The problem with buffets is that often the variety and quantity of food on offer is optimised at the cost of quality. The concept of piling a multitude of cuisines as high as physically possible onto a plate may initially appeal to our deepest gluttonous desires, but in reality, when you sit down to tuck in to food which has been hastily put together and left out all day, it doesn’t seem entirely worth it.
This is why The Rugger Tavern’s approach to the buffet is so refreshing. Here, you can enjoy a wide range of curry dishes without suffering their quality.
A more than reasonable £8.95 grants you access to a selection of starters, curries and desserts as well as a salad bar. Spiced lamb and chicken starters sit alongside the classic onion bhaji and samosa. The samosa is stuffed full of flavour but the real star of the starter show is the onion bhaji – crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and with a manageable, but respectable spicy kick. The poppadoms and refreshing mint sauce are on hand to cool the mouth if your taste buds are a little more on the sensitive side and the naan bread tastes deliciously fresh.
The salad bar too, has a nice array of fresh and seasoned vegetables and chutneys, and is set to expand to an even wider range very soon.
This all sets me up nicely for tucking in to the many curries for the main course. I am not one for self-restraint when it comes to food – especially when it comes to curry. So it seems rude not to sample all 13 of the dishes – after all, variety is the spice of life. Self-served from a queue of stunning chafing pots, the curries are kept piping hot until they are dished on your plate.
Popular dishes Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Korma are deliciously creamy and the chicken is so tender it practically melts in my mouth. There is something to please most taste buds – from the spice-shy to the curry-confident but my favourite dish by a mile, is the Lamb Pathia – an explosion of sweet and spicy flavour hugging perfectly cooked lamb in a rich sauce. The vibrant rice also looks as great as it tastes. Vegetarian visitors may feel a little put out with only three non-meat dishes on offer – which, although nice, do not match up to the meat dishes. However, the dishes are soon to be expanded even further so this could be set to change. It is quite a delight to learn also that the dishes on offer change day by day. After all that curry I find myself a little too full to face pudding, but those with more of a sweet tooth can choose from an array of Indian sweets alongside familiar English desserts and ice-cream.
Even if curry isn’t your thing – you still have the option of tucking into their fresh carvery – which offers the twist of having four courses for £4.50, with a starter, dessert and tea or coffee alongside the generous portions of roast meat and trimmings. With so many carverys around these days, this offers something a little different.
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, with warm yet refined décor and the staff are polite, friendly and helpful without being overbearing. This place is well worth a visit for anyone living in, passing through, or visiting Nuneaton.
You can download a voucher to give you £2 off the buffet at the Rugger Tavern every night until the end of October 2012 using the link below.