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