The Chatsworth Hotel, Carlisle Parade , Unknown, TN34 1JG

1 reviews

29 Indian East Sussex

SquareMeal Review of Jali

A seafront hotel is, perhaps, not the most likely location for a top-notch, modern Indian restaurant. But if you ignore the soulless hotel setting, you will find much in the restrained interior & excellent cooking to rave about. The menu focuses mainly on north Indian fare, & with chefs brought over from some of India’s finest hotels, the cooking is near faultless. Begin with rajmah ki tikki (beautiful red kidney bean patties served with a lively, green herb chutney) or the melt-in-the-mouth shami kebabs (lamb cakes cooked with lentils). Mains are equally well executed with a run-of-the-mill sounding saag murg offering unusually creamy & flavoursome spinach with a hint of subtle spicing, & the korma gosht wonderfully scented with cardamom. The dum chicken biryani, served in a sealed pot, is also worth a taste. Service is a tad stuffy, but with food this good, it’s a small quibble.

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Food & Drink: 8.0

Service: 6.0

Atmosphere: 6.0

Value: 9.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 06 February 2013

Do not be put off by the location and go to Jali for the food. My dining comrade and I were impressed both by the quality and the value for money, it was a pity about the setting. In terms of the positives first, the menu was extensive, original (not just your typical tikka masalas) and also very vegetarian-friendly. To start, I opted for prawns and my comrade for a chickpea and spinach patty, both of which we brought to us with a range of chutneys. The flavours were light and refreshing, a contrast to many Indian restaurants that seem almost to drown their dishes in ghee and often over-cook the food. We were similarly impressed with mains of paneer (cheese) and chicken (a house speciality of Kadia murgh). If there were a (small) criticism, then it would be that despite liking my food spicy, there was perhaps too great an emphasis on ‘heat’, which somewhat predominated and could be unpleasant for the unsuspecting guest. The wine list was less impressive, with a very strong bias towards the traditional and the Old World, but surprisingly no Riesling from anywhere. Our South African Chenin Blanc was, nonetheless, very pleasant. All of this (plus sundries and service) came to just over £50. In many ways it is therefore a positive that Jali remains a relative secret on the Hastings dining scene. The location is most unprepossessing, a slightly dilapidated seafront hotel away from the more attractive old town area. It gets worse: should one need to use the bathroom, then it is necessary to venture into the hotel itself, a rude awakening after the calm of the restaurant, bright lights and many guests milling around, some with lagers in hand. Definitely worth a (return) visit, but do try and avoid the loos!