Review: The Royal Tandoori restaurant, Selsdon

By - Tuesday 26th June, 2018

Fresh flavours and shiny, happy service makes this an Indian restaurant to remember

Photo author’s own.

Sometimes, standard Indian restaurant fare is a bit… beige. Bland-looking. It’s hard to remember a good Indian restaurant meal, unless you’re lucky enough to have a decent curry house close by. We stopped off at the Royal Tandoori in Selsdon on a Saturday evening after a day of watching World Cup footie, expecting… well, more of the same. A standard curry. Not much to write home about. We were happy to find out this is one local Indian restaurant that is a little different.

The Royal Tandoori has a bit of a pedigree, having been around for thirty-odd years. It’s also a sparkly, well-lit space, fresh and clean, with smiling, cheerful waiters, who don’t mind explaining what a certain dish is, or what the ingredients in a sauce are. No flock wallpaper here, or sticky carpets. It’s a thoroughly modern dining experience, and all the better for it.

We ordered halloumi fries to start, which came out with a crisp salad, fresh and zingy, livening up the salty spice of the fries. Mint and coriander raita added to the crispiness of the poppadoms. Lime pickle was sharply sour and full of bite.

Photo author’s own.

That freshness was a theme throughout. The lamb biryani was crammed full of tender meat pieces, while the fresh vegetable curry accompanying it was packed with creamy flavours, taking it way beyond beige. The sag aloo was made with floury chunks of potato, perfectly cooked, with a spicy spinach sauce lifting it up and over the bar. My murgh malai chicken was tangy and soft, accompanied by a fluffy peshwari nan with enough charring on the edges to give it that smoky flavour, perfectly designed to offset the sweeter almond filling.

The restaurant was full to bursting on Saturday evening; families out for a celebratory meal, friends laughing in groups. Despite the crowd, there was no sense of being rushed or not being allowed to linger over a mango kulfi which was clean and sharp, cutting through lingering flavours of spice, or to finish off our drinks. After a couple of pleasant hours, we strolled out into a warm summer’s night feeling rather full. Who said Indian food had to be beige?

Many thanks to the Royal Tandoori for this complementary meal. 

Cassie Whittell

Cassie Whittell

Cassie has lived in and around Croydon since 1988. She's a digital project manager and editor with a passion for welsh rarebit, cats and Rotherham United (in that order). She's also Operations Director for the Croydon Literary Festival, and Production Editor on the Croydon Citizen.

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  • Anne Giles

    You are right. It is very good. Unfortunately, we have stopped eating there because the meat is Halal, as it is in all of Croydon’s Indian restaurants. An Indian neighbour has told us that we would have to go to West London for non-Halal meat.