There’s an abundance of Indian restaurants in Merseyside and its difficult to know which one to choose — but if you’re looking for a proper restaurant rather than a typical ‘curry house’ then look no further than Karma, situated on Grange Road in the heart of West Kirby. Highly regarded amongst locals, Karma has a great reputation so we visited to find out exactly why it is different from other Indian eateries.
The first thing you’ll notice is that Karma looks and feels like a classy restaurant. There is a very modern style throughout, from the cool spotlights to the wooden flooring, and the decor is slick. From the simplistic wall canvasses with warm textures to the smooth furniture, Karma clearly strives to be a high end Indian restaurant. Having been shown to our cosy table in the corner by our lovely waitress, Snoww, we soon noticed that service is of the highest order at Karma too. There were plenty of staff on hand to cater for the full restaurant and our many questions were answered without a problem. Our questions were mainly about some of the interesting dishes on the menu — many of which we’d never come across in an Indian restaurant before.
The menu was indeed the stand out feature about Karma. Rather than having a multitude of options to choose from that can often be overwhelming, Karma has a simple and refined menu with sections broken down nicely and some intriguing signature dishes to accompany the classics. We opted for a bottle of Malandrino, Italian Pinot Grigio, and the customary poppadoms with dips prior to our following two courses. We found the poppadom sides of mint yogurt, chopped onion and mint, mango chutney and the chef’s home made lime pickle all to be unique to Karma in their own right.
There were some very interesting starters to choose from so we decided to have a sample of four different starters on one plate. We tried a few things for the first time — Rubien (Tiger prawns coated in spice pan fried, served with a mango mayo sauce), Spiced Lamb (slow cooked coated in a rich spicy sauce and a mint dressing), Paneer (pan fried Indian cheese similar to halloumi, on a bed of garlic infused red spinach) and Salmon Tikka (marinated in spices, cooked in the tandoori oven and served with a mango mayo and salad). All four dishes are novel creations and full of flavour — all with their own unique Karma twist.
Everyone has their favourite Indian dish and despite there being some enticing mains on offer that I’d never heard of before, I opted for Butter Chicken as I always do — Tikka cooked with ginger, yoghurt, butter, chilli, curry leaves in a rich sauce with coconut milk and served with pilau rice. As you’ll find with your favourite Indian dish, it will vary in each restaurant depending on the chef and at Karma, the Butter Chicken was slightly creamy and flavourful. My partner, Amanda, had the King Prawn Jalmeeta — another first for her. Served with finely chopped chillies, garlic and tomatoes, the hot sweet and sour curry yet again danced playfully with the taste buds.
Despite there being a tempting dessert menu on offer, we were suitably full and let’s face it — it’s customary to leave an Indian restaurant bursting at the seams! Karma has remained a popular West Kirby restaurant for years now and following our visit we fully understood why. Modern and classy with high standards of service and a refined and interesting menu with plenty of unique twists, Karma is an upmarket option with a difference for those seeking fine Indian cuisine.
- Karma offers an early doors menu from 5.30pm until 7.15pm, Mon-Thur, of three courses for £12.95
- Karma offers a 15% discount on the takeaway menu (collection only)
Following our visit, I caught up with owner, Hussain Miah, for a little Q&A:
Urbanista: So how did you come to own Karma and how long have you had the restaurant?
Hussain: Back in 2002 the opportunity came around to open up a restaurant. West Kirby was in the market for an Indian restaurant and not the usual curry house, so we went for it and the rest is history.
Urbanista: What in your eyes makes Karma different to other Indian restaurants?
Hussain: Everything from style of our menu, the vibe in the restaurant, our staff or to how I experiment with different spices making sure every dish has a unique taste.
Urbanista: The interior is very modern with simplistic wall canvasses. We noticed one picture of The Godfather though….what’s that all about?
Hussain: Haha….glad you noticed. It’s a classic isn’t it! Just a little personal touch….no one expects to see The Godfather when they come to an Indian restaurant in West Kirby and it gets people talking.
Urbanista: What’s your favourite starter and main on the current menu?
Hussain: I’d have to say my favourites from my current menu would be the Prawn Chat starter and a Goulda Jhinga main.
Urbanista: What are your plans for the future?
Hussain: Plans for the future would be to continue to grow and get our name out there. Everyone needs some good Karma in their lives!
Images courtesy of Amanda Toovey and Snoww Borukaeva