My Delhi Sunderland: would the winners of BBC’s top takeaway live up to expectations?

By Amy Nicholls from the North East Eats blog. Read her previous reviews of: Port of CallChilli Mangoes, The Palm’s Liberty Brown, Bellinis Seaburn808 Bar and KitchenMexico 70the House of Zen, the Seaburn Inn and Asiana.

I came across this restaurant whilst watching ‘Britain’s Top Takeaways’ on BBC earlier this year; the TV show saw the north east curry titans take home the trophy, championing some of the best Indian restaurants from across the country.

My expectations were high, and when I heard they were opening a My Delhi in Sunderland, I couldn’t wait to try the sister restaurant to its flagship restaurant in Newcastle upon Tyne and see what the fuss is all about.

The restaurant itself is vibrant and modern, whilst also incorporating classical Indian decor, including a ‘window’ looking out across the streets of Delhi, transporting you away from the north east to the home of spice.

The warm and inviting decor is echoed by the attentive and friendly staff members who greeted us at the door and were helpful and polite throughout our whole visit. Although we didn’t sample any, the cocktails sounded delicious and make this a great place for celebrations.

When reading the food menu, I was pleased to see that their curries are different to the standard curries we all know; instead, the chefs combine some familiar flavours with what I believe to be more exciting, authentic cooking. The food, as explained by the waiters at the start of the meal, all arrives together so to mimic the ‘street food’ experience which was great. We chose a selection of small plates, as well as two curries and sides and all food arrived fresh and prompt.

Being a person who can never decide what she wants to eat (usually because I want to try everything), I opted for the ‘Delhi Wala Grill’ for my small plate, which allowed me to sample the chicken tikka, malai tikka, Afghan kebab and spicy lamb chop. Everything on the plate was delicious and came with a dipping sauce and a dressed salad – something I consider crucial, rather than a handful of dry lettuce chucked on the side of the plate as a ‘garnish.’

Ranting aside, you can clearly tell the chefs take pride in what they serve, and although everything was delicious as aforementioned, the stand out on the mixed grill was by far the spicy lamb chop – one of the best I’ve ever had! The charred crust was full of flavour, but still super juicy and tender when biting into it. Yum!

For mains, we opted for the ‘Delhi Kadhai Gohst’ and ‘The Emperor’s Stew;’ both dishes were lamb based and the meat fell apart with a slight touch of your fork. Both curry flavours were complex and full of spice flavour, but not overpowering with heat. Alongside our mains, we also ordered pilau rice and peshwari nan and were equally impressed with the quality of these.

It is clear to see why My Delhi won ‘Britain’s Top Takeaway’ with its vast array of authentic curries and street food, providing a welcome change from the norms we all expect at an Indian restaurant, whilst still providing the comfort of the spiced flavours we love in Britain. I have already planned my next visit, and I already know what I plan to try next! I know I won’t be disappointed, and neither will you.