With the Jazz Festival being surrounded by so many great places to eat it was incredibly hard to choose where to spend lunch before the first show we were catching at Cheltenham Jazz Festival. However, having a rare day to be kid free it seemed the perfect opportunity to dine somewhere I may not usually get a chance to as the kids usually want pasta or burgers.
A short walk from the festivities on Montpellier Drive sits The Mahal, an Indian Restaurant set in a stunning 1800’s house. History of the building can be found here.
Arriving for our booking at 12pm for lunch, we were greeted by the staff in a very friendly manner. They even knew us by name. Very attentive! At this point, we were the first people to arrive which probably helped with the knowing of our names but regardless, it is a very nice touch that makes you feel appreciated and welcomed.
We were invited to sit in the bar for pre-drinks at first and we decided to order some mocktails from the menu. All looking delicious, we opted for the Pink Lady ( Rose Lemonade, Chat Masala, mint leaves, lime juice and demara sugar) and Ginger Beer Sling ( Elderflower, Ginger Beer, Lemon and apple).
The Pink Lady in particular was incredibly refreshing and absolutely delicious, a drink I could easily drink many times.
Ordering our food in the bar we were then sat at our table.
A large establishment with many tables, the setting and decor were absolutely stunning. We had the place almost to ourselves which made it more of an experience rather than just having a meal in a restaurant. We were treated as if we paid for a private dining experience. Staff were so attentive and friendly offering suggestions on the menu and enjoying good conversation with us.
We highly recommend booking for lunch here but the dinner menu also looks wonderful!
Evenings tend to book up well and they were fully booked for that evening.
We were given a complimentary appetiser. Something we had never tasted before, I am not 100 per cent sure what it was called but it was scrumptious and I am pretty sure it was vegetarian.
For starters we chose the Tandoori Paneer. (Roast Pepper Confit, Mint and Date Chutney)
This was very very tasty and presented beautifully. I believe the dish was placed on halloumi which I don’t usually like but this was made so well that I enjoyed it!
For main we had Tandoori Chicken which was wonderfully creamy and full of flavour, arriving piping hot and fresh. The pilau rice came with fried onions which gave the dish that extra kick!
My friend had the Cod Malai Fish Curry which was also very flavoursome.
For dessert we had Gulab Juman – a traditional Indian dessert with Ice Cream which was wonderfully light and very tasty.
There is a set lunch menu offering two or three courses £20/£25 or a taster menu with 7 courses £65. We would have loved to have tried the taster menu but time was not on our side as we had shows at the Jazz festival to review.
Again, we highly recommend lunch as seems to be a more quiet setting (don’t quote me on that as it may have just been that day) but we definitely want to try out dinner some point too and just give ourselves more time to try more drinks and different dishes.
We will definitely be back as it isn’t often that we enjoy an entire experience of a restaurant. This was certainly a treat and a treat we will remember.
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