WHEN we decide to eat out at an Indian restaurant I always look for a few key ingredients – a wide and varied menu, reasonable prices and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

For me, you can’t go wrong with the Nawab, in South Woodham Ferrers.

Located above a fish and chip shop in the town centre, the restaurant is easy to find and, after a few revamps in the last few years, has settled down with a steady crew of friendly staff and offers everything I want from a local Indian.

We visited on a Monday, never the busiest of nights for any restaurant, but there were several other full tables and the attentive staff buzzing backwards and forwards created a bustling atmosphere.

Although I love Indian food I’m very wary of ordering anything spicy so it was great to have Shafique Miah, the restaurant’s manager, on hand to go through the menuwith me. He also told me a bit about the Nawab, which he said was one of the oldest restaurants in South Woodham Ferrers, having opened in the Eighties.

We started off with a sharing starter of the Nawab Tandoori Feast, which included pieces of king prawn, tandoori lamb chops, chicken tikka and sheek kebab. I’m a lover of tandoori and tikka dishes but I’d never had tandoori lamb chops before and I can honestly say they were the best lamb I’d had in an Indian. They were full of flavour and tender.

After the starter, I opted for the house special, begum bahar, which was thick slices of chicken tikka stir-fried with almond and mango with a creamy sauce and pilau rice, while my other half took Shafique’s advice and went for a king prawn rezala.

We went a little crazy with the sides, ordering a sag paneer (a spinach and cheese dish), onion bhajis, a vegetable curry, a Ghana bhaji (chickpea dish) and a special rice.

Both main dishes were delicious – mine was thick and creamy, sweet but not sickly and had lovely chunks of mango throughout, while my boyfriend’s was declared satisfying with a decent amount of prawns.

I will admit we over-ordered, which would have been a big waste of food and money but Shafique offered to bag up our leftovers as a takeaway.

A dessert menu is available alongside an extensive bar and wine list but we were both too full to take advantage of this although there were several options, including the Hawaiian Island coconut ice cream and the Ferrero Rocher ice cream, which looked amazing.

With starters being priced from just £1.95, mains from £5.95 and side dishes and rice from £1.80, the menuwas certainly within reach of even modest budgets and a takeaway service is also offered, with free home delivery for orders over £12 within three miles.