Chilli Nights, Haslemere, Surrey
They always go through the menu ritual even though they know what they want. It would be odd not to I suppose. They know what they are ordering, I know what they are ordering, Charlie the owner knows what they are ordering, but he presents the menus nonetheless.
Let’s go through the process of removing reading glasses from pockets to read the fairly extensive menu. And, let’s even ask questions about other dishes. What’s this? What’s in that? Mmm that sounds good.
That’ll be two Chicken Dhansaks (£6.25) please, they say, and the waiter collects the menus with a knowing smile. The Dhansak couple have been coming here for years and say this is the best Dhansak they have ever found. I’m not surprised, the chef at Chilli Nights must have had enough practice by now.
So it’s left to me to order something a bit more unusual to hold our table’s end up. Maybe an Ayre Sizzler (£11.95)? Maybe a Chicken Manchuria (£7.95)?
But the truth is I fancy a Dopiaza or a Rogan. You’d think no restaurant can go wrong with old school classics but many still mess it up. Not Chilli Nights. The classics still hit the spot over and over. Chicken Rogan (£6.25) wins the day. I order a Batak Tikka (£4.85) starter just so the chefs don’t think we are stuck in the 1980s, but as I demolish the last chunks of the Rogan I think to hell with it and go for a Lemon Sorbet.
Sometimes you know what you want and if you are in a restaurant that always delivers then why not? Just ask the Dhansak couple.
Chilli Nights, 64 Weyhill, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 1HN. Tel: 01428 644 288.
Scores on the Tandoors
Service and friendliness 9
Vibe 8 (Friday night)