It had been a few years since my last visit to one of the longest serving Indian restaurants in Lincoln High Street.
So, choosing to be a little bit different myself and a friend ventured to the Royal Tandoori straight after work on a Monday evening.
This was a first for me as I, like many other people, usually enjoy a curry after a couple of beverages on a Friday or Saturday evening.
Nevertheless the waiters were ready and waiting, showing us – their very first customers – to a table and placing an extensive menu in our hands.
Luckily we didn't have to wait too long for a couple more early-bird diners to join us.
With some ambient music switched on and the cold, dark night outside it felt extremely comfortable.
However, I think the décor could do with a bit of care and attention. In the intervening years since my last visit, it did appear to have become slightly shabby in appearance with spots of peeling paint on the walls and our stained tablecloth.
But back to the food, which I must say did take our minds off the little niggles with regard to the surroundings.
With so much choice it took us quite a long time to decide, opting for a chicken poori and chicken pakora to share for starters – plus (of course) the obligatory poppadoms and pickle tray.
I've got to say 'big crisps' are one of my favourite parts of a good Indian meal. And the selection of mango chutney, pickles, mint yogurt and sweet desiccated coconut was a lovely way to get the ball rolling.
When the starters arrived I was surprised to see the size of the chicken poori covering the entire length of the plate. As my friend said 'It's the size of a burrito!'
Not only was the portion plentiful but it was stuffed full of large chunks of well-seasoned chicken with just enough chilli spice to leave your tongue tingling. The turmeric and coriander were sufficient to taste, but not overpowering as can often be the case. Realistically, one poori would have been more than ample for the main course!
The pakora were equally tasty – large pieces of chicken deep fried in slightly soggy batter, with a predominantly garlic flavour. But I like garlic so all was well with the world!
Allowing for a break in between courses to allow our stomachs to settle, our main course selection was wheeled – yes, wheeled – out to us.
I again opted for a chicken dish, a passanda, while my equally chicken-loving friend went for a slightly hotter chicken dopiaza. To accompany we had chosen a garlic naan, peshwari naan and pilau rice.
Now maybe we should have anticipated that we had really ordered too much, but the allure of naan breads and rice always sucks me in.
Again both main meat dishes were packed full of huge chunks of chicken.
The passanda was deliciously creamy and the dopiaza had just the right kick according to my mumbling mate.
We attempted to mop up as much of the sauce as we could with naan and rice, but had to admit defeat as our stomachs actually started hurting from eating so much food.
Sitting back the waiter kindly offered to pack our significant remains up in two separate bags for us to take home! I wish more restaurants did this as I absolutely hate wasting any food.
After sipping down a complimentary glass of liqueur we picked our takeaways up and braved the cold.
Perhaps not the usual environment for a Monday night meal, but I'd still recommend the Royal Tandoori for tasty and plentiful food.
THE FOOD: Four poppadoms and pickle tray £4; chicken poori £3.90; chicken pakora £3.90; chicken passanda £7.95; chicken dopiaza £5.70; pilau rice £2.40; peshwari naan £2.80; garlic naan £2.80; two cokes £3.80
FINAL VERDICT: Large portions of well-cooked food and good service. Décor is a little tired.