A fitting transformation for a historic building

THE RAPID transformation of East Street to Eat Street in Horsham has created a very special dining quarter.

Thursday, 26th January 2012, 10:16 am

But the growing culinary expertise of the town is not limited to just this street.

At the other end of the shopping centre, the Spice Merchant has regenerated and reinvigorated 16, The Bishopric.

It is a fitting transformation for the historic building.

For this site has been the heart of good hospitality for generations.

For many years it was part of the King and Barnes brewing complex.

Today, it has reinvented itself as a centre of excellence for timeless Indian cuisine.

The upgrading of the building has been done sensitively - highlighting the best of the structure’s wonderful timbers and giving it a cutting edge contemporary feel.

As soon as you walk in, you feel you have entered a quality restaurant of distinction.

That’s hardly surprising.

The Spice Merchant has already established itself with excellent sister restaurants in the south of England in Surrey and East Sussex.

This latest addition to the family has been well presented indeed.

There is a takeaway as well as a restaurant menu - and they combine to provide meals that offer innovation with a range of reassuringly familiar flavours, textures and tastes.

More than that, the food is extremely competitively priced - so important in these cost conscious days.

When we dined, we enjoyed a mixed platter (£4.50) as a starter.

We then checked out a range of dishes.from the chicken makan-whala, to the deshi karahi and the goan red curry.

The garlic and onion naan bread was crisp and flavoursome.

The saag aloo was rich in spinach - which some restaurants are too sparing with.

The chicken was tender - although the beef less so.

Overall, it is a great formula - good food and excellent value in a great location.

The Spice Merchant is set to become a new favourite in the town - and another reason to pay Horsham a visit.

Restaurant Inspector