Review of 'Passage to India'

passage_to_india.jpg Having recently moved to the area we learned that there was this Indian restaurant in Crewe that was quite good: Passage to India. Located on the Nantwich road a short distance from both the train station and football stadium, Passage to India is well positioned for clientele. We attended early on a Saturday evening having made a reservation in advance. This was a good idea as although there were only a few tables occupied when we arrived by the time we left there were no tables available. The restaurant does a huge business in takeaway with a large seating area inside the front door for people awaiting their order and we saw numerous delivery drivers come and go throughout our stay.


The reasonably modern interior still has tables separated by plastic barriers required by the COVID pandemic. There are several booths on the inside wall and we were seated quite close to the (tiny and unmarked) toilets and periodically detected a smelly whiff during our stay. The dine-in menu is eight pages long with an assortment of typical (British) Indian restaurant dishes, divided into “Starters”, “Tandoori Specialties”, “Shashlick Dishes”, “Garlic Dishes”, “Balti Dishes”, “Mass Bazaar”, “Classic Selection”, “House Specialities”, “Chef's Recommendations”, “Biryani Dishes”, “Set Meals” (one for two people, one for four), “English Dishes”, “Side Dishes”, “Rice Dishes” and “Indian Breads”. Yeah, a bit overwhelming particularly on a first visit so we opted for the easy option, the set meal for two people (£41.95) which we hoped would give us a good idea of what the food was like in general as, after all, we might want to return again and again…



As with most Indian meals here we began with papadoms which came with five different sauces including the normal suspects of raita, raw onion, lime pickle, and mango chutney of which the mango chutney was quite nice – not too sweet. I am not a fan of lime pickle and this one was particularly strong.


The starters included with the meal were the “mix special” (mixed tandoori meats) and chicken pakora which were both served with a small side salad and dips. Both were absolutely delicious (and piping hot) with quite a large serving size. The chicken pakora was juicy and full of flavour while the grilled meats were similarly juicy, not overcooked and having the nice flavour of a delicate char.

Mains and Sides

The mains were “Chicken Tikka Bhuna” and “Lamb Karahi” with side dishes of “Saag Aloo”, “Special Pilau” and a garlic onion naan. We were not impressed with the naan - raw garlic, soggy and cold when it arrived on the table. The pilau was more like a full rice dish than an accompaniment with all sorts of ingredients which competed with anything…including curry…you put on top of it. The lamb was nice but very spicy which overwhelmed any flavour you could have had from the lamb itself but the chicken was a lot milder and certainly our favourite of what was on the table. The “Saag Aloo” (spiced potatoes) were ok but not memorable (I only remember them here as I have the menu in front of me).


The meal included a desert of “Kulfi” (Indian ice cream, here pistachio, typically frozen rock hard as it was here) which was quite nicely flavoured - Again, not too sweet but cool and refreshing. This was served with our choice of hot drinks.

Our portion sizes were much larger than we are used to from other Indian restaurants which meant we left feeling very full…not entirely in a good way either. The food was quite well prepared with some flavours coming through though nothing really stood out from the crowd. The price was a bit steep for the meal considering that the same thing was available from takeaway at £15 cheaper (£25.95) though less the ice cream and drinks at the end.

Service was pleasant with one server returning regularly to our table though finding someone to pay with the restaurant so busy at the end was a bit tricky. Let's just say it was polite and adequate.

In summary: Good food, large portion sizes, a bit pricey if you are eating in, and reasonable service. We will certainly return or perhaps do a takeaway. Not so sure there are any better options around…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-02-19

Cuisine: Indian

Address: 34-36 Nantwich Rd, Cheshire, Crewe CW2 6AD ENGLAND

Public Transport: NRLOGO Crewe

Location: Cheshire (England) - Crewe



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