Now this could be embarrassing; I've got to write a review of an Ayurvedic restaurant without really fully understanding what an Ayurvedic diet is, so I'll muddle along and hope to get away with it. My limited knowledge suggests to me that an Ayurvedic diet is one where traditional ingredients are used in the correct balance to assist good health; any curry house that promises this rather than a slightly uncomfortable bloating, as if one might pop at any moment, has to be worth a visit.
Dilli has certainly gathered a fine reputation over the last few years. As the first Ayurvedic (gah! that word again) restaurant of its kind outside London, the venue has been heaped with praise and has been Michelin-listed since 2005; to be frank, the ony thing that has prevented me from visiting before now is the fact that Altrincham is at least a fifteen minute drive from my house.
To that fifteen minute drive we then had to add another fifteen minutes to actually find the place - from the outside it looks a bit like a box covered with brown sticky backed plastic, and the logo in no way says "Dilli" (check out the website to see what I mean - forewarned is forearmed). Eventually we were safely seated in the brown box, and what the restaurant lacks in glamour, it certainly makes up for in food quality.
My starter of Dilli Ki Aloo Tikki (dinky little potato cakes with peas and ginger) was delicious, and a surreptitious swipe at my husband's plate confirmed that his Acahri Murgh Tikkas (chicken tikka) was similarly good. Incidentally, the vegetarian selection here is immense; I fancied ALL the veggie starters so this would be an excellent place to take anyone who normally has to sit po-faced in front of an omelette and a plate of plain rice.
For mains we had Rara Murgh (chicken) and Gosht Banjra (beautifully tender lamb); both deliciously spicy and both gone within about three and a half minutes. The food here is slightly more than you'd pay at your local Indian restaurant, with both our mains costing £9.95, but if you check the website there always seems to be some kind of deal on, and they take HiLife as well.
Service was good, and at no point were we forgotten despite being completely hidden in an alcove behind the world's biggest table-lamp. Do check your bill though - service is already included at 10%, so make sure you don't end up paying twice.
So do I feel healthy and balanced? Well, it might be the fact that I was driving and therefore not drinking, but I certainly feel less bloatedly uncomfortable than I normally do after one of my customary curry binges; in fact, my jeans aren't even too tight. A curry house that's a little bit good for you...a dangerous idea, methinks.
Dilli is at 60 Stamford New Road, Altrincham WA14 1EE; tel 0161 9297484 or visit www.dilli.co.uk to try and figure out for yourself what this Ayurveda is all about.