Note this restaurant is now closed. There is a Thai Restaurant called Chang Noi now operating from the premises"
This Indian restaurant has been established for a number of years, in what was obviously an
old public house. It is located on a street corner on the one-way system within Congleton
town centre. There is street parking nearby.
The Al-Amin is one of the cheapest and best value for money Indian restaurants in
The interior is somewhat jaded by anybody's standards, however don't let that prejudice
your views on the quality of the food and service until you have tried it yourself.
There is a separate take-away entrance to the side of the restaurant or if preferred
there is a comfortable waiting area within the restaurant in the bar area. This must be
the preferred place to study the menu over a drink, whilst waiting to be seated
or for the
takeaway order to be prepared.
The owner and staff are very affable and friendly and obviously want to make you feel
welcome. The food is freshly prepared, and consequently it can sometimes be a wait for the
meal to be served.
I have sampled the chicken dhansak, chicken dopiaza, chicken bhuna, various vegetable
side dishes, breads and rice. The dhansak (one of my benchmarks) is prepared in a slightly
hot lentil sauce. The lentil sauce is a thinner pureed type of consistency but overall the
effect is pleasant. The dopiaza and bhuna are similar in nature, being well prepared,
containing a similar amount and quality of meat, well spiced, being subtle rather than
harsh. The rice is also excellent and aromatic, based on good quality basmati. The naan
breads are large and bready, obviously prepared in a tandoor oven.
There is no home delivery service.
There is a Sunday buffet service for a fixed price. I have no reports on its quality.
Overall, this restaurant is rather downmarket for anybody who is trying to find a
more sophisticated style of dining. I would recommend it for a spontaneous 'lets go for an
Indian Meal' type of place, or for a takeaway. However I do rate the quality of food and
service quite highly and given the cost, the value for money is excellent.
Now under new ownership. My daughter & I tried the 'happy hour' four course meal for £6.95,
early one evening. For that price we were most impressed. We had poppadoms
& chutneys and drinks. I had mixed tandoori starter (chicken and lamb
tikka and a sheek kebab) folowed by Korai Chicken. My daughter had chicken
tikka followed by chicken tikka massala. We shared pillau rice and a nan
bread. We passed on the coffee course.
Since the update above we have re-visited and
the format has changed. They now offer a 'happy hour' from 6:00 -
10:00 in the evening 7 days a week. The offer is half price food on
'Indian Meals'. Beware, we were caught out and told this did not
include starters and sweets, only main courses when we queried the
amount of the bill. To me a meal includes starters, main course and
desserts. I'm not greedy enough to expect the drinks to be half
price, but the advertsing was extremely misleading.
My advice is to now avoid as the
food is nothing special and if it isn't really half price then its
not even decent value.