Takeaway time

4. Takeaways

Chondona, Liphook, Hampshire

It says a lot about our times that the village of Liphook has more curry outlets than pubs (at least for now as one of them is being renovated after a fire). Chondona is the old favourite, having been here for years and it is the only one in the village itself (the other two, a Nepalese and a takeaway are in the new bit further down the old A3).

It advertises itself as serving contemporary Bangladeshi cuisine, although it serves the usual range of dishes from all the old-school favourites to tandoori and everything in between.

The front part of the restaurant was full (there is a side overflow area as well) early on a Saturday night and from what I saw the takeaway side of the business is thriving as well. People collecting their food can either stand at the small bar or take a seat at a table that has been set aside for them near the bar. It’s a perfectly pleasant place to have a draught Kingfisher or bottle of Bud (£2.05) but is maybe a bit too close to those dining and might make some a bit uncomfortable. It’s never nice to feel like you’re gate crashing someone’s big night out, them all dressed up and you with overcoat and scarf and a bottled beer to while away the time. Yes, yes, I know I could ring up and order in advance but I never do. Imagine – horror – if it was ready when I arrived? Then I wouldn’t have an excuse for ordering a beer…

The potato in the Aloo Gobi (£2.55) was a bit over-cooked and crumbly but the Chicken Rogan (£4.95) was delicious, with the amount of tomato spot on (i.e. loads of it) and, joy oh joy, the chicken was not in those over-perfect cubes that some restaurants insist on dishing up. There, in the tasty thick sauce and coated in the juicy toms were great big piece of chicken, not uniform, and not looking processed. I mopped it up with a Keema nan (£1.95).

Parking: large car park at Hungry Horse pub opposite or a smaller one at the back.
Delivery: free within six miles for minimum orders of £15 (last orders 10pm).
Specials: 10% discount on collected takeaway orders over £10.
Beer while you’re waiting: Chondona is a fully licensed restaurant or the Hungry Horse pub is opposite.
Waiting time: was about 15-20 minutes from the time of order.

Chondona, 15 The Square, Liphook, Hampshire, GU30 7AB. Tel: 01428 724201 or 722095. Open: daily noon–2p.30m, 6pm–11.30pm.

Chondona snapshot

Food 6⃣

Waiting area 4⃣

Value 8⃣

Service and friendliness 8⃣

Turning up the heat

4. Takeaways

Chirag, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote

The way the chef cooked my Chicken Dopiaza (€7.50) in Chirag reminded me of dishes I’ve seen being cooked in India. The open kitchen makes it possible to marvel at how the ingredients are added to the high-heat pan so it seems as if they are flash cooked – although there was no rush here, the dish taking 20 minutes so it was certainly fresh.

This was a rich, and tasty dopiaza with a good amount of ‘double onions’ as the dish describes but not the overload you get in the British Indian restaurant (BIR) style of cooking most of us are used to. This had more depth and richness and the onions emerged in the dish rather than simply swamping it. Who hasn’t ordered a dopiaza and felt that it’s simply a curry with some onions tossed in at the end? Not here.

Add in the multi-coloured pilau rice (€2.95) which seems to be a favourite in these parts, and a chapatti (€1.50) and you’ve got a decent-priced takeaway to enjoy on your apartment balcony while looking at the sea.

Other: free popadum with the menu leaflet.

Delivery: free home delivery on orders over €30.

Beer while you’re waiting: Fully licensed if you want a beer here or there are loads of bars nearby.

Chirag, C/Roque Nublo, 15, 35510 Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote. Tel: +34 928 51 29 47.

Chirag snapshot

Food ① ② ③ ④

Waiting area  ① ②

Value ① ② ③ ④

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④

Three new cheers

4. Takeaways

Saaki, Liss, Hampshire

It takes a brave restaurateur to run an Indian virtually opposite a much-publicised competitor. But despite being in the shadow of the renowned Madhuban, the neighbouring Saaki continues to serve this small Hampshire village with good food.

Assuming it doesn’t just survive off the overflow of people from up the road, which is unlikely, it must be doing something right to have been here for a number of years.

One thing it offers, if its menu is to be believed, is an astonishing range of ‘New’ dishes on its menu. No fewer than 32 of the items on the menu are flagged as such  and these certainly include some interesting dishes such as the delightfully named Chot Poti starter –a mix of chick peas, yellow lentils and potatoes cooked in lemon juice and spices – and the Lamb Tropical Mango using a blend of hot spices and mango chutney.

Ah, when in Rome… First up in the new stakes is the Chicken Napalize (£7.95) a sort of less-cloying version of butter chicken with peppers and onions, delivered with the most uniform strips of chicken I’ve ever had in a curry. This I had with new garlic rice (£2.95). No holding back on the garlic here, so much so that I could sense the wild village snails slithering for cover as I strolled home. All good so far, but there in the new side dishes I found it: Tuk Baigon (£3.25), the best aubergine dish ever. Mushy, but a good mushy, the aubergine is marinated in lemon juice and the tanginess just worked perfectly with the creamy chicken and rice. Three cheers for new.

Aubergine genius

So once ordered it’s time for a pint of Cobra while waiting (I never can understand people who ring ahead so they don’t have to wait) while reading the papers in the waiting area which has been screened off nicely so you feel as if you are in the restaurant without intruding into the evening of other diners.

Parking: on-street parking along Station Road.
Delivery: free within five miles for minimum orders of £10.
Specials: 10% discount on takeaways.
Beer while you’re waiting: Saaki is a fully licensed restaurant or the Whistle Stop pub is a short walk away.

Saaki, 73 Station Road, Liss, Hampshire, GU33 7AD. Tel: 01730 895455. Open: daily noon–2pm, 5.30pm–11.30pm (midnight Fri–Sat).

Saaki snapshot

Food ① ② ③

Waiting area  ① ② ③

Value ① ② ③ ④

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④