If you live in Burnley and you’ve never eaten at Usha, something is terribly amiss.
Head chef and owner Ibby Ali has been serving up mouth-watering Indian delicacies at the Rossendale Road restaurant for 13 years now, picking up more awards than I’ve had hot dinners. A claim my mother may well dispute.
I’ve ventured up there for birthdays, work nights, charity events – yet I’d never called in on a Sunday. But with the shadow of work looming large and a huge slab of chicken sat there unwilling to cook itself, I thought ‘what the hell, let’s go out’.
Greeted by a £10 Sunday buffet menu I slapped my wallet in delight, made my way over to the table, wrapped myself in a napkin and awaited my feast. For 10 English pounds you get poppadoms, a mixed starter (chicken tikka pieces, spring rolls, chicken wings etc), a main course with rice or chips, a garlic naan, dessert and the added challenge of trying to make it back to your car weighing a good stone heavier.
I opted for the South Indian Garlic Chicken dish. If you love garlic, it’s a must, swimming in cloves and spicy enough to get those tastebuds going. And if you don’t like garlic...well then I don’t understand.
My date went for the Chicken Tikka Suka Buna (menu spelling), one of the nicest curries I have ever tasted. Sweet, tangy and tender and most definitely mine next time I go.
The warmth of the food is only exceeded by the warmth of the welcome and with the restaurant set to undergo a £150,000 refurbishment this summer, I woundn’t bet against Usha and Ibby landing a few more awards in the not too distant future.