THE Tandoori in Maryport is a real hidden gem of authentic flavour and atmosphere.

The cuisine, candles and background music make it an intoxicating place. You will find people sit long after they have finished their food, reluctant to move because they are enjoying the surroundings and a quiet chat.

The first round of food is a poppadom each with a range of dips (the lemon is my favourite but there is also a spicier one for the more adventurous).

After the starters have primed our taste buds it’s time to eat.

The garlic chicken bhuna I had was a delight. It has a range of unique flavours that you are unlikely to find anywhere else.

I never order the spicier dishes but there are plenty for those who do!

I had my dish with two sides, a bullet naan and pilau rice. A bullet naan is filled with seasoning and complements virtually any dish. There are a range of flavours of naan and rices to choose from – it depends what you think best complements your dish.

(The bullet naan was tasty the next day with my lunch – the seasoning means that it does not taste too dry, even when you keep it in the fridge to have the next day – you will see a lot of people coming away with doggy bags if they did not finish some of their meal and the welcoming staff are more than happy to oblige).

I visited the tandoori this time with my parents Karen and Shaun. My mum had the chicken Pathia with a side of pilau rice. It comes in a sweet and sour sauce which she described as rich in the best possible way.

My dad enjoyed his vegetable biryani – as he does every time he visits the Tandoori.

The restaurant has an outstanding reputation in the town for delicious food, friendly staff and inviting atmosphere. It is easy to see why.

Maryport Tandoori sits on the quay, just cross the bridge over the harbour, in prime position during the town’s busy weekends. It is also a popular haunt for locals before or after a night out as it is situated near a lot of the town’s bars and venues.

Maryport Tandoori has its own bar with a selection of beers on tap and it is open until late most nights.