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What's the best curry house on Merseyside?

Know your bhajis from your bhunas better than us? We will give a £100 Indian restaurant meal for the best rant about where or where not to go to tikka your fancy

Published on January 14th 2010.

What's the best curry house on Merseyside?

Here at Liverpool Confidential we can eat curry. We like it good and we like it hot. Between the lot of us we have had 80 years practice at it. And that's a lot of basmati rice.

Thai, Indian, Sti Lankan and even Chinese versions have whizzed their way through the tubes. The quality has ranged from the horrific (hospitalisation from a kebab on Rusholme's curry mile) to the sublime.

With Mattas in Bold Street ever beckoning, we are even pretty cocksure about grinding and roasting our own spices and cooking up our own feast. Madhur Jaffrey, we love you.

After AA Grill's review last week, pronouncing the Maharaja, in London Road, the best curry house in Liverpool, we started to wonder. So now we have decided to get everyone’s views.

AA Grill has three strong contenders in Liverpool: The Maharaja, London Road, The Shapla/Saffron in Whitechapel and the lovely Coriander in St John's Road, Waterloo. But what do you think? And what about the rest of Merseyside?

Let us know by writing a rant; the best, as judged by Sammons, Gordo and Grill, will win a £100 tab at the restaurant of their choice.

What’s your all time worst? Where has the service been fantastic? Who poisoned you? C’mon, let's have some fun and ensure a pat on the back for the good guys.

The Confidential team.

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

AnonymousOctober 19th 2007.

Visited the Gulshan the other day, my first visit since the refurbishment. The service in the restaurant has declined rapidly, my partner and I were made to wait over two hours for our main course to be served as our order had been lost, I spoke to the manager about this matter and was told that it was my fault as I was in a mood!

garyOctober 19th 2007.

Try the Rui Balti in Woodchurch Lane, Prenton, Birkenhead (close to Tranmere Rovers) excellent food and decor hot and spicy or mild and tasty, and you can take your own beer or wine. Never been disappointed with their food.

ericaOctober 19th 2007.

the mayur on duke st - enough said !!

caetOctober 19th 2007.

Best Indian restaurant has to be The Sultan's Palace on Victoria Street. If it's takeaways you are after, the best is Spice, Upton Road, Claughton, Birkenhead.

currymadOctober 19th 2007.

Well which curry house is the best well lets put them through a little test:-1. If you like your curry and your staying in, from poppadoms to Sondia the Dhansheree should win.2. If you want a curry that’s not too pricey well bring your own bottle to Masterchef that will do nicely3. If you fancy a curry in a stylish surround then the Mayur in East Village is the only 5 star aroundWell I leave you there with my top threeAnd If you try them I am sure you’ll agreeLiverpool really is the place to beCapital of Culture 08 you see

Gunga DhinOctober 19th 2007.

I suspect that the Gulshan got its reputation simply because it is in traendy old Aigburth; whither now, 'Bas's' and 'Mirrors' wine bars? if you want a decent sub-continent nosh in impressive surroundings with excellent service provided by be-turbanned waiters, try 'Cinnamon' in Argyle Street in beautiful old Birkenhead. (It used to be called 'The Rajah' or something before its transformation!)

JeanetteOctober 19th 2007.

Shantii Restaurant in Formby.If you havent been, you havent had the best Indian food or service in Liverpool! Mr Ali, owner, part time chef and all round good egg will wait on you hand and foot and serve you the freshest, bestest,nicest,hotest,tastiest,yummiest food in the world! I live in Liverpool City Centre and non come close. Take a trip to Formby. Try it out. You'll never go anywhere else!!!

AbbsOctober 19th 2007.

Oh goddd ah'm ashaymd. For the first time in my life I'm having to agree with AA Gill. eek. I was going to say, without hesitation, deviation but lots of repetition, that the Maharajah in London Road is IT. Brilliant flavours - variety, subtlety, utter deliciousness – without killing one's tastebuds with killer chilli. Delightful service. Atmosphere bit lacking and decor a bit cool, but that's a minor blip in a generally delightful foodie feast. Seriously yum.

Siobhan O'DonnellOctober 19th 2007.

If someone paid me £100 every time I ranted about curry, I could have retired to a modest mansion in New Delhi several years ago. If such a job existed, I would love to become a professional curry-eater, only I wouldn’t want to lose my amateur status should there become an international curry Olympics. My chosen event would be the three-course vegetarian.I have tried a number of curry houses including: Uni, Indian Delight and Master Chef, all on Renshaw Street; Passage to India and Asha on Bold Street; Shere Kahn on Berry Street. I also regularly go to the Maharajah on London Road and as a member of staff at the Empire Theatre, I have the opportunity to recommend it to many people. It has yet to disappoint. I never refer to it as a curry-house though; always an Indian restaurant, something different. There’s a theory I believe that most meat-eaters will confess that sometimes, even when there’s the finest quality steak on the menu, all you want is a hamburger and chips. In the same way, the Maharajah is excellent but sometimes you need mango chutney, or naan bread or chicken tikka massala if that’s your dish, none of which will be found on the Maharajah menu.So if you want a traditional British curry there are a number of commendations I can give. The Passage to India offers wonderful food, in pleasant surroundings. A few years ago, they had beautiful etched glass partitions between tables that were sadly removed in the last refurbishment. If I’d know they were going I’d have made them an offer and had my house re-glazed. No one I know has had a bad curry there and the service is excellent. They also do an ‘all you can eat buffet’ on a Sunday, which is well worth the fee. I have to confess that I no longer go there. A few years ago, I visited India and tried paneer for the first time. It’s a cottage cheese, that become that really hardens when cooked and it’s the largest source of protein in the Punjab. I was hooked. Unfortunately, you can’t get paneer up the Passage and I started to look elsewhere.One place that does often excellent paneer, kebabs and really good fresh food is the Master Chef on Renshaw Street. I rediscovered it more recently when I went looking for Sunday lunch without a reservation, forgetting it was Mother’s Day (not completely forgetting, don’t worry she had her card and flowers in good time). I can’t express how well it fixed up my St. Paddy’s day hangover from the previous night and set me up for another day of toasting the great Saint. One thing I remember from a few nights out in the past, is that you can bring you own drink to the Master Chef for a minimal corkage. Sometimes, it’s the quality of wine that can let a curry restaurant down; let’s face it, the last thing that many people need by the time they reach the curry house, is more alcohol. Therefore, if you’re making a night of it with a group of curry connoisseur friends, make a reservation at Master Chef. You won’t go wrong.You can also get a great meal at the Uni and if anyone ever has room for dessert, the kulfi is the best. It prides itself on being the cubicle restaurant (with individually switched lights) and it is open later but sometimes that’s what lets it down. The only thing to have ever left a sour taste in my mouth after a meal at the Uni is the behaviour of other customers. We can all learn something here:o The cubicles offer a limited amount of privacy but they are by no means sound proofo The waiter is not your best mate just because he’s been on the late shift the last two times you turned up steamingo Eating the hottest thing on the menu doesn’t make you big, clever or hard, just a bit sick and smellyo One dimmer switch does not a disco makeo If you want to make propositions to pretty young ladies in cubicles behind curtains, there’s a far more suitable venue along Lime StreetIn short, a curry is for life, not for closing time. That’s my round up for now. I hope it offers something for everyone but if anyone can advise, I’m always happy to try something new if anyone can offer anything better.

blondieOctober 19th 2007.

the raj in woolton village and madhari's on aigburth road are mighty fine

BluenoseOctober 19th 2007.

The Gulshan that is?

AndyOctober 19th 2007.

The best takeaway by the way (By a country mile) is the Khan on Brodie Avenue. You can watch them cook it in front of you, and it's terrific. Go for their special 'hot special' - wonderful!

Curry lover of L17October 19th 2007.

The Gulshan is all hype and no substance. If you are going to bother taking a trip for an India, I would say go to the Saffron too. I'm a big fan and really wish them well. Vote with your feet people.

jeanOctober 19th 2007.

my favourite is the sultans palace, victoria street,found it by mistake and been going ever since, lost count the times ive been there. massive choice and a early doors special menu aswell.

AnonymousOctober 19th 2007.

The Maharaja is stupendous. Long may it flourish. I suggest JT will revise his or her opinion....

steve maxwellOctober 19th 2007.

The best indian takeawy and delivery on the wirral is BEBINGTON BALTI SPICE opposite bebington station, Ive tried most around wirral , but this place beats them all . The food is so fresh and the curries are lovely. And the guy who owns and runs it joe is such a great guy and when he delivers your food he makes you taste it and if you dont like he guarantees to replace it. and guess what hes never had to replace one meal in the time hes been there.. Just go and give it a try youl love it and youl like joseph also

KellyOctober 19th 2007.

Coriander in Waterloo, a Sri Lankan and Indian resturant, it has THE best butternut sqaush curry an so many different rice.....the menu is huge!!

JTOctober 19th 2007.

Anne - Good curry in Wirral - Red Chilli in Pensby - by far the best.

Dave the raveOctober 19th 2007.

The Master Chef, on Renshaw Street. I love it in there. Been going for years and it's always high quality. In fact, this is making me so hungry that I think me and the lads might go tonight

KTOctober 19th 2007.

Bollywood in Birkenhead. Very welcoming - excellent food!

scottOctober 19th 2007.

no doubt its Bhaji in Wallasey Village, Wirral. Best indian in the country, let alone merseyside. tried everyone in manchester, and still nothing compares

EddTheRedOctober 19th 2007.

The Maharaja is without a doubt in the top rank of Liverpool curry-houses, with an authenticity which most Indian restaurants don't even try to aspire to. The variety and freshnesh of the dishes remind me of why Indian quisine is a favorite - you know you're eating something special when not only each dish, but each mouthful of each dish, provides a wake-up call for your taste-buds.That being said, I have to agree with Dan's views on the Gulshan. There may be fewer unfamiliar dishes on the menu, but the standard of the food is way above the ordinary. Even though it is far from my doorstep, it is well worth the trip.

Angie the EdOctober 19th 2007.

Just checked and you are right Lau. A disaster. Thanks for telling us. Hopefully we'll be able to tell you more soon.

DarrenOctober 19th 2007.

Corianders in Waterloo is well worth the trip too. All fresh and tasty and with lots of unusual dishes on the menu. The vindaloo is wicked, not like you'd expect at all.

Professor ChucklebuttyOctober 19th 2007.

I thought the service was a bit slow! Six months I've been sitting here waiting for my soup! Right I'm back now.

ericaOctober 19th 2007.

the mayur on duke st - enough said !!

Helen Curry MonsterOctober 19th 2007.

The Passage To India on Bold Street is by far the best Indian restaurant in the city centre. The Poddadom starters and dips are delicious and the Chicken Tikka Masala is to die for. Definately the best place to go after a night out in town!

AnneOctober 19th 2007.

If anyone can tell me where to get a good curry in Wirral I would be forever grateful. I haven't had a good curry in the 10 years i have lived here and miss Yorkshire, where i have had numerous good, reasonably priced curries.

AndyOctober 19th 2007.

The Gulshan is once again spot on. It went through a bit of a dip years ago, but they've revamped it and added a great bar upstairs for that pre-curry tipple. The food itself is the best in Liverpool (Now that the shapla has gone again). And the service is excellent. Thoroughly recommended!!

GemmaOctober 19th 2007.

The UNI on Renshaw Street is the best Indian Restaurant in Liverpool. We have been dining there for the last 5 years, and have had nothing but consistently delicious meals. The staff are friendly and accomodating, and everyone we've taken to eat there (numerous members of family and friends) have enjoyed it, and returned for more!

keren curranOctober 19th 2007.

Try the Maharaja in Preston for their outstanding curries especially the chicken Tikka Masala,plenty of chunky chicken,and excellent service all round,a proud Preston Indian Restaurant...please go you will not be dissapointed,Keren

Michael MyersOctober 19th 2007.

I don't know why anyone bothers with the Gulshan or where it got this reputation from. Idiots, probably.

Doctor WhoOctober 19th 2007.

Yes, but it closed two years ago.

Dicky WirralOctober 19th 2007.

The best curry house traditional flock wallpaper etc but by far the best tasting Chicken Tikka Dansak in the UK is the Indira in Hoylake you cannot get better quality food, a close runner up has to be Magic Spices in Wallasey/New Brighton a much smarter restraunt and quality service at both but the Indira just pips it to the winning post for me as the best curry house in merseyside!

LauOctober 19th 2007.

A moment of silence please...I walked past the Coriander in Waterloo last night and it's no longer trading! GUTTED!

BaBy-ZiOnOctober 19th 2007.

It has to be the U-n-I Indian restaurant on Renshaw Street. Wow! What can I say. I have been a loyal curry monster of the U-n-I for the past seven years, and I actually believe that the restaurant has been in operation for quite some decades! The Lamb Saagwalla is unbelieveable, as is the chicken rezalla (hot hot hot) and the lamb madras. However, the biggest reason for my nomination of this elegant, curtain-boothed curry haven is the GARLIC NAAN BREAD. This is a HUGE garlic infested flying saucer. It isn;t simply sprinkled with garlic salt, or garlic butter... It is STUFFED with slice after slice of flash-pan garlic peices, and is simply heaven dipped in the red oils of a prawn tikka massala. I'm dribbling! haha. But beware... your colleagues at work the next day will be handing out the wrigleys... phew!.... BaBy-ZiOn, female. 25. Liverpool L27.

bigfootOctober 19th 2007.

Having lived in India I reccommend The Kerala Kitchen on Woodchurch Road Birkenhead (next to Sainsbury's) Authentic Souith Indian cuisine. superb! and reasonable.

AnonymousOctober 19th 2007.

The Coriander Restaurant in Warerloo without doubt has got to one of the best, if not 'the best' restaurants in Liverpool! The contemporary look and relaxed atmosphere make it the perfect place to wine and dine with family and friends or for a romantic meal. I have visited the restaurant a few times and been more than happy every time. There's plenty of choice on the menu to suite all tastes and if there is not, the chef will prepare a dish to your desired taste, if you want more spice just ask!. The service is perfect you do't get harrased for drinks, they don't rush you to leave you table, so there's plenty of time to relax. The Coriander really is a wonderful place. Tastey food and great service and lovely surroundings, what more can one say!

BluenoseOctober 19th 2007.

Has it stopped doing boiled meat in any old sauce then?

AnonymousOctober 19th 2007.

Balti Massala on warbreck moor, Aintree is one the best indian in liverpool. great food, exellent service and amazing people. a must try. trust me its finger licking good.

JTOctober 19th 2007.

GULSHAN - AIGBURTH ROADThis is the best curry house I have been to in Merseyside. It has been in business for a long time now and the standards of food and service have always been great. Nice comfortable atmosphere and you are made to feel welcome. The food is delicious and always consistiently fresh, tasty and well presented. I love it there.

KSOctober 19th 2007.

The Light of Bengal on Aigburth Road is far and away the best curry in Liverpool. Great value, top class food and fantastic service.

LauraOctober 19th 2007.

Curry on the Wirral Bollywood Lounge is the best to eat in (and a bargain too!) and spice is the best takeaway..mmm!!We went to Coriander in Waterloo and it was lovely but a bit pricey

AnonymousOctober 19th 2007.

Can you still "pull" in those dark curtain booths in UnI? I haven't been since I was a student. Better than the Razz!!

Fat GitOctober 19th 2007.

I have been on incapacity benefit for the last 15 years but I do enjoy a good curry after playing the drums in our band whose name I can't mention for obvious reasons (heh, heh). I like a madras best, after getting all the gear back into my taxi, with lots of pillow rice and garlic and corainder naan bread as well to wipe it all up off the plate. The Spice Lounge in the Albert Dock is good but I don't really care where I get it sometimes, so long as I don't have to walk far.

bagheeraOctober 19th 2007.

The Cain's Curry Club at Doctor Duncans is incredible value and tastes superb. Unfortunately, it's not available all year round BUT ..... when it is, you won't find better ANYWHERE!

EddTheRedOctober 19th 2007.

Last night I ate at the Mayur on Duke Street for the first time, with my girlfriend and Dad. Recently opened, the first thing you notice about the Mayur is the very stylish decor - a large open-plan dining area in mostly minimalist style, with flashes of colour and decoration, particularly around the bar. It was about half full - not bad for a Thursday night - but we were seated straight away. Service throughout the evening was quick and efficient, yet warm and friendly.The food was even better.We quickly polished off a few popadoms, which, whilst not outstanding in themselves, were crisp and fresh, and accompanied by three delicious chutneys - a sweet mango chutney, a fresh mint dressing, and one other I intended to ask about but never did. As we finished these, the starters arrived, and all were excellent: king prawns, lamb, and for me some salmon tikka. Each had an unfamiliar name on the menu, which seemed to reflect the authenticity of the quisine rather than the desire of some Indian restaurants to appear different whilst serving up the usual fayre. Indecision in the face of so many delicious-sounding dishes meant my Dad asked me to order for us both, and to be honest it would have been difficuly to go wrong.The starters were extraordinary. I literally could not imagine better salmon - well seasoned, without masking the delicious flavour of the fish itself; perfectly cooked; and with that slow-building heat that marks out the work of a very clever chef. The prawns were equally delicious. I didn't get to try the lamb, as my Dad enjoyed it so much there was none left in a very short space of time; but he spoke highly of them.Our main courses completed the feast: my girlfriend opted for the Thali (a selection of meat and sea-food dises, with a Vegertarian version also available); I ordered a chicken Jalfrezi for my Dad; and went for a slightly milder chicken saag-type dish myself.I've eaten Thali before, and so expected to see a few small dishes of curry. Instead, what arrived was a platter of prawns, lamb, chicken, and slamon (similar to my own starter). It was difficult to decide which was best, the moist, tender, delicately-spiced chicken in particular being different to any I'd eaten before. The side dish of curry sauce was a little on the sweet side for my tastes, but plentiful and good non-the-less. The accompanying Naan (whilst not, I think, cooked in a tandoor) was so good we considered ordering more. Again, my Dad polised his meal off without breathing - I'm sure there was a pattern on the plate originally - but he praised it very highly, commenting on the building heat that came from within the curry, rather than being the result of an extra spoonful of chilli powder.My main course was excellent. I was initially reluctant to order curried chicken thigh rather than breast, but it suited the dish perfectly.It was a good job we hadn't ordered any extra Naan bread, as all three of us were well fed by the end of the meal.We relaxed for a while before paying the bill, and before we left, the manger (owner?) came over, and was so evidently proud of his coffee two of us agreeed to try it. My Dad, being the most cynical amongst us, expected it to arrive with a supplementary bill, but that would have been out-of-keeping with my impression of the night; and sure enough it arrived complements of the manager. The cappuccinos were served in crockery that looked like pieces of art - the manager may be relieved my girlfriend hadn't brought a bigger bag. The coffee was strong, rich and full-bodied, in contrast to most cappuccinos, which are more like Latte milk-shakes. An excellent end to an excellent evening.Whilst the acoustics are at the mercy of the open-plan layout, coupled with slate floor and relatively low ceiling (making me wonder how easy it would be to hold a conversation on a busier night), I'd struggle to fault the restaurant on any other level. The £70-odd bill (including drinks), whilst perhaps a little higher than at some Indian restaurants, seemed very fair considering the quality of the food.Though come to think of it, the waiter was perhaps a little too tall (okay, I'm stretching now).In summary - a great meal, and a great night out.

kimOctober 19th 2007.

now ive been to alot of indian restaurants all over liverpool but i can say without dought that the best curry ive had is at saffron in waterloo http://www.saffronliverpool.co.ukthere service was some of the best ive had and the food was amazing

DanOctober 19th 2007.

The Gulshan in Aigburth. Definitely. Good old fashioned service and great food right on my doorstep. Who needs to travel into the city centre??? I don't!

Jennifer EcclesOctober 19th 2007.

The Red Fort in Lark Lane! Unexpectedly ate there last night and had a right old time!

AnonymousOctober 19th 2007.

Balti Massala on warbreck moor, Aintree is one the best indian in liverpool. great food, exellent service and amazing people. a must try. trust me its finger licking good.

Andrea VaughanOctober 19th 2007.

I have searched high and low to satisy my curry craves and I think I have ate at every indian restuarant in Liverpool. There are some that are awful and some that are simply fantastic. To mention a few, Master Chef on Renshaw is horrid, The modern Tandoori on High Street is ok but I have no desire to go back there, The Maharajah is a wonderful south indian place, but I prefer northern indian dishes. If I am in Town i will head down the UNI (oldest curry house)or the Asha on Bold Street, if i'm after a lunch special I head to Mr Shah's Balti House on Stanley Street, if i'm staying local i'l head to Red Peppers on Kensington, however for a special treat and the curries I crave the most I head to the Gulshan, the Madhari or the Light of Bengal. Sometimes I have to do a toss up to decide which one to go in. However worth a mention also are Passage to India on Bold Street, The Spice Garden in Old Swan, the Raj in Woolton Village and the Ayesha in Childwall. And one final rant... writing this has made me very hungary - I think i'l order a take away from the Dansheree (Tuebrook) which i think is the best take away curry house...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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