Remember Silk Road? To be honest the most I saw of it was the outside as I passed by and waited at traffic lights. I went a few times and whilst there was nothing offensive about the place, there was also nothing I found particularly special. I’m really not a fan of fusion restaurants serving lots of different foods, as Bilbo Baggins once said, it’s like butter scraped over too much bread.
Needless to say I shan’t miss it and instead I’m thrilled that the restaurant has been re-invented. Freshly painted, splashed with orange and taking on the trendy casual dining scene, now named B-Town is offering the folk of Milton Keynes Indian street food.
Indian street food eh? I instantly liked the sound of this. A modern alternative to the oh-so familiar curry routine! I was interested to see whether an Indian restaurant could pull off casual, as formality tends to be synonymous with Indian dining. So off we went to the B-Town soft launch in the hope of fresh flavours and avoiding a napkin being placed in our lap!
We walked in and found the smell of fresh paint still clinging in the air. Waiting staff in bright orange shirts were busily whipping up drinks and darting between tables. Indian pop was playing in the background and Indian pop culture adorned the walls.
We were handed paper menus and left to decide whilst digging into pappadoms and chutneys.
Not your standard chutneys I hasten to add! Oh no, not a mango in sight. Smoky tomato, heavily spiced aromatic yoghurt and caramelised spicy onions were our options, and every one of them was intensely delicious. My only regret is that the poppadoms were a bit on the thin side, which lead to a lot of breakage. What can I say, I’m a scooper.
The menu has a lot of exciting new choices, many things you are likely to have never tried unless you’ve got a deeper connection with India. Lots of options can be enjoyed as side dishes or a main. I like that you can pick and choose different little bits if you like, proper street food style! In that fashion both our eyes were drawn towards the Thaali: a selection of home style meats, vegetables and starches all served on a silver platter. Platter me up!
We might have got a little carried away and ordered some sides as well…
A classic saag aloo which was beautifully cooked. In fact it’s worth noting that among all the vibrant ‘new’ foods B-Town offer, they also offer a few of the classic curries, ideal for that stubborn person at your table who knows what they like and likes what they know.
Our other side was a channa masala, which was just gorgeous. The balance of spice and rich flavours was so tasty, I would order this again and again!
(I feel like some kind of drum roll is needed here…)
Wow. Wow! What a glorious serving of food! First of all it’s huge, truly huge. Two curries, two vegetable dishes, chutneys, yoghurt, rice, naan and a (nice and thick) spiced poppadom for £13.90. Nicely done B-Town!
I really liked this presentation, it brings so much excitement to the meal, exploring what flavours are in each of the little silver dishes.
The rice is infused with lemon, which on it’s own was a little too sour, but when teamed with the spicy curry dishes worked really well as a fresh layer of flavour.
Did I mention these are huge? You can pick between a North or South Indian Thaali, both are packed with interesting and authentic dishes from each region. Spiciness is present, but not overwhelming. Just how I like it.
I was ever so sad on finishing the meal to discover that B-Town haven’t scrimped on the puds and have an enticing dessert selection. They’ve got some lovely fresh choices and I’ve definitely got unfinished business with the mango crème brulee.
Overall I’d say the re-brand is a success. The dining area still has a little way to go in creating a truly ‘trendy’ atmosphere, but of course it’s the food that matters most, and the food I think is very good. It’s interesting and fresh and breathes some much needed modernity into mainstream Indian dining. Still, old habits die hard and whilst no napkins were placed in my lap I did chuckle as a hot towel was unwrapped and offered to me! Remember to keep it casual B-Town! 🙂