This was my second visit to Dastaan, an unassuming restaurant in Ewell. The premises are nothing to look at and the tables are tightly packed, but this is understandable since the restaurant has been completely heaving with customers on both of my visits. See my previous review for the impressive background of the chef/owners.
This time we tried vegetable samosas, which tasted pretty much as a samosa would taste in India. The pastry case was good, and the filling of peas and spices was well balanced (13/20). I couldn’t resist trying once more the dazzlingly good red pepper tiger prawns with chilli garlic chutney. The cooking of the prawns was as superb as before, the spices in perfect balance, the quite fiery chutney a lively accompaniment (16/20). Chicken biryani was also impressive, the rice delicate and fragrant, the meat inside tender and avoiding the dryness that so often afflicts biryani (15/20). A vegetable pilau was similarly very good, again with carefully cooked rice (14/20). Channa masala managed to keep the texture of the chickpeas and had an enjoyable spicy sauce (14/20) while paneer was unusually good, the paneer here made in house from buffalo milk (14/20).
We had no room left for desserts, as portions here are generous. The bill came to £38 a head with plenty of beer to drink. Service was very friendly, and the waiters were coping well despite a completely rammed restaurant on a Tuesday evening. The standard of food here is exceptionally high, and the locals must barely be able to believe their good fortune at gaining a restaurant of such a level. At least the packed dining room suggests that they appreciate it.