the ten month anniversary of me and my partner dating and as such last night we went out for dinner.
If truth be told, we fancied going out for dinner anyway. We were home alone as my kids are away with their dad and my partner had just got back from work and I was feeling a bit down. He suggested dinner and although I dismissed it at first, we eventually gave into the idea, joking it was “date night” and not only that but the following day we’d have been together ten months. Unfortunately my partner is working today though, having left the house at about 7.20am this morning and not being back till about 10.40pm this evening. Anyway, I digress… since ultimately this post is about the fact we went out for dinner – whatever the reason.
Chris loves Indian food and although I’m not a big fan, since he’d offered to pay it seemed only right to let him have some choice in the matter. I wasn’t even really sure what I fancied so just taking the decision out of my hands was enough for me. Besides, its not really that I don’t like Indian, its just that I never had it at all growing up and its only over the last seven or eight years, that I’ve even started to try it at all. I think I’ve had a proper Indian meal (from a restaurant) about twice in my whole life. An Indian takeaway, perhaps about four or five times – and a Tesco version of an Indian take away, from about a handful or so times more than that.
As such, I made Chris choose what I was having. I looked at the menu and it all just seemed like jibberish. Not literally, because it wasn’t actually written in Indian or anything, but my knowledge of this particular cuisine being as little as it is, I wasn’t really sure what I would like or what I wouldn’t. To be fair, its not often Chris gets to be the dominant and in charge one, so it made a nice change…
The restaurant itself was called “The Moonlight” and it does both eat in and take away. Chris had told me the take away is usually pretty busy and the restaurant was fairly quiet. He wasn’t kidding either, since we were the only people who ate in the restaurant last night, at least over the two hour period we were there. That said, the phone only rang three or four times for take away too, so perhaps it was just a quiet night.
The decor was a little dodgy, just outdated really but pleasant enough. The salt and pepper pot particularly caught my eye, I even joked with the waiter that if it was missing at the end of the evening, I’d taken it. Otherwise though it was clean and simple, no real complaints but nothing to rave over either.
Chris talked me into Butter Chicken – a dish that an Indian friend online had once told me I would enjoy, since at the time I didn’t really like things too spicy or with coconut or yoghurt (this counts out a lot of Indian food!). I agreed, even though I’m not quite as fussy these days and can actually deal with Korma, Biryani, Bhuna, Tikka Marsala etc. I chose garlic rice to go with it (as I am a garlic fiend) and cheese naan, which we would share. Chris plumped for something which he couldn’t even remember the name of in the end, but it was [something] Masala, along with keema rice. We both ordered a glass of white wine too and Chris insisted on poppadoms, despite my arguing that they were bland and boring.
We made small talk while we waited for food, listening to some dodgy “B 4 U” TV channel in the background. The poppadoms came fairly fast and although I still maintain they were bland, the texture was definitely nicer than some I’ve had. Along with the poppadoms, came the spices/dips tray. This is an instant turn off for me. In the jug was yoghurt (yuck!) and then in the bowls were mango chutney (bigger yuck!), some sort of powder which we couldn’t decide what it was (didn’t really taste of much) and something so spicy it was just foul… (bottom left). Luckily the chopped onion, tomato and cucumber bowl (top left) was just exactly that and I could eat that along with my poppadom, quite happily drinking my wine.
The service was good, I will say that. Only 2 different people actually served us and though English clearly wasn’t their first language, they were both incredibly polite, helpful and friendly. It wasn’t long before we finished off the starters and mains came along pretty quickly.
I took loads of pictures of our main courses, but this basically sums it up. Mine is the closest and Chris the furthest. We had a plate of rice each and a lovely fresh naan too, which isn’t quite pictured. The food was delicious! It honestly was so so nice. I tried Chris’ main dish and rice, but definitely preferred my own. The garlic rice was amazing but SO garlicky. There was so much food and as it came towards the end I just knew I wasn’t going to manage it all. When the waiter came to check on us, I was cheeky enough to ask for a doggy bag, thinking it would make a good lunch for the next day.
When everything was cleared away, my take home returned to me and our tables cleared, we asked for the bill. There was no offer of sweets or anything else for that matter and I think that’s sort of a shame. Chris said they didn’t actually do sweets, though I feel sure they must have something on offer. Not only that but we didn’t get offered or even asked for extra drinks during our meal, nor coffee or “after dinner drinks” once we finished. I think perhaps if they tried to up sell a little more, it would be nice.
Anyway, we asked for the bill and were told it would be brought over to us. When it arrived there were two little shot glass drinks and two After Eight mints. Definitely a winner in my book, since I love After Eights and I was pretty sure the drink was Baileys. Sadly, it was cheap imitation Bailey’s, but it wasn’t bad and of course the chocolate mints were lovely! The bill came to around £30 in total which wasn’t bad for everything we had and in all honesty in my mind, Indian food is always quite an expensive meal.
So would I recommend “The Moonlight”? Yes, definitely. However I think its a shame the place wasn’t busier to give it more of an atmosphere and perhaps next time I would definitely order one less rice and instead some Bombay Potatoes or something. All in all it was an amazing meal and a lovely evening. We came home and had to undo the top buttons of our trousers. I then sat and burped garlic all evening (sorry, overshare?) while we watched Men in Black 3 and then headed to bed.