Preston’s Watery Lane is a great place to start if you fancy a takeaway from a variety of different cuisines.
Among them is one of the city’s best-known chippies, Umbertos; one of my favourite curry houses, Cinnamon Spice, and Il Gusto d’Italia, which knocks out hearty takeaway pizzas as well as having a pleasant sit-in restaurant.
There are also a couple of Chinese takeaways a stone’s throw away which I’ve not had the chance to try out yet.
So there’s plenty of choice (and competition) in one short stretch of the same street.
Unlike some of its neighbours, you won’t find King Karai on online ordering sites like Just Eat, but we managed to track down its menu online and phone through an order – with the promise it would all be ready for collection in an impressive 10 minutes.
The main eat-in restaurant was fairly quiet when I arrived
The food, sure enough, was suitably hot when I arrived and I was pleased they’d thrown in various mini pots of the usual chutney, onion and minty sauce to accompany our poppadoms.
Our shared starter, however, was a bit disappointing: the vegetable samosas had a decent spicy kick, but the texture of the veg inside was a bit dry and powdery, making them taste a bit like them might have be frozen before they were cooked.
For mains, my chicken balti fared better.
The chunks of chicken were well-cooked, tikka-style, with a rich sauce, which would have benefited from more coriander but was tasty enough.
Pleasingly, the main dishes came with pilau rice included in the price, and the plain naan we shared was soft and fluffy, with enough for two people.
My dining partner got stuck into a chicken King Balti Punjabi, which featured lots of spinach and garlic, which worked well together and added an extra depth of flavour to the standard Balti recipe.
However, the chicken wasn’t as tender as that in my curry, perhaps because this curry wasn’t a tikka style of cooking.
The best thing about King Karai was value for money, at just over £16 for everything.
It won’t replace my favourite curry takeaway along this popular corner, but it won’t break the bank for a reasonably-priced meal.