Joining forces with other small businesses and breathing life back into Bedford High Street is Blue Monk a Nepalese and Indian restaurant that opened in November
Since that day Blue Monk has become the new popular place to eat in a town that’s working hard to draw in independent businesses and new customers. No wonder head chef Sudha Saha is committed to this new 58-cover restaurant.
Sudah Saha needs no introduction as one of the UK’s most celebrated chefs having won a host of industry awards and being recognised by both the Michelin and Hardens Guides. Working tirelessly to innovate through Indian cuisine, he is best-known for his role as Executive Head Chef at Saffron Restaurant Group, which had three restaurants across the West Midlands, achieved an AA Rosette and was awarded ‘Best Restaurant of the Year – Midlands’ in the Good Food Guide 2010; a legacy that Sudha continues today.
I had the privilege to experience the new Blue Monk menu with two guests and we’ve been telling people about the wonderful meal we had ever since.
Just stepping into the restaurant, you immediately feel welcomed and at ease in the beautifully designed venue with relaxing mood lighting and warm hospitality. My guests and I were left to peruse the menu at our leisure and the staff were happy to answer any questions and make recommendations.
It goes without saying that we enjoyed papadoms and the traditional accompanying sauces and pickles. I’m a lime pickle kind of girl and this was particularly good, and you could tell they were made in house. We needed this time nibbling on the papadoms to make our meal choices; we had our work cut out for us!
We opted for three different starters and three different mains so that we could try as many dishes as possible.
For my starter I opted for Momo; Tibetan style dumplings filled with chicken marinated in spices and served with a Himalayan sauce (£4.75). It was delicious, my guests agreed and the sauce that accompanied it was lovely, really lovely. My guests opted for a Lamb Chat Samosa which was beautifully presented (£3.75) and Chilli Mogo which was warmly spiced and not too filling despite the healthy sized portion (£4.25).
I chose a signature dish for my main Nizami Paneer which was a work of art when it arrived. Delicately spiced, slightly sweet and suitably filling (£11.95).
My guests finally chose the Bawli Handi Gosht (£7.95) and Chicken Tikka (£7.95). The lamb Gosht was a taste explosion and cooked to perfection. I have to say, having never experienced Nepalese spices before – I’m a fan.
The Blue Monk currently have no dessert menu, but as a staff member explained, they decided they did not want to conform to the familiar frozen dessert menu you see so often in Indian restaurants. Instead, the plan is to develop a small menu of classic desserts made on site that compliment the carefully thought out menu.
I for one will be hot footing it down to the Blue Monk again as soon as I know the dessert menu is available and can guarantee my guests and I will be dining before that day comes too.
Free Parking at The Bedford Swan Hotel. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Delivery menu available with 10% discount on collections.