Friday, 23 September 2016

Jubo Raj - Rawdon

The trepidation that comes with moving house would be slightly unbearable if there wasn't also a mix of excitement bottled in with it. Such anxiety is caused by wondering if everything in the house will work, are there any unidentified leaks, what will the neighbours be like and will I find a good takeaway to replace those which I have left behind? 

Roundhay was amazing for takeaways, my mind was blown when I first moved there from Shipley. There is just a ridiculous amount and when I found out I could get hummus and olives delivered to my door I went a little crazy and ordered that plus more food than one person could ever eat. Over the two and half years I spent in Roundhay I made a good dint in the takeaway offerings and during the last year to eighteen months I definitely found my favourites and then pretty much stuck to them. I was honestly gutted to leave them behind, to no longer have excellent pizza, the perfect Chinese and the best takeaway Indian (outside of Bradford) on my doorstep brings a tear to my eye. Okay that might be a slight exaggeration but trying to find something(s) to compare was going to be a mean task. 

I've moved a lot. In my life time I have lived in 9 different places (not including travelling and where I resided in New Zealand), which is a pretty mean feat for someone under the age of 30. Each time I've wasted money trying out new takeaways and finding many of them substandard. It's hard to find good recommendations especially when moving out of areas where fellow young professionals live, move to Headingley, Chapel Allerton or Meanwood and there are a plethora of places which will be recommended. Move to Shipley or Rawdon such as I have done and you'll find very little in the way of recommendations, if you have any for Rawdon and the surrounding areas please do send them my way. 

Just Eat and Hungry House also do very little in the way of helping you find the perfect takeaway. The ratings and feedback on these sites vary so much you might as well not read them, although I always do. The first takeaway we spotted when we moved to Rawdon was 'Jubo Raj', it's located in a small hut type building just off of Town Street. I was skeptical, it didn't look like the place that was going to be good but then I thought back to some of my favourites and then weren't particularly all singing all dancing interiors with original names either. 

The reviews on Just Eat were mainly complementary and there were A LOT of reviews, clearly they had a high customer base and if they were selling this much food surely there was something good to be had? 
Jubo Raj is slightly cheaper than the Indian takeaways in Roundhay, there is a premium to be paid for good quality takeaway food in the city and often the value decreases with quality. I've always been prepared to pay a little more to have something edible and literally not throw my money in the bin along with the discarded leftovers. 

When trying somewhere risky for the first time, such as a takeaway, I always find it best to try your previous favourite, see how it matches up. Perhaps order an unknown side but an unknown main is a no go until I've confirmed that the food is palatable. With this in mind I ordered a lamb karahi, or rather a lamb tikka karahi as this was the closest they had. 

The sauce was bland with barely any spice, the meat was dry and of a poor quality. The slight tinge of red I can only presume is a result of the 'tikka' element of my dish as never before have I tried a karahi of this colour. 

D ordered the same and we split the rice between us ordering rice with peas and chana rice (rice with chickpeas). It was a nice change to have chickpeas in my rice but I wasn't blown away by the flavours and it was slightly stale by the time it had made it's way to our plates. 

Overly excited by the prices I also ordered a vegetable platter to start, chana paneer as a side and a couple of cans of pop. The veg platter included samosas, bhajis and to my surprise a spring roll too. All were just 'okay', slightly pale and doused in grease. 

The chana paneer was the worst of everything we ordered. It was literally chickpeas in a slightly curried tomato sauce and it was topped with grated cheese. Not paneer. Or at least not any paneer I have ever tasted before, to me it tasted like cheddar, a cheap cheddar. Why would someone do this? It was like a jacket potato with beans and cheese but minus the potato. Unsurprisingly most of it went in the bin. 

This wasn't our first try at Indian food in the local area, we have also ordered food from Indian Spice  in Guiseley which I wrongly mistook as a branch of the famed Indian Spice in Saltaire (which used to be pretty good when I lived there). I didn't write or take pictures as it was a "our house is upside down and we are covered in paint" takeaway. It was probably on par with Judo Raj. 

So far we haven't succeeded in replacing our beloved Aarti which would cost us about £25 but give us two meals (I love having Indian food leftovers the next day). Jubo Raj cost us just under £24, as mentioned before the pursuit of finding a new favourite is expensive business. 

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