The Palm is an Indian restaurant but unlike most, it’s not positioned on a busy city centre street or at the heart of a bustling market town, it is set in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside. Tonight I’m meeting two people with whom I’ve shared many curry experiences over the years – Wills & Antonio.
Wills and I arrive together – Rock gave us a lift but she’s leaving the boys to it tonight. However, Antonio is running late….he’s had a problem with a train. We pass the time by working our way through a number of poppadums, served with pickles, chutney and raita, plus there is the opportunity to have a pint or two of Cobra.
Antonio eventually arrives and we can order something more substantial. Wills selects the spiced chicken lollipop – chicken marinated in ginger, garlic and Szechuan sauce and then dusted with a gram flour batter. Antonio has the mixed tandoori kebab – a combination of lamb tikka, seasoned sheek kebab and chicken with mint, fennel and coriander. I have the seared sea bass, marinated in tamarind & pineapple. All the starters are quickly dispatched and enjoyed.
Our very lively conversation covers football, moving house, work-life balance, challenging television appearances, problems with trains….and much more.
Onto the main event. Our table is crowded with dishes of Rajasthani lamb, chicken tikka dansak, the chef’s recommendation – a chicken dish in a bright red sauce, sag aloo, garlic & peshwari naans and pilau rice…..but will that be enough food for three growing boys?
After another Cobra or two the answer is clear – all the food has been good – particularly the vibrant red chicken dish and the naan, but there is no way we can finish it all.
Great to see Wills and Antonio – a good night out in the Wiltshire countryside!