The Eastern Eye must have the most inappropriate entrance of any of Bath's restaurants. Through a small and unassuming door on Quiet Street and up the stairs, hungry punters then enter a rather large and magnificent Georgian room, designed in 1824 by Henry Goodridge. The ceiling in particular is something to behold, with three huge and ornately framed circular windows running along its length. The Choudhury family have run the restaurant in Bath since the early '80s but only moved to the stylish new premises a couple of years back. After a couple of pints at Flann O'Briens, we arrived at the Indian with suitably large appetites. The menu reads better than most Indian eateries, some of which can get very cliched in offering the standard baltis, dhansaks, tikka massalas and birianis. The Eastern Eye offers all these - and some! Chef's recommendations include the likes of rupchanda takari (a tropical fish from the Bay of Bengal) plus sizzling korai dishes and even a lobster massala. Having sought some much needed expert advice, it was suggested we try a butty kebab and meat dosha to start, followed by chicken shahjahani and chicken mon pasand for our main courses, which we supplemented with pilau rice, peshwari nan and a side dish of saag ponir. My mate described his dosha (spiced lamb with a chapatti roll wrapped around it) as nothing less than outstanding, while my kebab was good without reaching the same adjectival heights. The main courses were, however, uniformly excellent and had the added advantage of being slightly more original than most.
My mon pasand was similar to a massala but with hot spices and extra coriander while the shahjahani was more delicately treated and then blended with a sauce of cream and Indian cheese. The side dish was easily big enough for two and was a very tasty mixture of spinach and the aforementioned Indian cheese (a mild, salty curd cheese which is made on the premises).
The Eastern Eye is a must for those who enjoy their curry but get tired of the same old formulaic cuisine. And it's obviously something that the restaurant prides itself on. At the back of the menu was a whole list of comments from celebrity guests who also raved about the place. The list was extensive enough to make us wonder whether there was a specific member of staff employed purely for the purpose of spotting the `stars', with effusive quotes ranging from Wet, Wet, Wet's Marti Pellow to Rolf Harris and even Donny Osmond!
The prices are a little higher than you might usually expect to pay, with starters between £2 - £4 and main dishes from around £5 to £11, but I have to agree with Donny, Marti, Rolf and the rest - yes well worth the money and still no more expensive than your average mid-priced modern English cuisine.
(Simon Whitehouse (Tel: 01225) 466688.)
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