Review of 'The Rasoi'

20240505_191016.jpg For years now we have passed this smart looking Indian restaurant on the busy A51 road as we have travelled to/from Chester from Nantwich. Myself and my fellow diner have always said “we really must try it” so, the other day, we did and we were not disappointed.

Bar Area

There is a large car park off to the side of the restaurant which is housed in an 200 year old historic Inn resulting in an amazing interior that is decorated quite smartly. On arrival we were shown to the small lounge area with comfortable seating where we were handed the menus and asked if we wished to order any drinks from the nearby bar. It was all quite relaxed and civilized.

The medium sized food menu is divided into “Appetisers”, “Vegetarian Appetisers”, “Traditional Starters”, “Main Courses”, “Seafood Main Courses”, “Vegetarian Main Courses”, “Tandoori Mains”, “Biryani”, “Traditional Mains”, “Sides”, “Rice”, “Bread”, and “Extras”. It is nice to see that for those that do not wish to stray too far from the familiar can order from the “traditional” sections but those more adventurous, such as ourselves, were able to try something a bit different. Surprisingly it is not too expensive though it is certainly not a cheap eat with mains mostly headed towards the £20 mark. Note that takeaway is available.


After placing our order we were shown to our table a short time later which was delightfully set with our drinks order and the popadoms we had requested (two spicy £2 each, two plain £1.50 each). The popadoms were accompanied by a six chutneys (£3) in two separate trays, one the sauces and two the “chunkier” chutneys such as lime and onion. The spicy popadoms were fresh out of the frier and tasted wonderful. The chutneys were perfectly prepared and copiously used on our popadoms.

Table Prepared for Us

There are three dining areas on the ground floor and an event space up stairs. Being an old building, you have to be careful you don't bump your head and you need to mind the uneven flooring (including unexpected steps - though the staff are careful to warn you of the hazards).

Dining Area

After demolishing the popadoms we moved onto our “Onion Bhaji” (£4.50) starter delivered fresh out of the frier to the table (we paused for a second to avoid burning our mouths off). We found these a bit boring and stogey but satisfying nonetheless, working well with some of our leftover chutney. Thankfully there were two in the order so we were able to have one each.

Onion Bhaji

For our mains my fellow diner ordered the “Sizzling Duck Massala” - “A whole duck breast cooked in the clay oven, extensively prepared with green peppers, onions, cumin seeds, roasted garam masala in a chefs special tandoori sauce. Served on a hot iron skillet. Accompanied with basmati rice” (£17). This was a generous portion of perfectly cooked duck - tender and juicy - accompanied by a lovely sauce that, though filled with spices, did not overwhelm the delicate duck.

Sizzling Duck Masala

The “main” dishes here are generally plated for single portions so our duck had a plate with the accompanying rice and stylish “swoosh” which we put into the middle of the table and promptly raided.

Plating for Duck

I ordered the “Clay Pot Chicken” - “Tender chicken or lamb chunks garnished and roasted in a clay oven, then cooked in the Chef’s own unique sauce” (£13) which, disappointingly, was not actually served in a clay pot but really this is the only disappointment here. Again, there was a generous amount of meat and the spiced sauce was also muted, accompanying rather than overwhelming the chicken. A single side order of plain pilau rice (£3.75) toned the dish down even further.

Chicken Clay Pot

On the side we had an order of “Peshwari Naan” (£3.75) which was not overly sweet with a simple filling of almond paste. Cut into small pieces it was perfect to clean up the sauces of our mains.

Peshwari Naan

Quite full, we passed on the desserts which looked quite good and not at all what you mind find in many Indian restaurants “Strawberry Biscoff Cheesecake” (£5) or “Ferrero Rocher Ice Cream Combined with Thick Chocolate Sauce Topped with Ferrero Rocher” (£6) anyone?

In general the food was wonderfully presented and perfectly cooked (very fresh) but I have to say I found it all a bit, well, bland. The flavours of our two dishes were quite similar and often difficult to distinguish. I have to think it might be what we ordered, but it is a bit puzzling. However I do have to say the service is second to none - Very attentive, friendly and welcoming. The prices, though a tad high, were not hugely unreasonable with our bill coming in at £65.70 including our two drinks (“Mango Lassi”, £4.95 each) and a service charge of 12.5%. The stylish atmosphere is sophisticated yet relaxed and it certainly felt like a special occasion being there. Interestingly, despite two busy roads right outside the restaurant the traffic, though you can hear it, gently fades away while you eat and is not at all a distraction.

We will most definitely be back to give some other menu options a try…

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2024-05-05

Cuisine: Indian

Address: Tarporley, Cheshire CW6 9LZ ENGLAND

Location: Cheshire (England) - Tarporley



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Telephone: +44 (0) 1829 730100