I had the pleasure of finally trying The Shilpa in Papworth this afternoon.
This one I have been dying to try for a while now…and I’m glad I did! The place is a little more expensive than the usual Indian restaurant. Hovering around a similar price to Prana (£9.50 for a curry/£4 for rice etc).
This is all for a very good reason however, as it aims (and executes well) to be a mid ranged/high end Indian restaurant.
You get all the bells and whistles here. Nice warm surroundings, a fancy cube light thing (which made photos come out very dark and full of photo noise – though added a good atmosphere at the table), an excellent menu selection, and an “After 8” mint after the meal.
The service was also attentive, friendly, and professional. And YES. you do get those fancy awkward forks which are impossible to hold properly.
The menu has some excellent choices. I really struggled to choose. Since my meal was on someone else, I decided to be polite and order something modest – a chicken Naga.
Some of the dishes got expensive but all sounded absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend going on their website and having a good look. They had a healthy balance of traditional and British Indian cuisine, so there should be something for everyone here.
The papadums were top notch. The sides were all fantastic too. The onion was mostly just white onion on its own, but it worked. The lime pickle tasted sublime though lacked a certain bitterness i’m used too. The mango chutney and yogurt were very decent.
The food came out in good time and was excellently presented. The portions were a little small, but this place comes across as a place of quality over quantity. The chicken just fell to bits and was full of flavour.
Sadly my chicken Naga lacked any real spice, which is the entire point but of a Naga. But once again, this is a place which clearly focuses on class over blowing people’s head off. It tasted great.
We got a chocolate and hot towel with our meal. Along with a higher than average bill. I really enjoyed myself here tonight. Nobody should leave feeling disappointed with The Shilpa. It’s certainly going for a middle class market here, serving Indian cuisine rather than the usual spicy slop we all know and love.
It certainly suits a meal out with the family over, say, the lads before a piss up. But there is some great stuff here for people wanting to try something different and also many of the old classics. Everything is done well here and you get everything we’ve come to expect from Indians, such as the after dinner chocolate and hot towel.
Just watch out as the price racks up fast. the west of Cambridge is really coming a fantastic place for Indian restaurants with The Shilpa, Lalbagh, and Cam Spice (and India House in Newnham).