Across the country, bakers got creative in trying to come up with a brand new pudding to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne. Mary Berry judged the competition for The Jubilee Pudding and crowned the Lemon Swiss roll and the amaretti trifle the winner.
And a Platinum Jubilee cookbook has been published with 70 recipes from different British embassies and around the world.
So it’s only natural that Swindon’s favorite Indian restaurant has put its own spin on the Jubilee celebrations.
The crown jewel serves a Jubilee-inspired menu fit for the Queen, so – of course – we tried it.
I was a beginner at the popular curry house but my expectations were high. Everyone I talk to gives the 35-year-old restaurant rave reviews and owner Muzammil Ali has won numerous awards over the years, including the National Newbury Teas Tiffin Cup judged by Ainsley Harriott.
The restaurant lives up to its name. The grand interior, with its gold and red decor and sparkling chandeliers, really puts you in the royal mood.
We were ushered to a table in a prime position just by the window and, almost before I could ask for a drink, we were served delicious poppadoms and the usual array of dips.
Luckily, before I could eat my weight in poppadoms, our friendly waiter pulled out a cart full of delicious food.
The spectacle before us was impressive. For a party of four we had a whole chicken – appropriately colored red in keeping with the royal theme – which was served with vegetables carved into the shape of flowers. The presentation was beautiful and had clearly been carefully prepared by the chefs.
The generous portion of rice was speckled with different colors and surrounded by eggs (also dyed red). We were also given smaller dishes including minced lamb bhuna and mixed vegetables, and to top it off a huge peshwari naan to share.
The chicken was the highlight of the meal; the meat was deliciously fresh and the ginger, garlic and cilantro seasoning resulted in an exciting blend of flavors. It was no surprise to hear that the chef marinated the chicken for 24 hours to generate this burst of taste.
The minced lamb bhuna was a sassy delight and the four of us ended up fighting over the in-demand dish; in fact, if I could alter anything in this delicious set menu, I would enlarge this portion slightly to ensure everyone gets their fair share.
The naan bread was tasty; the extra mango, raisins and coconut really added to the overall effect. We all agreed that the effort the chefs put into the whole meal made it even more special.
When the dessert menus were released I decided that trying to eat something else might ruin an otherwise perfect meal, so I opted for a quick Baileys instead.
I didn’t really expect the waiters to bring out a glass bigger than my head – but I wasn’t complaining. We definitely got the royal treatment at Jewel in the Crown!
The whole menu for four is available for £60 until the end of the Jubilee period. Vegetarian options are available. Reservations for the fixed menu must be made in advance.