Review: Veenas Restaurant Club
Reporter: Pete Hinchliffe
Date online: 13 February 2012
Date visited: Saturday 11 February 2012. Evening.
This restaurant is situated on the corner of York Street and Queen’s Park Road, just off Heywood Town Centre. It is owned and operated by Farooq Ahmed, a local councillor. There is plenty of parking in the area and disabled access is quite good. The restaurant is on the ground floor as are the toilets so wheelchair-bound customers should not experience problems.
The restaurant is large and uncluttered and there is a good-sized separate bar and casual seating area.
The staff are extremely friendly and welcoming with handshakes all round and they ask everyone’s first name which is a nice touch.
The style is modern with recessed lighting and the restaurant was clean and comfortable. This is a restaurant that tries hard to please its guests and does not just serve out standard curries to drunken Englishmen.
The menu was extensive and as well as the usual range of tandoori, balti, madras, korma, vindaloo etc they did several ‘Chef’s Specials’ and specialist Bangladeshi dishes. I had mulligatawny to start and an intriguingly named lamb naga-naga with coconut rice for my main course. It was made with chillies and really was red hot but very flavoursome. It also does a takeaway service.
Cobra and keg Boddingtons at the bar and a decent Shiraz from Hardy’s as the house red. The meal ends with complimentary drinks of your choice but on the evening that we visited, Farooq came out and bought us all an extra two. There were eleven of us and all agreed that the food was really good. The only negative comments were that some felt that the service was slow and that the toilet facilities let the overall impression down somewhat and needed upgrading as a priority.
With regard to the service, it was very friendly and it may have taken longer to prepare the food as we were a large party but I generally felt that as the restaurant was not particularly busy, they needed to improve in this area.
Food - Very good. Most of the standard curries are there but with the addition of some great Chef’s Specials and Bangladeshi dishes. Plenty of good vegetarian choices. Far better than most local curry restaurants in these respects. Score 4/5
Drinks - Good bar area. Not an extensive wine list but house wines quite good plus a drink of your choice as a complimentary. They even include a small heater to warm your brandy! Perhaps the addition of a real ale from the local Phoenix brewery would be a welcome addition? Score 3/5
Service - Friendly, welcoming but slow on the night we visited. Work needs to be done in this area. Score 3/5
Cleanliness - Spot on in restaurant and bar area. Score 5/5
Decor/Ambience - Bright, clean, modern. Not the usual flock wallpaper and loud bangra music. Tables not too close together and background music not intrusive. Score 4/5
Loos - This really let the place down. Broken tiles and mucky floors in gents and ladies. No hot water in ladies and soap-dispenser hanging off the wall. They need upgrading and staff need to check them more regularly. As the restaurant area is so clean, the loos appear very poor in comparison. Score 2/5
Disabled Access - All facilities on ground floor. Separate, disabled loo. Score 4/5
Value for money - Cost about £17.50 per head for chutney and pappadum appetisers, starters and main courses. Good value for money given the overall quality. Score 4/5
Overall/Additional comments - This is a well-above average Indian restaurant that has got most things just right but with just a little bit more effort it could be a GREAT restaurant. These people obviously like what they are doing but a few hundred quid spent on the loos plus a bit more zip in the service would make all the difference. I find it hard to give an overall score. I’m tempted to give it 3/5 but the staff and the food are so great that I am going to give it a four but will knock it down to three if they haven’t sorted the loos out on my next visit! Overall score 4/5
Recommend? Yes. If you want an Indian meal with a warm welcome and a great menu you could do far worse. Certainly beats anything on Milkstone Road, Rochdale’s ‘Curry Mile.’
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