Forget the Sunday roast, Indian cuisine occupies a spot close to most Brits’ culinary hearts.
So it was with this in mind that I and three fellow diners headed out to Laziza Restaurant on Nottingham Road in Nuthall, which opened in 2001 with a specialist chef from the Kashmir region.
Having received good reports of cuisine with its roots in Pakistan, I was expecting high standards with a combination of attentive service and balanced, spice-infused dishes — I wasn’t disappointed.
First impressions were great as we were shown to our table and within minutes we were tackling the obligatory popadoms and pickles — although an added dimension was provided by punchy, marinated green chillis.
But we were soon able to wash these down with a crisp white wine from a well-chosen drinks list.
At first glance, the food menu might cause a few raised eyebrows in terms of price, but the venue is currently running a 2-4-1 offer on dishes, making it both affordable and delicious.
For a starter, I went for the mixed chaat masala which featured chicken, lamb and prawns cooked in a yogurt sauce. But I was also able to sample mint-marinated lamb chops and a mixed starter featuring classic onion bhajis and chicken tikka.
It was clear from the off that everything was prepared fresh and was already living up to a boast from the owner, Waheed, that the food was made from scratch to order.
For my main dish, I plumped for a prawn dopiaza cooked with an abundance of onion and topped with cashew nuts with plain rice and a sweet almond peshwari naan — which was enough for two.
When it arrived, the colour jumped from the dish and although it was described as mild, the dopiaza had just enough spice while not stripping the palate.
Fellow diners raved about their choices of a chicken vindaloo and the staple chicken korma. While my wife went for a chicken kaalan with the unusual combo of mangoes, coconut and fresh spices.
By this stage we could only face coffees and resisted the dessert menu.
But overall I was very impressed from choice of dishes to atmosphere.
Open seven days a week, Laziza also offers a takeaway service and is certainly worth a try. Call 0115 9 383 888 or 01159 384 906.
RATING: 8 out of 10