A big night for Shilpa Indian Restaurant

It’s been five years since my first visit to Papworth Everard to try the Shilpa Indian Restaurant. I decided to take the plunge and pop in after passing it a hundred times on my travels back in 2017. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was back then, as at this time I had not heard much about the restaurant. The visit turned out to be a very good meal and certainly better than a lot of other popular places in the area.

I was lucky enough to be invited by Akram from Curry Walla Media to join the celebration of their recent award for ‘Restaurant Of The Year’ at the Bangladesh Carters Association (BCA). It was an opportunity I was not going to pass up, not only because it had been AGES since my last visit to the Shilpa but also because I knew that it was a fantastic restaurant which thoroughly deserved the award.

It was a dark, cold, and a very rainy evening, so we all had to run from our car into the restaurant. Luckily we were greeted by a very warm and friendly staff team who showed us to our table and took our coats. The place was packed and full of other customers enjoying their meals and having a good time. We were then treated to a selection of different dishes between us from a set menu.

First up, we were presented with a lamb chop and a tandoori mixed platter served with a side salad. All done to a great standard. The sheek kebab especially stood out as particularly succulent.

For mains, we were given a selection of different dishes to share between us. The star of the show was the Makhani curry. This was something we had never tried before and made a real impression on the table. This is more commonly known as ‘butter chicken’ which is a lovely thick creamy taste. When you are mixing butter and Indian spices, you can’t really go wrong!

I have heard that since our meal that the Makhani is now my sister in law’s new “go to curry”. My son even said that it was “the best curry I’ve ever had”. I must admit, I share their enthusiasm and I am going to start recommending this dish to more people who enjoy the milder creamy curries.

An often overlooked dish is the mixed vegetable bhaji. This added some diversity to a meal dominated by meat and carbohydrates. The team here weren’t just about creating delicious food but also thought about balance. This was really appreciated after a weekend of eating nothing but curry!

The rice was fairly standard but got the job done. The naan was absolutely excellent. It was a plain naan but was incredibly buttery, exactly as it should be!

To end the evening, we were given a show on a large TV of the Bangladesh Carters Association awarding the team at The Shilpa with their award. This was then followed by a speech by the owner and the rest of the team on how much work has gone into making their success.

It was great to see customers and others getting up and speaking to get an idea of what they thought made the restaurant so special. We even saw an appearance from Cambridge Foodies co owner Sean Figura saying a few words.

It was great to come back to the Shilpa after all these years. The place has always impressed me but it has refined its quality even further since my last visit. You can really tell by listening to their speeches that the team had put everything into the restaurant. The award is truly deserved and I look forward to seeing what else the restaurant can accomplish in the future. I wish them the best of luck!

If you ever feel the urge to try the butter chicken then keep the Shilpa in mind. The Makhani will blow your socks off.

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