It was my wife who suggested that we go to Denley’s Essence of India restaurant in Topsham. She’d heard through the grapevine that it was worth a visit and so, despite Topsham being a 45 minute drive away, we gave it a try. We weren’t disappointed.
Now I’m no mug when it comes to curries. I’ve been savouring them for the last 40 years not only in the UK but also in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. So I know what’s what and can rightly claim to be a curry connoisseur. Therefore it came as no surprise to me after relishing a superb vindaloo biryani that Denley’s is one of the UK’s top100 curry houses and in the top 10 for the south-west. Why? Well, there’s the atmosphere …. light and stylish, not dark and dog-eared. The service …. very professional and very helpful without being over-bearing. And the food …. superb. Each of the aromatic flavours of the dish had that freshness, clarity and distinctiveness that are a connoisseur’s joy. Took me right back to the Sheraton in New Delhi in 1988 when I last tasted such quality.
I understand that the owner has another two restaurants in the Exeter area …. the Argee Bhajee in St Thomas and the Pukka Indian in South Street. Same quality, apparently, as the one in Topsham. They’re next on our list to visit.