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Best of three: Chicken Jalfrezi

It's not Britain's most popular curry, yet, but it's getting there. How did this trio of jalfrezis, picked at random, make out on our test?

Published on September 28th 2010.


Best of three: Chicken Jalfrezi

The term jalfrezi allegedly entered the English language at the time of the British Raj in India. Colonial households employed Indian cooks who would use the jalfrezi method of cooking to heat up cold roasted meat and potatoes. It literally means "hot-fry" but is probably better translated as "stir-fry".

Curry house chefs here often use the jalfrezi method to stir-fry green peppers, onions and plenty of green chillies as the basis for a curry with just a little sauce. The chillies make the jalfrezi taste very fresh but also make it one of the hotter curries on the restaurant menu.

Chicken Jalfrezi, £8.95, Red Fort, 15 Lark Lane, L17. 0151 728 9728.

Hot hot hot? Long thinly sliced fingers of chilli adorn this dish which you can take or leave. But they will certainly flush out common cold bugs and the like should you decide to take the plunge. We took it.

The meat deal: Large chunks of chicken thigh have been coated in a red tikka colouring first before being cooked with big chunks of green pepper and large whole wedges of onion artlessly thrown into the pot.

What sauce! Curry chefs frequently make up an all purpose curry sauce and tailor it by chucking different things based on your order. And so is the case here. A little oily on the surface, but not too much of it. It was fresh tasting enough and apparently did not come back to haunt its tester the next day.

Rating: 6/10. Just the job after a session in The Albert.

Chicken Jalfrezi, £9.95. Spice City, 18 Stanley Street, Liverpool L1 6AF, 0151 236 3456

Hot hot hot: Lively on the tongue with plenty of bite but not enough to alarm our tester.

The meat deal: Again, large chunks of chicken coated in red tikka colouring first before being subjected to the cooking process. The meat stayed moist and firm and there was plenty of it.

What sauce! A thick sauce from a common base but with plenty of depth and spice to counter the medium heat, expertly prepared by a chef reconciled by the fact that was still mid-week.

Rating: 7/10. Just the job for a raging curry craving.

***WINNER***

Chicken Jalfrezi, The Spice Lounge, Atlantic Pavilion, Albert Dock, L3. 0151 707 2202. £7.95 meal deal at lunch time, £15.95, evening.

Hot hot hot? Pleasantly so. This is not a fierce heat but merely part of a complex assault of spices on the palate.

The meat deal: Jalfrezi, according to Ali the owner, is, in fact, an authentic Delhi dish. The meat is in smaller pieces, No artificial colours have been used and the onion/pepper element is finer chopped and much subtler than the others.

What sauce! The Spice Lounge roasts a huge tray of Indian spices every other day and grinds them as garam masala, on the spot, to order. This means a deep aroma comes from every sauce that is created individually to the dish, and this jalfrezi was exceedingly thick, moreish and fresh, topped off with a bouquet of coriander leaves.

Rating: 8.5/10. By day, especially good value. Just the job if you can knock off work on a pretend errand.

Testers: Angie, Phil and Fat Git.

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18 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

BenzoFebruary 5th 2008.

The Algarve is the worst food and the worst service I've ever come across. It was so bad it was a little bit funny. Not that funny though

Capital of what?February 5th 2008.

Having lived in Portugal for 6 years, the Algarve restaurant is terrible, i'm so surprised it's still open! It can only remain open from all the scousers who have been on holiday for the first time (to Portugal) and want a taste of its cuisine again. Dont be fooled its not Portuguese food.

I wish I lived on the curry mile!February 5th 2008.

I love a good curry rant... bring it on.

Dick EmeryFebruary 5th 2008.

Ooh, you are awful!

FitzyFebruary 5th 2008.

Hear hear for the Mayur. A real revealation for curry lovers. It's our number one in Liverpool now and we eat out a lot. Go eat the jal there Livconf and let's have the marks.

London RoadFebruary 5th 2008.

I don't know, anonymous, Stanley Street has got Delifonseca, which is good, and the Algarve, and the Casa Italia. Be fair, old sausage.

fitzyFebruary 5th 2008.

Hear hear for the Mayur. A real revealation for curry lovers. It's our number one in Liverpool now and we eat out a lot. Go eat the jal there Livconf and let's have the marks.”

Victor MeldrewFebruary 5th 2008.

I can confirm that the Algarve is still awful.

Critic's stoogeFebruary 5th 2008.

God I went to the Algarve last year and it was shocking. Don't review it, please, and don't ask me to go with you if you do. But curry wise, I have to agree. I love the Spice Lounge. There's nowhere like it in Liverpool.

AnonymousFebruary 5th 2008.

I too have eaten at Spice City some months ago. When I asked the waiter what he would recommend he replied: "None of it. I would bot eat any of it" Apart from looking like a caricature of an Indian restaurant, it's not bad in there and you shouldn't be put off by that, or by the fact that it's in Stanley street which makes my flesh crawl.

mike jonesFebruary 5th 2008.

Spice Lounge where do I start:I was treating my wonderful wife today, because I wasn’t able to take her out on Valentine’s Day of damn WORK. Anyway while in work this afternoon I over heard my company boss talking about a new Indian restaurant in the Albert dock, saying how excellent everything was the service, food and environment etc. So I quickly got on to Google and searching for this place in the Albert dock, I came across this website called http://www.liverpoolconfidential.com. They also where boosting about the restaurant in the Albert dock called the Spice Lounge. Without thinking got the phone out and booked a table for two. When we got there my god that place was like stepping in to HEAVEN everything was perfect. We sat down had a good look through the menu but didn’t understand anything; there were no massalla, korma, madras or vindaloo. So my wife called the waiter over and said were are the massalla etc, “he just laughed and told us your in the wrong place mate”. So he told this Spice Lounge is not your typically Indian restaurant. This is more authentic more back home style. Anyway I knew what I was going to have I was being the CHICKEN JALFREZI as the above website was boosting about it and few other things and my wife Order a king prawn dish and a lamb dish. As our food started to arrive we starting getting into the food. My god the smell and taste of the lamb just melted in my mouth. The service was ten times better than the Ivy restaurant in London and many many other restaurants through out Liverpool. The bill at the end of the night was not what I expected considering the locating and the unique style of food. Ps. I recommend this unique restaurant to whom so ever. Guess I have found my local now.http://www.spicelounge.uk.com/

Dick EmeryFebruary 5th 2008.

Ooh, you are awful!

The Ragged-Trousered PhilanthropistFebruary 5th 2008.

Ee! Delifonseca! I remember when it were t'N.A.L.G.O. bar!

Dr NookieFebruary 5th 2008.

That curry that won looks nice. I once took someone up the Passage to India on a first date.

WallyFebruary 5th 2008.

I agree whole heartedly with the comment above. Can livcon review the Algarve? It's unbelievably bad

E ChingFebruary 5th 2008.

Rats everywhere in Davies Street (behind Stanley Street). It's a bit off putting.

FanFebruary 5th 2008.

I have to say: I did eat a fabulous curry at the mayur recently

Curry loverFebruary 5th 2008.

It's so expensive the Spice Lounge and yet so different to the owner's other place, The Raj takeaway in Woolton village. I do like it, however, and just wonder why they don't do the same kind of food in both.

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