It's very good – but then it would be, as it's part of the growing group of restaurants that includes my favourite Medway-based eaterie, Cliffe Spice. I well know the standards set there!
This one, opened today, is called Nowrein after the owner's daughter, and offers a comprehensive buffet-based deal of starters, main courses, side dishes and desserts. I was privileged to be invited to today's opening. For the opening week, the price of the buffet is at half its normal rate at just £4·95 during the daytime and £7·95 in the evening. Children are charged at a significantly lower rate in each case. This offer extends until 17 October 2012. It's an 'all you can eat' fixed price deal, too.
I remember first experiencing the delights of an Indian buffet when one near my old home in the Wimbledon area started doing Sunday lunchtime buffets. That was Zayka, and it's still there I believe, all these years later, directly opposite the Nelson Hospital where I was born(!)
Instead of the usual fare of one starter, one main dish, one type of rice and one side dish, the idea is to try a little of this and some of that, and anything else you might fancy. I had several small starter items, for example, making up a normal-sized starter combined, and a popadum with chutneys and relish.
The main dishes included meat and chicken dishes such as bhuna, dopiaza, plain curry and tikka masala, along with a choice of types of rice and side dishes such as brinjal (aubergine), sag aloo (spinach and potato) and a mixed veg' curry. It was all of the very high quality I have come to expect from this outfit, with the only (very slight) fault being too much coconut in one of the dishes. Very few people would even notice, I suspect....
The new Nowrein restaurant is open every day (including Sundays and bank holidays) from 12 noon right through to 11 pm, and can be found at 74 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4DS. It has a licensed bar, and an upstairs seating area as well as (and as large as) that on the ground floor. The telephone number is (01634) 400 450.
Highly recommended – and a little different from the norm – and I intend to be back there at least once during the offer period, and no doubt ongoing whenever I can justify it. At least it isn't exactly expensive, so that should be reasonably frequent.