Ah Dartford; town with a population of 97,365, three different railways lines into London, making it a commuter hotspot, some of the best schools in the county and yet a diabolical lack of decent places to eat out! Yes indeed, the birth place of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mackenzie Crook, Pete Tong and… Len Goodman, struggles to provide it inhabitants of even a handful of viable options within the town centre. Carnaval, the recently opened Tapas Bar has been good the couple of times I’ve tried it – very skilled at making a dry martini and their croquettes we as lovely as any I’ve had before. Then there is The Horse and Groom in Wilmington which is always full to bursting, but I would say overpriced and the food is inconsistent. They get away with it due to them having the monopoly on halfway decent restaurants in the area.
The busyness of these establishments strongly suggests that there is a real desire for some great places to eat in the town and I’m hoping that the tide will start to turn. Restaurant owners see the opportunities that exist and that we start to have some more viable options soon. Rant over.
What Dartford does have plenty of is Chinese and Indian restaurant, lots of them, and what you tend to find is they chop and change chefs on a regular basis so one year the best might be one establishment and the following year it’s another. My Dad has always been a fan of the Radhuny and, as it was his choice of venue for the evening, we trotted of there – 6 of us in total, oh yes, the whole family!
It was a Monday night that we visited and it was pretty dead so I would say that this didn’t help with my overall impression of the restaurant. What I couldn’t understand was that despite us being one of only two occupied tables, it seemed to be quite difficult to order drinks, get top ups, ask for the bill etc. I always find this rather frustrating but maybe that’s just my impatient nature.
Rudhuny has a good menu – lots of chef’s specials so that you can try new sorts of dishes but also all the classics. I won’t bore you with what everyone ordered as I would be here for a long time, I do remember that the family chose not to order starters and I am still disappointed in them now – poppadum’s are not an acceptable starter. I choose a Tawa Chicken which is described on the menu as chicken cooked with Mustard Seed, Garnished with Chopped Onions, And Freshly Ground Spices In A Medium Hot Sauce With Green Pepper. We all shared a variety of sides including my favourites Aloo-Gobi and Okra.
Food took a while to come which I have no problem with as I like to think that it means that everything is nice and fresh and portion sizes were good. The food was pleasant but I would say distinctly average. My chicken was cooked well and spiced nicely but I couldn’t really distinguish all the flavours it was supposed to have and it lacked any real “kick”. Sides were rather nice although my Aloo-Gobi was a bit lukewarm which was a disappointment.
Nothing here was terrible, we had an enjoyable meal and we left happy but I was just a bit underwhelmed especially as so many have said to me that this is the best curry house in Dartford / Kent. Maybe it’s because we were there on a quiet Monday. Maybe it’s because they have changed chefs (certainly recent Trip Advisor reviews seem to suggest that there are many feeling that it seems to have gone downhill a bit). I personally prefer the service and atmosphere of the Jaffalong down the road despite them having a more basic menu. On the plus side it was good value for money at around £25.00 a head with alcohol included, so whilst I won’t be rushing back, its fine if you want a curry in Dartford – and lets face it that’s pretty much your only option!
6 / 10
Radhuny Indian Restaurant, Dartford DA1 1HP