I had the pleasure of heading back to the Raja last night. It’s been far too long since I was last here. In fact, it might have been at one of our last Curry Community events where I last sat down at this little gem tucked away on King Street several years ago.
I say “tucked away”, but everyone knows The Raja. The restaurant has won numerous awards in it’s relatively short time in Cambridge. So many awards in fact, that their entire wall is covered in certificates.
This place may be small but they use the space excellently. I was surprised how many staff they managed to have running around in such a small area. The ratio of staff to customer was really good and you were seen too promptly. They’ve had new leather booths put in too which really makes the place look classy.
The Raja isn’t just about good staff to customer ratios too either. They were all incredibly warm, welcoming, and took the time to talk to you. This can’t be said for some places and it’s great to see such an excellent customer service. The menu was a reasonable size and had everything the average customer would need.
They had a few interesting dishes on there, including the main reason I wanted to come back to The Raja in the first place, which was their new papadum wraps. These are crunchy papadums wrapped potatoes and chickpeas for an incredibly reasonable £3.90.
They weren’t what I was expecting but I was not disappointed none the less. A simple idea which worked really well. I highly recommend people yet them out when they are never here as an alternative to the usual papadums.
Speaking of papadums, I had some of these too. Their mango chutney was excellent. As was their very unique onion salad, which had a perfect balance of different vegetables rather than being very onion heavy like a lot of other restaurants. The papadums looked home made and certainly a different texture to the ones I’m used too.
I was dining before a friend birthday night out, so didn’t have the luxury of sitting around all evening trying the entire menu. I mainly came to try out their delicious new papadum wraps, which I managed to accomplish.
For my mains I decided to go for the…yup, you guessed it! Lamb vindaloo and mushroom rice! I make no apologies.
The food came out in good time. I really didn’t feel like I was waiting long at all as the staff were really good at talking to me (especially because I was dining alone tonight).
The food was presented excellently with lots of colour and vibrancy without the use of any artificial colourings. The vindaloo was quite spicy (as it should be) and was cooked in a different way to what I’m used too. I want to say it was cooked in a less creamy style like a lot of other Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants. It had a lot of freshly chopped vegetable such as spring onion on top to give it a real crunch. It’s certainly a different take on the vindaloo which works well and doesn’t disappoint.
The lamb was of a respectable quality. I wouldn’t say it was overly tender but didn’t offend either. The rice was executed perfectly with a generous portion.
I was glad to see hot towel and chocolate after the meal. The quality of the hot towel was really good. It was incredibly thick and just what was needed after a hot meal (especially since I was going out after!). No thin microwaves wet wipes here.
I want to thank the chaps at The Raja for a fantastic dining experience. You can really see how much hard work they’ve put in to creating a marvellous dining experience for their customers.
With such little space they’ve managed to present an excellently decorated and bustling dining experience, which is given a warm and personal touch by friendly and attentive staff who are never too busy to tend to yours needs.
The awards which smother their walls speak for themselves, and considering the fierce competition in Cambridge these days, that speaks volumes.
I really look forward to coming back again in the future and trying some of their other courses on the menu. I particularly noticed the “mums fish curry”.