Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Haveli- No Seafood…(or lamb)

I’ve always thought of Haveli to be a bit different when it comes to Indian dining. A bit of  step up from your average Indian restaurant. It certainly looks the part, but on my latest visit, I was left a bit disappointed.

I’ve been to Haveli a few times and had a really good time. The atmosphere is great and it’s a good choice if you’re with a group of friends. It has a very modern vibe and always pleases with its dramatic interior. Large bright patterned walls, fairy lights and an elaborate material runner along the ceiling make it very trending and it’s certainly a popular place. The food has always been enjoyable too and reasonably priced which is why I have been back several times.

However, on our most recent visit, things were slightly different. We used a Living Social Voucher deal that I found for £15 which entitled us to two starters, two mains and a glass of wine each. The voucher said that we could have anything from the menu except King Prawns so this seemed like a really good deal.

On arrival to Haveli, we were seated right at the back of the restaurant on the last available table (good job we booked!) next to the kitchen. It was very busy so business is obviously going well! We were seen to quickly by a slightly stressed waiter and ordered our drinks (the wine we got with our voucher).

When it came to ordering the food, Ben ordered a cod starter and was told by the waiter that he couldn’t have it because it was fish. If he wanted fish from the menu, he would have to pay £2 extra. Considering the starter was only 45p more than the others, it seemed a bit ridiculous to pay so much more for it. We questioned this as the voucher stated that the only exclusion was king prawns. The waiter assured us that we could have ANYTHING we liked from the menu as long as it wasn’t seafood. We settled for Brinjal Bhaja and tandoori Wings.

Chicken Shashleek at Haveli

When it came to ordering the main, I chose a Chicken Shashleek and Ben chose Lamb Barah but was promptly told that our voucher did not include lamb unless it was in a curry! This was most annoying when this was not outlined on the voucher and we had just been told by the waiter that we could have ANYTHING except fish! Not impressed and left with a very standard curry house menu, Ben changed his order to a curry.

When the food arrived it was very nice on the whole but the evening was tainted a bit by the issues with the voucher. It was then tainted further by a senior member of staff telling off our waiter while he was serving us our starters because he didn’t remove the side plates. The waiter then proceeded to answer him back while serving us which is just so unprofessional.

Ben’s starter of tandoori wings were very tasty and my Bhajas were nice too. The batter was unusual and really complemented the aubergine. My main was lovely too. The chicken was tender and spicy and came with a generous portion of barbecued vegetables. With the naan I chose, it was very filling too. Unfortunately, the wine was not so good. In fact it was pretty horrible. Cheap is not the word!

Overall, I was disappointed this time due to the service but I have enjoyed my visits on previous occasions so I’m a bit torn. If my first experience of Haveli’s was this visit with the voucher, I probably wouldn’t go back but I am tempted to try it again based on my previous experiences. The food was nice but the service just wasn’t up to standard. The problem with the exclusions could have been the fault of Living Social so I am reluctant to give a red spoon for service but it certainly won’t get a green on this occasion.

Hopefully next time it will be back to its usual self. I’d be very interested to learn about your experiences.

My last mouthful was:  Chicken Shashleek


Decor and Atmoshere-

Quality of Food-

Diversity of menu-

Value for Money-

Overall rating- 

4 responses to “Haveli- No Seafood…(or lamb)

  1. Ms SL Andriola August 25, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I went there a couple of years ago near or on Valentines Day & from that experience wouldn’t go there again. Rushed wasn’t the word & the glass of bubbly we were supposed to have was about a teaspoon full! It wasn’t cheap either & with starters, mains & desserts think we were there for about half an hour! Waiters hovering to take your order when you’ve just sat down & waiting to collect plates when we hadn’t even finished. Valentines Day or not you should get a decent service. And with my experience of Groupon, KGB, Living Social etc etc I think you get what you pay for, You can’t have this you can’t have that! And I was stung for a hefty service charge & have learnt my lesson with the whole voucher epidemic that’s going on at the moment! What the restaurants need to understand & remember (voucher or no voucher!) is that if you get amazing service & fabulous food you will most definitely go there again & recommend to others, if you don’t get these simple things then you certainly won’t bother with that place again. Maybe these places should also wonder why they have to cross the paths of Groupon etc in the first place!

  2. naomi August 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I organised my mum’s surprise 60th birthday party there as she loves Indian and we were a group of 12. The food and service was fantastic, they couldn’t do enough for us and even opened early so we could come in and decorate. I’ve been there for various other occasions and never been disappointed; they do the best channa chat I’ve ever had!

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