Carry On Up The Khyber

Spice Valley is a utilitarian looking curry house on the Valley Leisure Park in Bolton. But looks can be deceptive. The building is a former Fatty Arbuckles. Weren’t they rubbish? Whoever thought naming a brand of restaurants after a very early silent film comedian would work in the UK was a bit of a joker himself. Although Arbuckle’s died prematurely in 1933, his third wife outlived him considerably, dying aged 97 in 2003. But I digress.

What Spice Valley has gained from the original build is lots of light, thanks to the large windows, which fits in well with its modern, contemporary style. It may not look like your traditional curry palace but it is highly regarded and currently lies at No 1 in the Bury Curry Club chart. Now it was time to put it to the test.

I started with Dahi Vada. Or Darth Vader as Boltonians like to call it. This is a South Indian speciality-ground lentil dumplings served in specially flavoured yoghurt. This proved very tasty, with the spicy lentils perfectly matched by the sweeter yoghurt. The carnivores were debating whether to ask the “lamb question” That is whether it was tender or not, as some places like to serve up chewy lamb. Or the Herbivores Revenge as I like to call it. Having been assured it was, they went for chop starters and proclaimed them excellent.

Mains were accompanied not by rice (although you could if you wish) but by Roti ki Tokri-an assortment of breads. And very good they were as well. My Matar Paneer had a rich tomato sauce with a good dose of coriander thrown in. In fact, everyone thoroughly enjoyed their mains. Service throughout was good and it worked out about £16 a head, which considering the quality was reasonable. Highly recommended.

Spice Valley is at Valley Park, Bolton B1 8TS. Open Mon-Thurs 12-2, 5-10.30 Fri 12-2, 5-11 Sat 12-11 Sun 12-10


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