Kebabish Original – The Thrill of the Grill
I’m unaware of any unoriginal Kebabish joints, but Kebabish Original enticed me through its strap line alone. I imagined “the thrill of the grill” would either be comically terrible or awesome – it turned out to be neither.
Some money had been clearly spent; Kebabish is thankfully playing a small part in gentrifying the London Road area. First impressions were that Kebabish Original was spacious and tastefully decorated in a contemporary manner. Kebabish Original managed to avoid the tacky pink neon, that every Prestonian Indian restaurant feels bizarrely obliged to provide. I could have done without the hospital canteen style laminate numbered tables, but overall the theme worked.
The big issue was that nobody else was there (at 6:20 pm on a Thursday). Walking into the large, empty dining room, my eyes met a vacant looking chef from the open kitchen fifty metres away. Cracking a poppadum only to hear it reverberate around the room was a little disconcerting. A few diners did trickle in, but I was ever conscious of my whispered chatter echoing around. Service was friendly but laboured along without a surplus of rapport, despite few other customers.
However, the food was surprisingly good and offered excellent value for money. At Kebabish’s budget price point, the starters were some of the best, not just from an Asian restaurant, but from any Preston restaurant.
The Paneer Pakoras were not greasy and just plain delicious, proving that vegetarian dishes should not be just for vegetarians; I’d seldom eaten something so tasty for under £3. Similarly, the depth of flavour to Lamb Tikka was quite frankly incredible: the meat was well grilled, generously portioned and mouth-watering.
For mains, the Chicken Balti was the archetypal Balti – just as expected and very much enjoyed. The Chicken Madras was a vibrant red without being radioactively luminous. Those demanding their chilli fix will need to be bolder, as it was relatively mild and not terribly exciting. Finally, the Peshwari Naan was a little greasy, but was certainly fresh and not tooth-meltingly sweet
Be warned: no alcohol is served on site. I respect the cultural context behind this, but washing a Madras down with J20s is immoral in itself. With zero wine pairings available, Kebabish was disadvantaged against competing restaurants, aligning itself more to sit-in takeaways. That said, diners are welcome to bring their alcohol and their lovely Mango Lassies deliciously refreshing.
Kebabish Original got the hardest parts of any business, price and quality, commendable under control – I hope a few more visitors arrive to improve the atmosphere.
Kebabish Original Review Summary
Atmosphere 3/10 Cost 9/10 Quality 8/10 Service 5/10
*Since this review was first published, Kebabish Original is unfortunately no longer with us – hence the lack of link*