Desi (Gastro) Pubs, The Royal Albion, Hounslow #DesiGrills

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Location:
The Royal Albion is situated in Hounslow, if you are out for a day in Twickenham this is a mere 15 minute drive away. If you are off to Heathrow airport then this is also just a 15 minute drive away.

Appearance & Entry:
From the outside, The Royal Albion looks impressive it is not a bright building at all yet is well lit and looks really well maintained. It feels like a new pub from the outside, we are aware that this is classed as a gastro pub and not a desi pub, so it will be good to see what they define as Gastro!
Parking, we managed to find parking quite close to the Royal Albion, but on a busy night, be aware you may not manage to park as close as we did.
On walking in, the first thing we notice is, this place is not the biggest, luckily for us it is not that busy, so tonight might not be an issue, but bear in mind this is not a big ol’cockney boozer.
The decor is very modern, and if they are going for that modern chic pub look, they seem to have made a good effort, text on the walls, a light and neutral colour scheme, yeah this looks alright.

Drinks:
First and foremost, a well done on the glass being correct, so many gastro pubs like to palm you off with ale glasses when having larger, and that is a big no no. The Royal Albion you have impressed. A good range of drinks are on offer, flavoured gins and vodka’s are on display, even though it is not as impressive an offering as some pubs, it beats other places we have been to down south so far.
The lager tasted good, for Guinness fans, we did not risk it as we did not see others drinking it.

Food and Ordering
This place is not a desi pub but still offers mixed grills and we have had a good few requests to check this place out, and we do not need a second invitation to a pub. The Royal Albion offers pizza as well as desi bites so if you are in a group and you fancy something different, the pizzas seem to be quite popular here.
We order our food and we are informed it will be 30 mins, we ask for our dishes together, which they can accommodate. The menu is varied, hence the “Gastro” pub title, but we are here for the mixed grill baby!
The food arrives in just under 30 mins and ohhhhhhhhhhhh this is fancy……..It is on a slate!

Sizzler, no! No sizzle? Still a mixed grill though!
My heart did skip a beat when it dawned on me that I had no fried onions, but hey ho, this mixed grill looks impressive, the food on a slate really looks impressive. The look has me sold, but how does it taste?
Fair play to The Royal Albion, if you are striving to be different you need a unique selling point, and the look of this grill is definitely their very own.

The chicken tikka tastes good; it is not amazing, nor very spicy but a real sense of flavour, just a pity we lacked on the spice.
The wings like the tikka are cooked well and very flavourful, and we have some spice, they are spiced really well, just a pity that the tikka was not spiced the same way.
The Shish Kebabs, we have a lot of these, cooked well and spiced well, I am glad that we have a fare amount of these as they do impress.
The lamb chops, you know what? I did not hold out much hope for these, do not ask me why, just didn’t, well I was wrong, these are cooked very well, not burnt and plenty of meat on these, as soon as you cut into these the meat just parts, very well cooked and the stand out of the whole grill.

Curries:
Butter Chicken: Good ratio of meat to sauce, the chunks are massive lol, is it me or could all venues make these smaller and easier to eat. Hardly a hint of spice in this dish, not sure if we had became immune to spice, but this like the tikka on the mixed grill, this just had no kick.
Lamb Curry: Cooked well, this was spicy and the sauce was impressive, no issues with this at all, it ticked a lot of boxes. Well done, now share some of the spice with the chicken dishes.

Conclusion:
The Royal Albion strives to be different and that has to be applauded, it is not a desi pub, and they have tried to veer away from that look by some way. Good thing or bad thing, I’m not sure. The look they do have, does work for these guys, and we are pleased with how it looks and feels.

When busy this place might be a bit of a nightmare, as it is not the biggest, we had no issues getting served or with the staff, who were very friendly and informative. Not sure if they do bookings but if a group of you going it might be wise to call ahead to confirm seats.

The food, the tikka and butter chicken dishes really suffered from a lack of spice, and left us a tad disappointed, as the presentation of the dishes really did promise so much more. The lamb curry was a solid dish, the kebab impressed and the chops really hit the mark, it is hard to get chops right and the Royal Albion did not disappoint the team from Daily Ent. Xpress with the chops we got served. Well done guys.

The Royal Albion is striving to be different, and it does impress, we went in with an open mind as the gastro pub vibe is so over hyped, but we enjoyed the visit, the place is clean, the staff was fantastic and they are striving to be different, we did enjoy our visit. The Royal Albion has a chilled out vibe, we felt comfortable, could have chilled for ages if truth be told, it may have just been the night we went in, but we liked the vibe we got in this place.

If you are in the Hounslow area or passing this place deserves a visit, we will be popping back, just, sort that spice issue out and add fried onions and we may be back sooner than expected.

Check out how the The Royal Albion ranks in the League of Grills 

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