Great Indian Food in a Community Pub

We had a bit of a family reunion this evening and went to the Downsman in Southgate, Crawley.

This was my local when I was growing up and it has changed many times through the years.  It is currently being run by a family from the Indian Sub-Continent and they have established a reputation locally for good Indian cuisine and well-kept real ale.

Food is ordered at the bar and brought to the table and because we were such a large group who arrived in phases, food was ordered and eaten in batches.  All very relaxed and we got the chance to sample a wider range of the menu.

Chilli Wangs Wangs were very popular.  These are Tandoori Chicken Wings that are juicy and fairly lightly spiced.  Very moreish.  We also sampled Seekh Kebab and Tandoori Chicken. Both were pleasant.

We ordered Chicken Chilli Masalla and described as Chicken roasted in the tandoor then blended with hot rich spices in a butter and cream sauce.  It was indeed fairly spicy and a more powerful version of the Chicken Tikka Masala (which was also ordered by some), but with less sweetness.

I also ordered a Lamb Momo as a side dish.  If you Google this, Momos are apparently Tibetan dumplings, but my recollection was succulent pieces of lamb in a dark aromatic and spicy sauce .  My favourite dish.  The Pulao Rice and Naan were also good.

We all enjoyed our meals and we would rate the food at the Downsman higher than many Indian restaurants.  There is also the bonus of well-kept real beer to drink with the food, rather than Kingfisher or Cobra .  The Wells & Youngs Bombardier was on form and on a previous visit, the Wychwood Hobgoblin was excellent.

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