Although we both love traditional Portuguese food and flavours, every now and then we both crave something that is a little more hot and spicy – and maybe it’s the fact that one of us is originally from Birmingham .. but we do both like a good curry!
We were invited to return to the Raj Indian restaurant which is located in the Holiday Inn hotel, at Armação de Pêra. We have previously eaten there quite a long time ago and we were keen to return and sample their menu – and we were not disappointed!
The restaurant is a little tucked away, and with car parking in front of the entrance, and even with brand new signs on the hotel facade, it is fair to say that it is still not the easiest place to find or to entice you. However as soon as you are through the entrance doors, you are instantly transported into a bright, clean and welcoming entrance to the restaurant, complete with an extremely impressive set of food scales!
The tables are impeccably dressed and well laid out – there is a real sense of space to this restaurant, you will not find yourself cramped in a corner sat three feet away from the next table – you can relax and enjoy the view – which is simply astounding:
On a sunny evening you can sit out on the terrace and watch as the sun sets almost directly opposite to the hotel, the terrace is also spacious and inviting.
The staff are both welcoming and polite, and are obviously very proud of the restaurant, its stunning location and also its fine menu.
Vicky and also Sukhi were attentive all evening to all of their customers, and their knowledge of the food, its provenance and the individual spices and flavours was most impressive.
If you want a particular flavour or spice you only have to ask – Alyson has a passionate dislike of coriander (we know.. she can’t help it!) and nothing was too much trouble to ensure that all of her dishes were coriander-free!
We began with poppadoms, both spicy and plain, with a trio of sauces and flavours to enjoy – a very smooth and rich tamarind sauce; a yoghurt and mint sauce, and a tomato and onion salad finely diced. The tamarind was a nice surprise, and the three dishes all complemented each other very well.
The restaurant has an excellent wine list, however we were happy with a local lager, and for the driver, an unusual and interesting salty Lassi yoghurt-based drink. We also ordered fizzy water and it’s always nice to be able to have a large litre bottle of fizzy water to share and keep in a chilled bucket – so many restaurants only have tiny bottles of fizzy water!
We skipped the starters as we knew that we were in for a treat with a selection of main courses – the starter menu has bajhis, samosas, fish or chicken Pokora and chicken Tandoori to choose from.
We were then spoilt with a wonderful selection of four main dishes all of which were beautifully presented, piping hot – and delicious!
The first up was the Chicken Tikka Masala – with tomato cream and onions and a medium hot sauce which had just the right amount of ‘spice’
Then we had a Lamb Rogan Gosht which was one of Dave’s favourites – a bit hotter than the rest (by request!) and a lovely spicy and filling dish.
Next up came the Chicken Korma – a milder creamy dish and one that Alyson devoured with delight as she loves coconut!
The final main course was a lovely surprise, a steaming-hot smoking plate of Tandoori Mix – the perfect complement to the creamier sauces, this was a plate of mixed meats all cooked in the traditional Tandoori style (minus the coriander!)
All were accompanied by a fresh and soft garlic Naan and a lightly cooked (and not greasy!) Chapati alongside a generous portion of Pilau Rice.
The flavours of all of the dishes worked very well together – we were completely in the hands of Vicky and the chef – and they did not disappoint us! Everything was beautifully cooked and presented, the meats were all tender, and the sauces and spices were balanced and delicious.
We were about to head into Kulfi land for our dessert, when the final surprise of the evening arrived … it was Alyson’s birthday and the hotel had baked her a birthday cake – complete with candles and a card! It was totally unexpected and a lovely gesture!
This was a delightful evening out, in a lovely restaurant that served fabulous food in a fantastic setting. We have been surprised to hear that they are not busier out of the main ‘summer’ season – funnily enough for us it is in the winter time that we most often crave a decent curry and a nice night out.
The Raj can cater for parties and events, they often have a special set menu offer which means that you can enjoy choosing from a specially selected three course menu which includes wine and water for only Є22 Euros per head, and they are able to alter a menu to suit your palate.
The setting is lovely – and quite unique. Traditional Indian music plays in the background – and a fantastic domed glass pyramid ceiling will give you a unique view of the tables!
For us though it was the fabulous food combined with the attentive and proud staff that made this such an excellent evening out – and we will definitely be returning soon to try out more of their menu!
Please note that although we were there on the invitation of the hotel – our review is completely independent of the hotel and the restaurant, and as with all of our blog posts and recommendations, all opinions, thoughts and images are our own.
Please be aware that the restaurant closes in mid-December and re-opens in February each year.
For more information about the Raj Indian Restaurant, how to book a table and special offers .. including how to get 10% off the price of your meal if you join the Raj Privelege Club .. please contact them via the links here:
Contact Vicki Good
Telephone Number(s) +351 282 320260 click to call phone number
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org click to e-mail
Website Raj Indian Restaurant
Raj Indian Restaurant
Holiday Inn Algarve,
Armação de Pêra 8365 909