Aylsham – Gate of India

I’ve certainly had my fair share of discounts from the Government’s ‘eat out to help out’ and this was the last meal of the month, on Monday 31 August 2020. Richard and I had been meandering around some churches in North Norfolk and this was one of the few food options available to us, since we hadn’t bothered to book anything (or more precisely, most places we wanted to book at the last minute were full).

The menu at the Gate of India in Aylsham.

I have to temper my expectations here a little, I wasn’t back in India (which I miss very much) and I wasn’t at the on-trend Indian restaurants in London that I’ve been fortunate enough to try recently. As poppadoms and chutneys go, these were OK but weren’t particularly inventive or exciting. The drinks were also expensive, a pint of Coke was £3.75 and I’m not exactly sure what brand they were using.

The Peshwari naan bread was again OK, but lacking in any depth of flavour and they were reliant on some sort of paste that didn’t have any texture. That’s the chicken biryani, again lacking any particular depth of flavour, although the chicken was well cooked and tender. There was some texture to the rice, with everything properly cooked and at the appropriate temperature, but it needed something more exotic in terms of the taste.

This came with the biryani, again lacking any depth of flavour, which is not entirely usual for an Indian restaurant or any variation thereof.

Service was efficient if not engaging, but it was timely and we were never left waiting. I was, shall we say, surprised that the restaurant forgot to apply the ‘eat out to help out’ 50% discount. The bill was though immediately corrected and I can’t much complain here because mine came to £10 after the discount was applied and I paid using Amex and shop small kicked in, meaning that I paid £5 for the entire evening’s food and drink. For that price, I was entirely happy, so this proved to be a marvellous choice for Richard and me.

I’m not sure that there was anything exceptional enough for me to want to return though. The restaurant is reasonably well-reviewed (although not quite as good on TripAdvisor), somewhere in the middle of restaurants in the area, and so I don’t think there’s anything particularly bad, but perhaps standards in Indian cuisine have just moved so much in the last couple of years that there are better options out there.