You know how it is when you have a favourite curry house for your weekend takeaway.
You beat a path to its door time after time, even if you have to pass several others on the way.
It’s a sure way to ensure you are never disappointed...but it can also mean that you miss out on another top place because you are so wedded to a particular version of a lamb pathia et al.
But in the interests of providing fodder for this column, we were forced to try a different takeaway.
After recovering from the shock, the other half decided that the menu at the Lalbagh was ‘too extensive” and he just didn’t know what to choose.
This went on for several days, until he proudly announced that he had narrowed it down and was ready to order.
And so it was that I was dispatched on a rainy Friday evening to Penwortham, having ordered in advance on the phone (you can also do it online.)
I was five minutes early for the time I had agreed and was offered a coffee while I waited. A nice touch.
And sure enough, exactly on time, the order was handed over the counter and I was back on my way.
Being hungry, we had ordered a mixed starter for two. It contained chicken and lamb tikka, a sheesh kebab, onion bhaji and a large samosa, as well as salad and yoghurt sauce.
It was almost a meal in itself. Tasty succulent meat, perfectly cooked and deliciously spiced.
This new-fangled takeaway experience was showing some promise....
For our mains, I had gone for the chicken tikka shashlik - more of those tasty tikka meat pieces with caramelised onions and peppers. It came with a curry sauce packed full of vegetable and pilau rice,, along with a tandoori roti.
On the other side of the table, Bob was trying his first mixed tikka jal massala.
This combined the creamy taste of a massala (remember those?) with a hot and spicy chilli hit. It was ordered with mushroom rice and a garlic nan bread to ensure every morsel was thoroughly mopped up.
It was a big hit. In fact, it was lauded as one of the best curries ever tasted. Blimey!
And the big bonus was that our policy or over-ordering meant there was more than enough left over for a tasty and spice lunch the next day.
The bill came to £28 - but it did provide meals for two days.
We were so impressed that we are even considering snubbing our favourite curry house to head for the Lalbagh.