I’m a huge lover of Indian food, so when I heard a brand new Indian restaurant had opened its doors in Durham, I couldn’t resist popping along to sample its menu. Located in The Pumphouse, in Farm Road, Amaani promises to offer the finest Indian cuisine, where each dish is exquisitely crafted to create a blend of both contemporary and authentic. Topped with a stunning backdrop of the River Wear, this eatery is set to offer delicious meals in a picturesque setting.
If you think The Pumphouse is stunning from the outside, then wait until you’re inside Amaani. White accents and grey hues are fluid throughout the whole venue, with industrial bare brick walls fused together with modern and contemporary touches. It’s a gorgeous restaurant!
Before we were shown to our table we waited in the lounge area and glanced over our menus. With a vast selection of starters and mains – from meats, seafood and signature dishes – there’s something to suit all palates. I couldn’t help, but go for the onion bhajis – they’re one of my favourites – followed by the king prawn biryani while Corey went for the chef’s special kebab and the chicken madras with a keema naan on the side. Once we ordered and our drinks arrived, we were then shown to our table.
As we waited, which wasn’t for very long, the aromas that filled the air made our mouths water with anticipation. So much so, that when our starters arrived it took everything in me not to dive straight in and take photos. To my delight the onion bhajis were perfect – not too small and not too big – crispy, soft in the centre and, more importantly, not greasy. I polished mine off quickly and it’s safe to say the starter had me wanting more. Corey really enjoyed his starter too, in fact, this was the first time he’s ever ate an onion bhaji and liked it! Normally, he always gives it to me, but I didn’t get a look in – to quote “OMG that was actually really nice!”
While we waited for our mains, which again didn’t take long to arrive, we nibbled on poppadoms that came with a selection of dips. The poppadoms were freshly made and arrived still warm and complemented the dips perfectly. My favourites were definitely the sweet mango chutney and the spicy dip (I’m not sure on the exact name), but it has a fiery kick to it.
My main was a plate lavished with juicy king prawns served on a bed of soft basmati rice, which had cashew nuts and sultanas throughout, garnished with a salad and served with a vegetable curry on the side. I enjoy mixing everything together, and this dish was a fantastic combination of textures and flavours.
The prawns were cooked to perfection – tender and not chewy. Since the prawns and rice were a dry dish, I’m glad that it came with a vegetable curry on the side. Hot, but not spicy and filled with a great selection of vegetables, the curry complemented the fish and rice. It was such a generous helping that I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to eat it all, but it was so flavoursome I couldn’t bring myself to leave any. I can never resist a keeam naan and the ones at Amaani are, again, freshly made and were perfect for mopping up the last of my curry.
Even though I love Indian food I do find it can be a little heavy, however, on this occasion instead of reaching for the top button on my jeans, I reached for the dessert menu. I felt perfectly content after my meal, so much so, that I just had to have the coconut supreme while Corey went for the fantastica.
Totally Insta-worthy the ice cream came inside a coconut shell! The coconut ice cream was cool, creamy and the perfect palate cleanser. Corey’s dessert is ideal if you’ve got a sweet tooth – it was a gooey combination of vanilla and caramel ice cream with chocolate balls and topped with toffee pieces and caramel sauce – he was practically licking the plate clean!
I really enjoyed my visit to Amaani. Everything from the food to the service, and even the venue, was brilliant. I’ve already recommended this restaurant to some friends and are already planning to return with family. If you love Indian food, like I do, then I definitely think you’ll love Amanni too.
Have you been to Amaani before? Do you love Indian food? What’s your favourite kind of dish?
Sarah Jayne x
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