Today is my oldest friend's birthday, we have known each other since about 6 months old, grown up next door to each other and remain as close as sisters now. J's twins are the same age as Little Man which is also nice.
She has been a little down recently so I told her I would take her out for a curry for her birthday. Another friend joined us as well and we decided we would try the new curry house in town 'Cardamom Black'.
The building it is in use to be an Italian restaurant known as Pinocchio's and for many of us growing up in the town it holds birthday significance being a popular choice for birthday parties and my friend J always had her birthdays there. They have maintained the interior of the building as it pretty much was just redecorating it in black with lots of sparkly silver everywhere which made it a bit too bling bling. The toilets have moved as well.
We arrived at 8.15 and asked for a table for 3, and sat in the bar to wait with a bottle of red wine, our designated driver had coke which had to be replaced as it was flat. Our wine took a while to arrive as well and was very, very cold! By the time we tipped the last of the bottle of wine out we had resolved ourselves to having been forgotten and made the decision we would finish our drinks and move on. I asked at the bar first and it was apparent we had been forgotten and were ushered to a table in a near empty restaurant. There were 2 larger parties and that was about it, and I have a feeling one of the parties was family or connected to the restaurant.
Eventually the poppadoms arrived with a pickle tray and we were told they were on the house. Next wait we had was to order our main course, which as you may of guessed then took ages to arrive, as did the 2nd bottle of wine we ordered. The food however was really, really good, massive compliments to the chef - it was well worth the wait. At the end of the meal, the manager appeared with a tray of mini deserts to apologise and they too were absolutely lovely.
The positives about 'Cardamom Black' were the quality of the food, and I also liked the menu was not the basic curry house menu, all the curries were different. At the bottom of the menu it stated that all the usual korma's, balti's, pasandas', dansaks etc were available. I liked that as it made me try something different. I did also appreciate the fact it was acknowledge we had been waiting with the starter and the deserts which were on the house.
The negatives was the constant waiting and feeling like we had been forgotten, and it was cold in there but they did say as we were leaving they were having problems with the heating.
They only opened on the 2nd December so are probably still having teething problems but I was very glad it was not busy in there as I don't think we would of been served at all. The quality of the food makes me want to return but I am hesitant due to the bar and waiting staff forgetting us. I think I may wait a few months before eating there again and give them a chance to get established and up and running properly and then try it again. Although I was impressed with the food, I was also disappointed but it didn't ruin our night and my friend enjoyed her birthday which is what counts.