By Bernie Bell
Years ago, we went to The Indian Garden restaurant in Junction Road, Kirkwall, and it was dreadful. The food wasn’t good, and the place was grubby. The only good thing about it, was the people, who were very pleasant and friendly.
I believe that there are three elements to eating out – the food, the surroundings, and the people. One out of three wasn’t enough, so we never went back.
Recently, one of Mike’s work colleagues went to The Indian Garden for a meal, and told us that it has changed ownership, and was very good. Now, this lady is very particular, so, if she said it was good, it was likely to be good.
We did a ‘tester’ by getting a takeaway, which was excellent. It was our wedding anniversary (“Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?”), we wanted to go out for a meal, so we thought we’d give The Indian Garden another try.
The place has been transformed – it’s really nice – the use of mirrors making the space appear bigger and lighter – a lot of thought has gone into the planning for the whole place, including the loos!
So, first impressions were good. We have a takeaway menu for The Indian Garden, at home (I’ve ’nicked the picture from that, to illustrate this article – I hope they don’t mind), and I’d already chosen what I wanted to eat, one of my favourites. Mike made his choices, the waitress took the order, and I opened my bottle of wine.
The Indian Garden doesn’t have a licence to sell alcohol, so it’s a ‘bring your own ‘ policy. This suited us, as it meant I got to drink exactly what I wanted. Mike was driving, and was provided with a smart-looking bottle of water.
There were three blokes at the table next to us, on holiday from Surrey. They’d been to The Orkney Brewery https://www.orkneybrewery.co.uk/ , were very taken with the Orkney beers, and had brought along some bottles of ‘Northern Light’, so, they got to drink exactly what they wanted, too!
I think it’s a good idea – might be a bit of a surprise for the unprepared, but, well, that’s why I’m telling folk!
The food arrived promptly, and it was very good, really very good. I had a veg. dhansak. Dhansak can sometime be interpreted as a ‘hot’ form of curry, and be a bit much to take. This one was just right – it was savoury – you could savour the different flavours. Writing this, I’m remembering it and tasting it again…………..
There is a big screen on the wall, showing Bollywood movies, with accompanying soundtrack. I’m usually not a fan of ‘tellies’ when I’m out. They’re often tuned to a news channel – which is the last thing I want when out to enjoy an evening and have a break from that ….stuff.
I was happy with the Bollywood movies and music, as they are colourful and jolly – I love that dancing, and the dresses. Also, the music took me back to being a teenager in Bradford, going out with my friends, and going for a curry. That would be the music which would be playing – sitting in The Indian Garden took me right back. The sound level could be a wee bit lower, but I’m not really complaining – I was enjoying it!
There was no hurry at The Indian Garden. Some places, you’re aware that they’ve got your table lined up for the next diners – not so here. The service was prompt, but otherwise, the atmosphere was relaxed.
It was simply a good evening out, and I’d recommend it, if you’re looking of an Indian meal in Kirkwall – The Indian Garden, Junction Road.