Dining out review: Usha Indian Restaurant's midweek banquet definitely won't break the bank

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
If you live in and around Burnley, you'll almost definitely have heard of Usha Indian Restaurant.
Read More
Burnley restaurant owner deeply honoured after being awarded Mayor's Medal

In fact, there's a very good chance you'll have visited the Rossendale Road establishment at some point during its 22-year history. Although I've devoured many a curry here during that time, I've never actually put pen to paper for a review.

If you're an Usha die-hard, you're probably thinking, “There's nothing you can tell me that I don’t already know.” And that's fair enough. If you haven't been for a while though, or you've never set foot inside the restaurant, then the next few paragraphs will offer a glimpse into why Usha is a beloved Burnley Indian institution.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Usha Indian Restaurant in Manchester Road, BurnleyUsha Indian Restaurant in Manchester Road, Burnley
Usha Indian Restaurant in Manchester Road, Burnley

I visited, with my wife, and my mum, on a Wednesday evening for 'Banqueting Wednesday'. Adults pay (£14.95), children (£10.95); and for that you get one poppadom each (with chutney tray), a starter, a main course and a garlic naan between two. The ‘Special Midweek Mixed Starter’ consists of an onion bhaji, chicken tikka piece, vegetable spring roll, and shish kebab – and lasted approximately 30 seconds.

I'm not the biggest fan of set your mouth on fire curries (Yes, I know...maybe I'm not the best person to be reviewing an Indian restaurant). With that in mind, I opted for the Chicken tikka suka buna (cooked with grilled capsicum and spicy masala). This comes from the ‘Usha Fusion’ section of the menu where the curries are described as “a selection of dishes with a real difference”, and are cooked to the customer’s liking – mild, medium, hot. I went for medium, and while it definitely had a little kick to it, I wasn’t desperately reaching for the water, or trying to manage mouthfuls in-between hiccups. The creamy tomato-based sauce was delicious; rich and smooth with the large chunks of pepper and onion adding a lovely crisp texture to the dish.

Danielle (the wife) is very much in the “hotter the better” camp when it comes to curries, so went for the “hot and spicy” South Indian garlic chicken. She said it wasn’t that spicy, but given her inability to taste heat that doesn’t really mean much. She also described it as “garlicky”, which I guess is a given. Her biggest curry bug bear is almost always the chicken; “too chewy and too tough” a common complaint. Happy to report, the chicken here was “really nice and tender”, with every last piece disappearing from the plate. My mum enjoys a curry, but isn’t what you would call the adventurous type, so it was the chicken tikka masala for her. She polished that off in no time at all, describing it as “incredible”.

Over the years, I've interviewed Usha’s owner and chef Ibby Ali a number of times. His passion for cooking is second to none, as his passion for creating an atmosphere that is friendly and welcoming. The staff, many of whom have been there for years, bring a genuine family feel to Usha. It’s that, along with a menu that features all the classics alongside a collection of succulent signature dishes, that has kept me coming back for years, and will no doubt see me returning for many more to come.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.