Saxlingham Thorpe – Duke of Delhi (formerly The Mill Inn)

After some meandering around some historic churches (although, not very many since it’s nearly winter solstice and it’s dark at what seems like mid-day) we thought that we’d get a little snack to reward our history research. I found a pub option that seemed suitable, but then we noticed on-line that they seemed to have a Sunday menu and it all seemed a bit complex. Given that, there was an Indian nearby, and I rarely turn down a chance to have my favourite cuisine, so the Duke of Delhi it was.

This was until a few years ago the Mill Inn, a roadside pub which was previously known as the West End and had been trading since the 1850s. I’m not usually thrilled to see pubs turned into restaurants, but I really don’t see that there was much choice here. There’s a limited amount of residential properties nearby and since driving after drinking alcohol isn’t an option for customers, a pub’s trade would be limited. There was a friendly welcome offered when we entered, although we were the only customers which wasn’t perhaps surprising since we arrived one minute after they opened. We were enthusiastic (and, well, hungry as well).

The staff member took the drinks order immediately after we were seated, which was perhaps a little swift, and he suggested Cobra. I wanted mango lassi really, but they didn’t have that, so I went for half a pint of Cobra. I don’t like that they sell half pints at disproportionately more than pints and although this is a restaurant and not a pub, so they won’t get an angry comment from CAMRA, it does slightly annoy me. Anyway, weak drinks choice from my perspective and annoying pricing policy aside, everything else was comfortable and organised in the restaurant so my first impressions were positive.

Whilst I’m here, it is possible to do Indian food and craft beer as I’ve had that combination at the Indian Brewery in Snowhill, Birmingham a few months ago. Now that would be an exciting concept for Norfolk….

I was quite happy with this choice of chutneys with the poppadoms, there was perhaps nothing exceptional, but they were entirely acceptable and I enjoyed them all.

I went for the Murgh Jeera, a curry that was brought over sizzling away nicely, packed with the flavour of cumin and with a generous amount of chicken. I really liked this, there wasn’t the depth of flavour that would have surprised and delighted me, but the chicken was tender and full of flavour, with the curry sauce being tasty and rich. This felt a little Anglicised, but it was better than I expected and absolutely met my expectations. They didn’t have lemon rice, but the coconut rice made up for that.

For the record, Richard had chicken passanda, which he said was enjoyable and generously portioned, although he marginally preferred the one that he had last week at Shapla Tandoori in Wymondham.

All told, I liked this restaurant and felt that the service was attentive and polite, with the food being of a decent quality. The drinks pricing policy isn’t one that is unique to the Duke of Delhi, so I won’t mutter about that too much, although what is it with a lack of lassi options? That’d be much more exciting than Cobra. Anyway, all that to one side, I’d happily recommend the restaurant to others.