THE stretch of the Coventry Road that passes through Sheldon and Elmdon has more than its fair share of Indian restaurants and all have been around for a number of years - which would suggest they must be doing something right.
Despite living nearby I have probably eaten at less than half of them and confess this was the first time I had visited Varsha.
First impressions were good, the restaurant has a welcoming and friendly feel and the way the tables are set out creates quite an air of privacy.
After the usual appetiser of poppadoms and some nice accompanying dips (not too many so as not to ruin the appetite), I was suitably impressed when my two children ordered something they’d not tried before.
Both are mad about mushrooms and though they’re not generally in the habit of being over adventurous when it comes to eating, they were sold on the idea of garlic mushrooms (£2.50).
They enjoyed their selection, which I have to say was rather tasty, but couldn’t be persuaded to deviate from the norm when it came to main courses, opting for their usual mild chicken curries (£5.20).
My starter was the Varsha starter speciality of king prawn, a concoction of chick peas and a puree flat bread (£4.50). It was a lovely combination, boasting delicately spiced flavours that felt light and left room for the main course.
My wife (who was counting calories) eschewed a starter and went straight for a main course of tandoori king prawns (£9.10). No rich sauces, just some nicely spiced succulent king prawns with salad and she pushed the boat out with a little rice too.
Having had a starter that was a little different to the mainstream staples one encounters in Indian restaurants, I did the same with my main course - tandoori chicken shaaslick (£8.75).
Though I normally like something a little hotter it still had flavour aplenty.
Accompaniments of pilau rice and peshwari naan were good too - the naan in particular stood out as one of the best I have enjoyed in a long time.
One of the best things about the visit was the chance to match the Varsha’s cuisine with a bottle of Explorer Chilean Gewürztraminer (£13). Gewürztraminer is a great wine to drink with Indian food, yet few, if any, restaurants seem to offer it.
It certainly helped an already excellent meal at Varsha taste even better.
To contact Varsha call 0121 743 8100 or visit www.varsharestaurant.co.uk.