The Marten Dhaba is situated in the Belgrave area of Leicester, its 25 mins from the M1, both Welford Road Stadium (Tigers) and The King Power Stadium are approx 15 minutes away via the city centre.
Appearance & Entry:
The Marten Dhaba is hidden away on an Industrial estate and you can tell it was formally a workings man club, the location and the building front gives this away straight away. Marten’s does not look to appealing from the outside, yet seems to be busy. Upon walking in, from the chairs to the tables it feels like a working man’s club, the aroma of curry reminds us it’s not. The aroma is strong.
The range of drinks on offer compared to other places we have been is not as vast, but it is sufficient as all the household drinks are available, the draught starts at £3.40 and doubles from £4.75, we are informed at the bar that waiting times are high due to a large party that is, this is fair enough as we are now prepared to wait rather than having to keep asking.
The staff seem friendly enough and we are served promptly, we ask how to order our food and the barman says don’t worry, let me take your order as the large party have put an order in that has swamped the kitchen, this is fantastic, does he know we are doing a review?
Martens is known for its curries more so that its sizzler, the menu is features plenty of fish and the dishes on available seem endless, over 60!!
We order our food and take a seat, this place seems to be very family friendly and atmosphere though not loud, is very lively, definitely a place to bring the family.
Our food arrives within 30 mins, this raises a few eyebrows as people who had ordered before us still seem to be waiting, strange.
Mixed Grill: The sizzler comes out more puffing than sizzling, first thing that hits you is the size of it, it’s not what we are used to, it’s smaller, and the onions are not fried thoroughly, this you can see straight away.
Chicken Tikka: Good size chunks, which were warm not piping hot, that was evident when it came out, these are as expected and nothing more.
Lamb Shish Kebab: The Kebab is flavoured different the taste of cumin seeds is strong, and detracts from the flavour.
Wings: These are tasty but very very spicy, a real kick, dilutes from the taste of the wings, sad, as the initial bites seemed decent, but then the spice took over.
*Note these are not a part of the Sizzler, and were ordered separately*
Lamb Chops: These hit the spot, cooked well, not overly spicy and not burnt or overcooked, these are the best part of the grill, part 2!
Now to check out the Curries:
Chicken Tikka Masala: This place is known for its curries so we look forward to this, and wow this is fantastic, the amount of meat is perfect the sauce is rich and creamy, and you can taste everything in each bite, best we have had.
Lamb Curry: The Lamb Curry has one obvious factor, the amount of garlic, it hits us as soon as we smell it, I like garlic, but this could be over powering for some, especially if you are on a first date. The dish itself is cooked well and the sauce is fantastic.
It’s a weird one, we were made to feel really welcome, the staff couldn’t do enough for us it seemed, the fact we got our food before others made us think if this review was one where the owner was made aware?
The place is clean, it a working man’s club at heart and that’s obvious, talking with the staff it is due for an upgrade soon, so maybe give it 6 months, if you wish to enjoy the surroundings whilst eating.
The sizzler was disappointing both in size and taste, the fact the chops came separately and not a part of the grill is disappointing too, this needs to be the thing in the pub that get heads turning as it sizzles its way to you, and it just didn’t.
The curries were very very good and you can see why it has the reputation it has, the chicken dish was as good as perfect, the lamb was just as good, beware of the garlic though, a must visit for Curry fans.
For the above reasons we score The Merten Inn a 7.1/10.