In over six years of blogging, I’ve been lucky to attend many launch parties and reviewed a lot of local restaurants, but this event was one of the most memorable of them all.
I was kindly invited to the grand opening of Pundits, a new Indian restaurant to Cheltenham, with the expectation of dining with local journalists and bloggers. Instead, we were seated on a table with the Mayor of Cheltenham and his lovely wife, the owner of Pundits and Gordon Ramsay *ahem* – with a feast of delicious Asian cuisine.
Continue reading as I tell you more about this unforgettable dinner at Pundits Indian Restaurant in Cheltenham – and why you need to make a visit.
Pundits is one of the few curry houses that still use traditional Indian and Bangladeshi cooking methods and fresh ingredients with each dish.
Firstly, I have a confession to make.
I’ve never been a huge lover of Indian cuisine.
Now, I put this down to the fact that I’ve clearly not had a good enough experience to make me want to opt for an Indian. I love Poppadoms and the dips that accompany it, but there’s never been a main dish that I’ve tried to make me crave it again.
Well, last night blew me away.
Pundits have totally won me over and converted me into a fan! You can also tell how family is very much the heart of the business, which is a wonderful quality to have.
I’m not quite sure where to begin. The company, the food, or the fact that they’d hired Gordon Ramsay for the evening…
Okay, so it’s not the real Ramsay – but a top lookalike! Sorry to fool you my friends, but this guy was still top company and such a fantastic addition to the evening.
Let’s talk food.
As I’ve only just been converted into a lover of Indian cuisine, I’m going to let the photos do most of the talking.
After a light starter of Poppadoms and dips (the mango chutney is my favourite), it was followed by pundits platter, a mixed plate of perfectly cooked meats that were packed with flavour. Not spicy, ideal for those of you like me who are a little ‘wimpish’ when it comes to hot food, and a generous portion too. I wanted to devour the entire plate but realised that there was still plenty more to be dished up…
The conversation flowed across the table, as we all shared different stories and experiences with one another. Between chats, I continued to compliment how incredible the food was and found out more about the history of Pundits and how it began.
The first restaurant opened up in Birmingham in 1985, with Pundits Cheltenham now the fourth restaurant in the business and the first outside of Birmingham.
The location is ideal for a new restaurant in town. Situated on the corner of Great Norwood Street, a few minutes walk from Montpellier Gardens one way, and Bath Road the other way. With the Cheltenham Festivals and Suffolk Street Fairs taking place so near by this week too, I have no doubt that this place will win the hearts (or should I say stomachs) of those who pass by and visit.
Similar to the Italian culture, it’s all about people coming together around the dinner table to enjoy good food and conversation. It could be friends, family, or in the case of this evening, complete strangers. Some of the most deep and meaningful conversations can be made around food and drink, and when it’s food as good as this, you are sure to walk away with some special memories.
To stand out in a town where so many new dining spots are opening up, it takes a lot of work, and after our fantastic experience I want to encourage others to get behind them too. Regardless of this meal being gifted or who we dined with, the food and service certainly speaks for itself.
As unexpected as the evening was, we truly had the most enjoyable evening – and what brilliant company too!
I mean, we even had lobster!
I rarely eat fresh fish so I took full advantage of this whilst it was in front of me – and it was delicious! The grilled sea bass was full of flavour and flaked off the bone easily.
With each dish that was brought out, the table became more and more colourful. At one point, I thought they would need another table to put the rest of the food on! It was incredible. Despite so many different dishes, the flavours all complimented each other perfectly and I made sure that I had at least something of everything on my plate.
The lamb. Oh my goodness, the lamb. It was so beautiful and tender, I just wish I had scooped up more onto my plate. Shahi Murgh, Copsilla Chicken, Chicken Achari, Tawa Lamb, Tarka Dhal, Malay Chicken… we had it all!
The extensive menu offers so much variety, there’s something to suit everyone and at a very reasonable price too.
We finished off the feast with dessert and coffee, before parting ways for the night.
The pudding tasted like homemade sticky toffee sponge, but unfortunately isn’t on the menu to order (even though I did ask if I could request it next time I return).
I didn’t want the evening to end, that’s how much of an impression Pundits has made on me. I’ve already suggested to my work colleagues that we must pay a visit this month!
A huge thank you to Badrul and all the team at Pundits for such a special evening and for making us feel so at home. From the most incredible food and service to fantastic company, I’ve found somewhere that I look forward to returning to time and time again with friends and family.
Pundits are offering anyone who visits the restaurant on Monday 6th May to Thursday 9th May, between 7pm and 9pm, the chance to get a free curry.
All you need to do is like and share the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram pages and leave a review on TripAdvisor afterwards.
Simply quote ‘Pundits curry’ when you book a table. You must spend a minimum of £10 per person to get a free curry.
Did you know that you can order a takeaway from Pundits on the JustEat app, or on their website here.