It may be tucked away discreetly beneath Berwick’s walls,but The Villa Spice 2 is proving itself to be a well-kept secret.
The Indian restaurant and takeaway is the second of a small chain, and though Wednesday night may not have been the busiest time to visit it did ensure that we enjoyed a relaxing dinner in its quiet, calm, and ultra-modern setting.
So quiet, in fact, that we could hear our shared starter before we saw it – a plate of mixed kebabs sizzling invitingly. These were soon taken care of, and set us up nicely for our mains.
Ronnie and Hassan, our waiters for the evening, were calm and funny while we dithered over the choices outlined for us in Villa Spice’s extensive menu.
Ronnie (“though people really call me Romeo”) in particular kept up a steady stream of chat as he and Hassan brought through dish after dish. And he was quick to offer advice for those who didn’t want anything too spicy – like a creamy chicken sauce made with almonds.
I admit I was only slightly braver, choosing the chicken paneer. We were both rewarded, though, with a hearty meal that banished those late autumn chills.
Presentation was obviously as important as taste, and as my taste buds got themselves working, I was almost sad to eat a beautifully-carved tomato rose which provided a welcome cooling contrast.
It was a sign of the portion size that we left without trying dessert, but a couple of Vanilla Spice 2’s takeaway menus did find their way into our coat pockets.
Who said sequels are never any good?