Don't get me wrong, I still have a lot of time for that sort of curry experience, and sometimes, there is nothing better than a lamb rogan josh and a pint of Cobra. Recently though, I've been introduced to the world of gourmet Indian dining, which is a completely different way of enjoying Indian cuisine.
Chickpeas and baby aubergine curry in Gujarati spices from the menu at Anokaa
However, for me, there is nowhere like Anokaa on Fisherton Street in Salisbury, and it is probably my favourite restaurant in the area.
Their strap line is "Style. Sophistication and Sheer Seduction" and Anokaa apparently means "exceptional" in Hindi which may seem a little over the top. But this place holds a special, little, romantic place in my heart, so for me, couldn't be more accurate.
Soft shell crab - with kumquat chutney, from the Anokaa menu
Whenever I go, I either have the soft shell crab, or the mixed fish platter for starter. And last time I had the aubergine and chickpea curry which was so beautiful it seemed a shame to eat it, and I would also recommend the char grilled halibut with tomato and shrimp broth served with curry leaf quinoa.
Often you think beer is more suited to a hot curry, but I think a good red can go really well. There is a wide selection of wines at Anokaa and this time we had a lovely bottle of MAN Vinters Pinotage from the Stellenbosch region. I promise myself that I will only have one bottle, but I always end up having another and they never rush you though your meal so you can sit back and slurp away.
MAN Vinters Pinotage, enjoyed at Anokaa
Having said that, I must concede that the food was delicious. I enjoyed the Tandoori Mackerel and my friend had the coriander monkfish which was also exceptional. Just sort out the service.... please!