Mantra Indian Restaurant in Bath is where you will find the “best onion bhajis you will ever taste!”
Despite the fact that I am not a connoisseur of onion bhajis, in fact I hadn’t particularly thought of myself as a fan of Indian cuisine in general. Nonetheless, “Book a table at Mantra in Bath for the best onion bhajis you will ever taste” was the very specific, and boldly audacious statement from a close friend who heard that hubby and I were planning a staycation to Bath on a couple’s trip.
While it may seem a long way to test the veracity of her claim, we figured, when in Rome, [pardon the pun!] since we were heading out there anyway, why not add it to the itinerary of things to do and places to see in Bath?
On a lovely warm evening in August our party of four made the short 15-minute walk up a steepish incline from our hotel in Bath to Mantra.
Situated in the heart of Bath, Mantra owners describe it as a “Progressive” Indian Restaurant. By progressive we learnt that they meant the traditional Indian dishes are prepared with a nod to being more health conscious and there are lots of options for vegans and vegetarians. No one in our party was fussed about being “progressive”, after all, were on holiday, so we settled down to enjoy the food… and the view.
As mentioned previously, the restaurant is situated in an elevated road, called The Paragon. Happy to pay our calorie-busting steps forward to balance the upcoming meal, we were not prepared for the wonderful sweeping views of the Bath countryside that we were presented with after being seated in the outside space at the back of the restaurant. The rolling hills, rooftop views made for a beautiful backdrop while we ate our meal.
The busy yet friendly waiter who served us was patient and knowledgeable while explaining the ingredients in the dishes that we chose. We decided on a wide mix of different dishes from the menu, choosing starters and mains.
Starter plates included a delicious, pan-fried cod, which was covered in a rich sauce, the cod had a meaty texture that we liked. They didn’t last long on the plate. The King Prawn Butterfly was okay, but it didn’t blow us away. In our view, the breadcrumbs on it kind of overpowered the more delicate tasted of the prawns.
Turning our palates back to delighted were the highly anticipated onion bhajis. There was no way we were coming all this way and not ordering it. I am pleased to report that they didn’t disappoint. Spicy but in a good way, with a good balance of all the spices coming through, I was happy to conclude that it was indeed the “Best onion Bhaji I’d ever tasted!”
Mains-wise, we hardly left any dish unsampled! Highlights included the Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh, served with Peshwari Naan bread. My absolute favourite naan. Four lovely pieces of square coconut infused bread; it was so moreish. Fragrant and the perfect accompaniment to the lamb, which had a lovely, warming heat coming through.
The Slow Cooked Shank of Lamb in Hyderabadi Spices was succulent and perfectly cooked with the meat sliding off the bone. Served with Pilau Rice, [which looked and tasted suspiciously like Jollof rice!].
Another highlight was the Chennai Hot Chicken, which was once again moist and succulent. The lovely rich sauce that it was covered in didn’t overpower the palate. Served with Kima naan [which we discovered had a seasoned, flattened lamb in between the bread] and pilau rice again.
For drinks, I recommend cocktails. Go for a Smirnoff Passion Fruit Martini Cocktail and a Smirnoff Espresso Martini Cocktail, both were very tasty, with a good amount of alcohol coming through.
After all that, needless to say that we couldn’t find space for dessert. We’ll save that for our next trip.
We thoroughly enjoyed our leisurely, enjoyable dinner at Mantra of Bath. It’s often nice to discover a new favourite restaurant that’s off the beaten track, but in this case we’re glad to have had Mantra of Bath recommended to us and had the opportunity of tasting the best onion bhajis we have ever tasted!
Mantra Indian Restaurant
5, Bladud Buildings