I can’t tell you the last time I ate in an Indian restaurant, it must have been a couple of years since I last stepped foot inside one!
I guess you could say I went through an obsessive phase, ordering endless amounts of Chicken Tikka Bhuna and making myself sick on Poppadum’s. After that, I’d strangely gone off the cuisine. Funny that.
But after months of no indoor-dining, I was more than happy to get stuck into the dishes at Tapas, Bushmead’s newest Indian Mezze & Grill restaurant.
As ever, here’s my honest thoughts on this local new spot and if it’s really worth the trip..
Nestled between the parade of shops in Bushmead Shopping Centre, you could easily miss this one if you’re outside of North Luton. But hop on a bus in Luton Town Centre and you’ll arrive in less than 15 minutes. Or if you prefer, you can take advantage of the plenty of free parking spaces in the car park directly outside.
From the outside of the restaurant, you can feel the contemporary chic atmosphere. The walls are filled with flowers, greenery, and the type of mood lighting that makes you feel like you’re dining in Central London. We were seated next to an open glass fire which was absolutely stunning.
It was pretty busy and buzzing on the night we visited but with indoor-dining recently re-opening, it was more than expected.
What’s on the menu?
You know those menus where you spend ages deciding what to have because there is just so much choice? Well, Tapas has one of those menus!
It has lots of the popular favourites you’ll find at an Indian restaurant, plus plenty more I hadn’t heard of. There’s also a grill offering delicious flavour infused meats and prawns, and a choice of mezze platters which sounded too delicious to share.
Unfortunately, a few of the things I asked for were not available. That seems to be my luck lately! The waiter openly told us they were missing a chef for one of the special dishes I ordered and could not be more apologetic. I guess it’s one of those things opening a new business, things don’t always go 100% smoothly which I can totally appreciate. There were so many other dishes I wanted to try, so it didn’t affect me at all.
One thing worth noting is that alcohol is not sold in Tapas. It wasn’t a problem for us at all as we were excited to try their fantastic selection of mocktails, juices and lemonades. I think I ordered the Strawberry Daquiri or Mojito (can’t remember which it was!) and re-ordered this the entire evening as it was so good!
Tasting the goods
I love having snackable things to eat before the main meal, don’t you? We had to start with the poppadum’s and chutneys and wow, they chutneys were good! The best I have had actually.
Once we were finished with the first portion, they delivered another to our table! The waiter said it would be a little while longer for the food, as they were super busy and cook everything from fresh. I won’t say no to a freebie.
For mains I ordered Chicken Tikka, which was a far bigger portion than I was expecting! The presentation was fantastic and it tasted delicious.
Of course, it had to be a side of Keema Rice and Keema Naan for me. The Naan was excellent, I think I am actually salivating whilst reliving and writing this. The bread was well-seasoned and the soft texture was very much to my liking. I thought I’d also try some Masala Chips, which not to any surprise, were super spicy. I’m not sure what I was thinking there, I can’t handle spice at the Nando Lemon & Herb of times.
I guess I ordered pretty safe considering the menu choices! As it happens, I have a terrible acid reflux problem at the moment (TMI), so my choices were somewhat limited. Obviously, the Masala Chips were my biggest mistake but I’m sure anyone else would absolutely love them, who doesn’t have to worry about spicy foods being a problem for them!
I have to say we had a really lovely evening. We also had the pleasure of meeting one of the owners, who was super friendly and welcoming. Not to mention, if you’re into football I’m sure you’ll also have an interesting chat given his background in the FA and connections with football clubs.
Here’s hoping this restaurant does well and sticks around for the long haul. The combination of the interior, atmosphere and menu, is a little different to what’s in Luton so I’m expecting good things to come for Tapas.
Tapas, Unit 4, The Parade, Hancock Drive, Luton LU2 7SF
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