Bradford – International Restaurant

This was the view from my hotel window this evening about fifteen minutes before I had a reservation at an Indian restaurant, the International. I randomly picked it as it’s the best rated restaurant in Bradford on TripAdvisor and one of the highest on Google Reviews. The photo doesn’t really show that the rain was cascading and the roads were flooding, not to mention that the thunder and lightning. Oh, and it’s a fifteen minute walk to the restaurant. Part of me thought it’d be easier to go to Nando’s which is under the hotel, but I had made a reservation and I wanted to see if the restaurant lived up to the hype. And Nando’s isn’t really quite as exciting.

I took this photo after leaving the restaurant, as it was raining so hard on arrival that my phone screen had stopped working. I was very wet, despite the first use of my waterproof coat in weeks. I dread to think what the waiter thought when I squelched in, although he seemed too professional to comment, although he likely really didn’t much care since at least it wasn’t a carpet I was making damp.

Safely in the restaurant, I was pleased that I had booked as it started to fill up quickly mid-way through my meal. I ordered a couple pf poppadoms and dip things, whatever they’re called. It’s rather handy to get all of those to myself and not have to share them with anyone. I probably should have brought a jug of that mango lassi, it was excellent. The restaurant isn’t licensed, so there weren’t any beers, but the mango lassi was more than suitable instead.

And I went for the chicken and ginger karahi, which is a curry that I don’t see much on Indian (or Pakistani) restaurant menus. And some pilau rice and peshwari naan bread to go with it. I took the photo using a wide angle and so the portion size looks smaller than it actually was. I struggled to finish, and I didn’t make it through all of the rice. The curry was excellent, served as a large portion and with lots of smaller pieces of chicken. There were slithers of gingers and a depth of taste with a range of flavours of which many I couldn’t identify. But I didn’t need to, I’m not Jay Rayner, I just needed to know that it tasted really rather lovely.

The service was polite and attentive throughout, although not overly engaging. But, I didn’t really want engaging here, I was still wet and was quite content to continue reading my Paul Theroux book on my phone. Whilst listening to what the other diners were talking about of course. The bill was correct and presented promptly and although they have a fast turnover of tables, this was another location that never rushed me at any stage. And I got a chocolate with the bill, which is essential I believe in any restaurant.

The restaurant feels a little upmarket, the result of a large restoration that they had last year, seemingly a long overdue one looking at the previous reviews. The prices were moderate and what I’d expect to pay in a decent restaurant such as this, so all very competitive. I feel that I might need to try a few more Indian restaurants in Bradford to properly be able to compare them, but if they’re as good as this one, then I will be very pleased.