A rare visit to sunny St Helens afforded the opportunity for an early evening curry. The Palace, on Duke Street has been open for years, I’m guessing at least 20 and is still run by the same family and I’m told the same chef.
The dining room is fairly large with several comfy booths. We had no trouble getting a table early evening on a Tuesday. Given the number of visits to this restaurant, I kind of know what I like, so after demolishing the always excellent poppadoms and chutney tray (the red chilli sauce is particularly good), we skipped starters and opted for the “bring it all together routine.”
As I was eating with Junior FS, there’s no persuading him away from a Chicken Tikka main course with a korma sauce on the side. Neither can a visit to a curry house pass without some Onion Bhajis as a side dish. The usual naan and pilau rice staples were also ordered, but still on the low carb mission, I would only be having a taste of these, as opposed to a portion.
For my main, I ordered the same dish I have been ordering at the Palace since Noah was a lad. The Shahi Murghi is served in a rectangular pyrex dish. It has deep mustard seed flavours and it still tastes as good as the first time I had it.
Theres Chicken Tikka in there, a thick rich curry sauce and some fresh chillies and onions. It is a great dish.
Junior FS proclaimed the Chicken Tikka the best he’s ever had (regular readers will by now be spotting a theme here. It’s like my son is doing a Brucie with every audience so much better than last weeks. So make of that what you will).
The bhajis were on the right side of a crunch without being soggy and delicious with fresh lemon juice squeezed on the portion of 3.
As a reliable town centre restaurant, the Palace is consistently good. The managers have a good relationship with their regulars and the service is generally quick and unfussy. Bear in mind – this was a Tuesday. I have eaten there on weekends and sometimes this can wobble a little.
The St Helens Indian restaurant scene has a fair bit of competition these days, but the Shahi Murghi will always bring me back here.