I am a huge fan of Indian food and have eaten my way around many of the Indian restaurants in the North East over the years, as well as my fair share of beautiful curries and street food in India itself. So, when I received an invitation to dine at Amaani Durham, I was absolutely thrilled!
I’d been following the restaurant on Instagram since it opened earlier this year and had always thought the food looked absolutely delicious. The promise of fine Indian cuisine in a stunning location at The Pumphouse in Durham was the perfect excuse to jump on the train at Central Station and head back over to my beloved cathedral city, where I spent many a happy day at university.
The building itself is lovely, with a lovely courtyard and views of the River Wear. The interior of Amaani is plush and luxurious! We were immediately met with the mouth-watering smell of Indian food as we entered the restaurant – I couldn’t wait to order! Our friendly waiter served us almost straightaway, and we thoroughly enjoyed our poppadoms and pickles to begin with.
For starter I ordered Bhuna Prawns on Puri which was absolutely stunning! Unlike many restaurants, Amaani served the dish packed full of prawns, which were plump and cooked to perfection.
Alex went for the Chef’s Special Kebab which came with all sorts of tasty meats, as well what Alex described as, “the best bhaji I’ve ever had!”
The waiting staff gave just the right amount of time between each course, to ensure we weren’t bombarded with food and didn’t get full up to quickly. Saying that, I was just so excited to see how amazing the main dishes were going to be!
I certainly wasn’t disappointed – I went with a Chicken Tikka Makhani, which was so buttery and delicious. Alex ordered the Chicken Sri Lanka dish and I just had to try some. This dish was spicy, but not too hot by any means: we thought it was really very tasty. We also ordered garlic naan and a fantastic cashew nut pilau (definitely one to try), but alas, we quickly became too full to finish it all off!
After our meal, the owner’s son, Shuheb, came over to make sure everything was ok with our experience at Amaani – we couldn’t fault either the service or the food we were served. We had a brilliant night and as we sat back after the meal with a couple more drinks, we both decided that it was the best Indian food we’d had in a long time!
(Please note that this was a complimentary meal offered by Amaani at The Pumphouse, however all views are my own, based on my own experience there).
Pro(s): Fabulous food and service in a beautiful location just a few minutes away from Durham city centre.
Con(s): The prices of the dishes are slightly higher than some other Indian restaurants I’ve been to, however I would say that this is easily reflected in the quality and taste of the food served. Each dish was packed full of meat or prawns, making it value for money.