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As this is the last issue, I thought that it would be nice to review places that could entertain a good crowd of friends before they all go their separate ways. Also, a possible venue that would be ideal for a large family tuck in, aside from the other places I have already reviewed over the past year.
The first is Imran’s (18 King Street), which is one of my favourite, and I must say most hospitable eating houses in town. Imran’s specialises in Punjabi cuisine, and though some dishes are hot, it does have a wide range from the spicy to the mild. The twist on this place is that it is a buffet restaurant, so you pay one price of Â£7, which includes as much as you can eat and drink (though it is an alcohol free premises). It is ideal for vegans/veges etc, as well as having a nice selection of meat-based dishes. With a range of usual starters such as homemade samosas and fluffy spicy potatoes balls, as well as salad, then you feel that the restaurant is out to please most tastes. Most I have spoken too, have praised this place, seeing it as one of the best but little known restaurants in Lancaster. It is quite sparse inside, and you do have to serve yourself, but that is the attraction, something a little different. When I sampled the delicacies from Imran’s, my colleague thought the meat was a tiny bit stringy, but only in one of the dishes. One
friend commented that the Lamb Jalfrezi was by her reckoning absolutely gorgeous with huge chunks of meat. For me as a vege, the Saag aloo (a mixture of spinach and potatoes) was pretty awesome with ‘the Dhal’ complement-
ing it perfectly. Of course some
will say that it doesn’t offer the alcohol element, but when I went out with a crowd of mates, it seemed very natural to go to a good ale house afterwards, such as the Robert Gillow or the Sun Inn nearby. If you do need a pint with your meal then the Tapas bar, Latinos, on the other side of town (opposite the Town Hall) is your haunt. This place is actually the old Royal pub, but decided to be trendy, turning itself into a tapas bar. Unlike 1725 down in the main square, it does have a much greater selection of dishes in their categories of meat, fish and Vege. Mixing and matching is of course the beauty of eating this type of food. What seems to be the icing on the cake for this restaurant is the big basket of bread one gets, so you can munch while waiting. Vege dishes such as roasted Camembert, Feta Stuffed peppers are a popular choice. For the meat eaters, the meat balls in the spicy tomato sauce are bit of treat, as are the pork and pepper kebabs. However, a new menu is in the midst of being constructed, and it is hoped that they will continue in the same vein. As with anywhere else, you do need to get in early. It does seem to have a habit of not opening until 5, and this place is definitely known for office outings, so either book or get in for first orders.
As already mentioned, this is a time for celebrating the ending of exams or going out with parents to be treated and spoiled. Over the year, I have tried to give a good range of destinations, with some a bit more quirky than others. If I was really pushed, then I would suggest that for a group night out, then either Imrans, tapas, or the Gregson might be a good choice, while for a family night out, then possibly the Plough (at Galgate) the Stork (at Conder Green) or the Borough. All of these are reasonable, and again, aside from the food, there is a range of good ale.