The Bombay Palace

66 Shotover Street, Queenstown, 9300, New Zealand

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This Indian restaurant is situated in central Queenstown in a little parade of restaurants. Seating is spread over two floors and the place has a quite casual, relaxed atmosphere. About three quarters of the diners appeared to be of Indian origin. The menu was lengthy and full of conventional North Indian dishes.

Onion bhajee was surprisingly good. In many London restaurants this dish can be a sad, greasy affair, but here the bhajee pieces had clean, crisp batter, with the taste of the onions coming through clearly (13/20). Chicken tikka was less good, the meat slightly overcooked and consequently a bit dry, though not grotesquely so (11/20). A main course chicken jalfrezi was better, with bell peppers and nicely cooked chicken with a decent spicy kick (12/20). Fish tikka was good, the flesh firm and nicely spiced, a touch salty and served with a mint sauce (13/20). Aloo gobi managed to maintain the experience texture of the cauliflower and potato well, and again was nicely spiced (13/20). Naan bread was reasonable, having decent texture (12/20).

Service from our Scottish waitress was pleasant, and the bill came to NZ$57 (£30) per person with beer to drink. The place was packed out on a Monday night. We slightly over-ordered as the portion sizes here were generous, and I think a typical cost per head might be around £25. I was pleasantly surprised by Bombay Palace, as I had quite low expectations of what looked like a fairly casual Indian restaurant in an unlikely location, but if this was near where I lived in London I would happily return.

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