Review: Eastern Revive, Knutsford
Eastern Revive is located in an excellent position on King Street in Knutsford, Cheshire. It’s famed for it’s glowing reviews on TripAdvisor and has two other restaurants; one in Wilmslow and one in Warrington.
On arrival, it was surprisingly busy for a Wednesday night, and we were seated at the back of the restaurant in the light and airy ‘conservatory’ part which was brilliant for a summers evening. The place has been decked out nice enough on first viewings – wooden floors, fairy lights, leather seats and it didn’t feel cramped even though the place was full of customers. However, within a couple of minutes, the problems were beginning to show. On second looks, we noticed that the wall we were sat next to had been splattered with curry and looked revolting. Restaurants need to be hard-wearing and also need to be cleaned every night from top to bottom. Finding curry and goodness knows what else at eye level whilst you’re eating is hardly appetizing. It was also very noisy due to the lack of soft furnishings. Even though it created a busy, bustling atmosphere, it was difficult to hear each other at some points and the ‘background music’ just created even more of a feeling of chaos.
Having only just sat down and being presented with the menu, we were immediately hurried to give our drinks orders. It all felt very rushed and wasn’t relaxing in the slightest. I noticed the same thing happened at other tables (and the same reaction too!). Having skim-read the drinks menu at lightning speed, we ordered drinks and were left to read the food menu.
The food is reasonably priced and mid-range between the other curry houses in the area. We were asked if we’d like poppadoms, which we did, which were brought with a dip tray and they were pleasant whilst we waited for our starter. However, it was quite a shock when the bill arrived to realise that we’d been charged £2.20 for the dip tray, meaning in total we’d been charged £4.60 for what can only be described as four large crisps. Less than impressive considering the dips weren’t homemade and the tray is used again.
Unfortunately, there was no allergy advice given about the dishes. With Indian food, it’s difficult to know which foods contain gluten or dairy and which ones don’t so some extra advice would have been handy. Whilst they say to ask your waiter about allergy advice, I doubt ours would’ve been very helpful. Whilst taking our food order, he didn’t look us in the eye, and whilst we were mid sentence, he turned around and started talking to someone else. Possibly the rudest waiter in Knutsford?
The mixed grill (£10.50 for two people) consisted of two lamb chops, which had a nice flavour and were tender, two seek kebabs which, whilst not to my taste, had a good level of spice, four pieces of chicken tikka, some of which were very tough, others were tender, and four pieces of lamb tikka, again some pieces being tough. Whilst all the components were tasty, it was shame that some of the meat wasn’t quite up to standard.
For our main course, we ordered a tandoori chicken spinach (£9.50) which was disappointing to be honest. Whilst the flavours were all there, there was just something that was missing, whether it was an extra bit of spice? The chicken, however, was tender and there was lots of it. As for the lamb bhuna (£7.90), it was delicious, though not much meat. We also ordered a pilau rice which came in a boiling hot, metal bowl which was placed at the opposite end of the table to where we sitting, and a garlic naan bread which was undercoooked and doughy.
Overall, the food was up to a moderate standard, but disappointing when you consider it’s currently ranked #4 on TripAdvisor. Perhaps it was just a bad night for them as I noticed another table sending food back and having disagreements with the waiter, but a restaurant is only as good as its’ last meal. The biggest issue was the rude staff and dirty, noisy surroundings.