Having your other half spoon feed you tempting dishes might sound romantic enough, but that ain’t necessarily so – and this is one of those occasions, writes Sammy Jones.
I am sat among a restaurant of other diners at Stony Stratford’s Calcutta Brasserie, where everyone is tucking into the real authentic tastes of India.
Unlike the other diners though, I am sat at my table blindfolded, mouth open, looking like a seal waiting for a fish!
This isn’t simply some weird quirk of mine though; actually Al and I are here to try out the ‘Dining in the Dark’ experience.
Those responsible for the novel concept insist that by taking away one of the senses, another is heightened, and as the Calcutta makes for a dancing palate at the best of times, this should be quite an experience.
And so it proves.
In truth, I have already eyed up the starter, a tasty quartet of mini tasters, but when the blindfold goes on, the element of surprise creeps back in, and though the samosa and onion bhaji set me up nicely, the real surprise is found in the Indian Cheese (Paneer Tikka Hariyali) and Potato Cake (Chow Ki Tikki).
Indian cheese is never something that gets me excited on a menu, but once the strange texture has been identified, I am pleasantly surprised by the taste. Spicy, but not dangerously so, and with a little post-chew kick.
As a certified potato fiend, the only problem with the Chow Ki Tikki is that there is only one...I could have munched on a significant amount. But this is a starter, I need space for the main course.
We are treated to four tempting delights: Two cheese based (one hot, the other wrapped in a nice warming sauce, but not likely to upset those with an aversion to spice), one curried vegetables (did I mention we are both veggies?) and that old friend, Tarka Dahl.
The blindfolds go on once again, and again, the tongue-tickling sensations are heightened, and Al picks out subtle spices that he would usually shovel in too quickly to taste.
You see, the blindfold also encourages you to really savour your food, and appreciate the taste sensation created.
This novel concept is one to experience, although when the deserts arrive, we don’t throw in the towel, but we do throw down the blindfolds; the Mango Kulfi is a delight to see, and devour, and besides we need to soak in the atmosphere of this most appealing of establishments too – after all, it’s not every day you are treated to delicious dining in a converted 17th Century chapel.
7 St Paul’s Court, Stony Stratford
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