Anoki was one of those places that I’ve heard of, walked past and it had been recommended to me numerous times but it still took me 3 years to visit (or 10 if you count the whole time I’ve been in Nottingham). It’s reputation is good but its location is just a bit out of the way so it constantly slipped to the back of my mind, it was only when I was heading down past the college that I’d think “I really need to book into there!”
First Impressions of Anoki
Walking in, it’s very nicely decorated and the staff are all in traditional Indian dress with hats, colourful suits and shoes*. There are huge pieces of artwork on the walls, large lampshades and floor to ceiling windows. It had a really nice vibe to it. We were greeted as soon as we walked in by one of the waiters and shown to our seat near the window. Menus were handed out and we had a persual whilst we decided on wine or beer.
*I apologise for my lack of correct terminology, I did try Google but I couldn’t find the right images!
The restaurant is Hindu so doesn’t serve beef, so expect seafood, chicken and lamb on the menu. The menu was split into helpful bits: specials, traditional dishes and vegetarian. We noticed that on Friday’s they run a 241 on mains when you purchased a starter so it was decided, we were going all in. They also do early and late 241 offers during the week so check out if the offer’s valid before you go!
For drinks we ordered a round of Cobra and we all went for something a little different for both starters and main. Full details and descriptions below:
Spicy chops in Anoki’s special marinade and crisped over charcoal. My boyfriend’s dad opted for these and when they came out there was a huge portion. I know with chops you usually expect to get a bit of fat but even so, these were massive.
Spicy and barbecued prawns were my option. They came with a tomato that had been made into a rose, a sprinkle of pomegrante and two smears of sauce. This was such a good dish, tender, juicy and barbecued. The prawn’s tails were so crispy they broke off in my hand if I squeezed too hard. The size of these prawns was brilliant, an actual king prawn! I wouldn’t have said they were spicy, as described on the menu, but it didn’t matter.
A mix of onion bhaji, pakoras and paneer. My boyfriend’s mum really wanted an onion bhaji so opted for this as it was the only one she could see on the menu. I apologise for the photography from hereon, my skills were lacking on this day. This dish was filling, so much that she almost couldn’t eat her main afterwards.
Spicy grill selection
Chicken Tikka, Seekh Kebab and Lamb Tikka was the option for my boyfriend. He also grabbed one of his dad’s lamb chops so that he could experience how much his dad was loving them. This plate was practically licked clean.
Sorbet palate cleanser
One added bonus which we didn’t expect was a melon sorbet which the waiter gave round after they had cleared away our starters. A nice little touch.
For mains we all ordered an individual curry and then shared a portion of garlic naan and pilau rice between two of us as history shows this is more than enough.
– no photo –
My boyfriend’s choice was chicken in creamy tomato sauce with a spice infusion. This was a very wet dish with an abundance of sauce. It was like the colour of creamy tomato soup. My boyfriend loved it, however, when I tried it I found it to be a sweet dish, potentially like an alternative to a korma or an English tikka masala.
My vote went for the chicken Jelfrezi cooked with fresh green chillies, onion, tomatoes and peppers. I liked that this was a traditional dish but that it also had a kick to it. I’m not eating lamb anymore so my options were limited on the menu as I didn’t fancy a vegetarian dish. This was a brilliant dish though, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a Jelfrezi before but I’ll definitely order it again. The chunks of meat, the spice, the sauce and the texture were all winners and I loved it.
This lamb dish went to my boyfriend’s mum. It featured lamb off off the bone cooked slowly in a rich spicy sauce. If I was still eating lamb this would have been my choice, it sounded and looked phenomenal. The chunks of lamb in here was astonishing, much like my dish and the starters, they don’t scrape on the meat. The quality is fantastic.
Finally my boyfriend’s dad opten for a keema, minced lamb with green chillies. He wanted this one as he was told it was the hottest on the menu. The waiter did say that any dish can be made spicier or milder if you wish, simply just ask them when you order – I think this is brilliant and explains why none of the dishes have a chilli system on the menu. This was enough spice, he was sweating and loving every minute, weirdo.
It was really good. The staff weren’t very interactive as there wasn’t any recommendations given straight away or conversation but they did the service that they were supposed to do. There was a little confusion when one of the new guys came to take away some of the plates as he leaned between us and started stacking plates right in front of my face, I had to move back a little to avoid a curry smear. I can forgive that though as he’s bound to learn from his mistakes.
I really liked the fact that they give you a lot of freebies with the bill. It’s not a 1 chocolate per person kind of place, it’s a 4 per person. You get chocolates as well as mints, air fresheners and pens! It definitely works as the lemon air freshener is proudly displayed in my car.
The toilets here are also on point. Usually you find the furnishings or decor doesn’t extend to the bathroom but here it does, they’ve put a lot of money into it and it makes you feel just as special using them as it does when you’re sat downstairs eating.
anoki RATING: 8/10
£84 for 4 people / £21 pp for a large beer (660ml), starter, main and rice and naan.
I would definitely go back. I think it is probably one of (if not the one) favourite Indian in town. It’s underrated and not as popular as those on the curry mile stretch (Maid Marion Way) but it’s quality is on par and the service is too.
Recommended for: couples. small groups, spice lovers, spice haters, vegetarians
Not recommended for: fussy eaters, large groups
Why not try: their 241 offer
Please let me know your opinions on this blog post (I love feedback) in the comments or follow me on: [social_warfare buttons=”Facebook, Twitter”] Love for you all x