In search of a gem
Posted On RCC
Shampan 3, Welling
(review by @Benb111)
Get your Sat Nav primed and ready if you want to visit Welling’s award-winning Shampan 3 Indian restaurant.This hard-to-find success was rated Best in London Suburbs in the prestigious British Curry Awards this year, and will have curryholics flocking there to see what the fuss is about.
The restaurant – which opened in 2006 and is part of a small group – is situated in a dense residential backwater somewhere between the A207 into Welling and the A2. Believe me, it’s a pig of a place to find!My expedition party from Greenwich consisted of my wife and I, plus our two teenage children.
The restaurant itself is situated in a small parade of shop and the welcome we received on a cold December Wednesday wasn’t the greatest, even though we had booked. It was hurried rather than warm. With a bar by the entrance, the decor is smart, understated and relaxing, with pretty murals.
The menu is extensive with all the usual staples, but also with plenty of ‘recommendations’ as well. Starters range from £3.90 to £5.90 and for the main course you can have your traditional chicken favourites for £6.90. The priciest items on the menu are sea bass and ginger king prawns, both at £13.90.
I chose Chicken Vindaloo (£6.90), She Who Must be Obeyed (SWMBO) the Barbecued Lamb Achari (£8.50), with the lamb cutlets cooked in the tandoor. My son went for the Chicken Tikka Masala (£7.90), and my daughter Chicken Tikka (£7.50).
SWMBO loved her lamb, my son rated the CTM up there with the his favourite at Charlton’s Viceroy and my daughter enjoyed her tikka. We also had Bindi Bhajee (£3.90), plain rice (£2.50), coconut rice (£3.90), nan (£2.50), and peshwari nan (£2.90).
I was disappointed with my vindaloo. Maybe I was expecting too much because of the recent award, but I have had better at two Greenwich favourites: Chutney and Gurkha’s Inn. The bindi wasn’t the tastiest either, although the coconut rice was fragrant and delicious.
The friendliness of the place did warm up when the restaurant manager came to take our order and realised straight away that we weren’t regulars. He was happy to chat (even he uses a Sat Nav).But enough about food; loos tell a lot about a restaurant and the ones at Shampan are outstanding with five-star luxury. Curiously though, I had to ask for a soap dispenser because there wasn’t one – maybe it had been nicked?
One or two minor quibbles (they’re award-winners – they can take it). Shampan uses oversized plates and bowls so our table felt very cramped, so much so that a salad – part of the lamb dish – had to be put on an adjoining table. I also felt the waiters were a little too quick to pounce to sell more drinks. I had to stop my daughter, 13, ordering a third pineapple juice from a waiter who had asked her directly as soon as her empty glass hit the table.
So, would I go back? Yes, I would, although I do think you are hard pressed to beat the food and friendliness of our Greenwich favourites. Still, don’t take my word for it. Go for yourself… just don’t forget the Sat Nav.
The meal for four came to £66.80 (including non-alcoholic drinks but excluding service).
Shampan 3 Restaurant & Bar, 8 Falconwood Parade, The Green, Welling, Kent, DA16 2PL. Tel: 020 8304 9569. E-mail: email@example.com. Open: Mon–Sat noon-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm (11pm Fri and Sat), Sun noon–10pm.
Shampan 3 snapshot
Food ① ② ③ ④
Decor ① ② ③ ④
Value ① ② ③ ④
Atmosphere (Wednesday evening) ① ② ③ ④
Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④