Le Raj, KT17 3LB

Upmarket Indian restaurant in Epsom, in the 2007 Good Curry Guide. They also do takeaway but not delivery.

Entry is into a small bar/lounge area with comfortable pleather armchairs and a corner bar with Kingfisher keg taps, a wine rack, and spirits optics behind. Steps lead up from here to a long, wood-panelled dining room, where white-clothed tables, each topped with a fresh red rose, stand among comfortable upholstered chairs.

Lighting in the dining area is kept dim overall, with carefully directed spotlighting of each table to ensure you can see what you're eating. Although this does produce a more intimate atmosphere, the decorative carving in the wood panelling is unfortunately almost invisible in the gloom, and little can be seen of the ornate gilded faux pilasters either.

Kake visited on a Wednesday lunchtime in June 2017. I was a little early for their opening time of noon, but they were happy for me to come in and wait in the lounge area. I was the only customer — heavily outnumbered by staff, one of whom explained they get a lot busier in the evenings. Instrumental jazz was playing, not too loud. It was a warm day, so I was grateful for the aircon that got turned on partway through my visit.

I went for the sobzi biryani (£14 including a side of vegetable curry) photo. It was pretty good. There was a good selection of vegetables — aubergine, okra, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, broccoli cabbage, red pepers, carrot, potato, some sort of sweet squash, cucumber, and tomato — and they were all individually cooked to just the right texture. The aubergine was soft, the okra just crisp, the mushrooms well-browned, and the cucumber and tomato raw. Fresh herbs were in evidence too, and there were plenty of crispy fried onions on top. I wished the spicing had been a bit less subtle and a bit more distinct, and the side curry was a touch too sweet, but these are minor criticisms.

Service was clearly aiming for an upmarket feel, yet was still friendly and welcoming. Tap water was poured from a bottle which they didn't leave on the table — I had to ask for a top up. No service charge was added to the bill. A small chocolate truffle was brought at the end of my meal (no charge was made for this).

Accessibility: A step to get in, and two more steps to the dining area. Some of the seating is on a dais. Ladies' toilets are before the steps to the dining area; not sure where the gents' are.

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Last visited by Kake, June 2017. Opening hours taken from the Le Raj website, June 2017.
OS X co-ord: 523182 OS Y co-ord: 159928 (Latitude: 51.325122 Longitude: -0.233503)
Last edited 2017-07-17 20:09:19 (version 8; diff). List all versions.