I enjoy an Indian takeaway as much as anyone.

In fact during Covid, I basically ate my way through the local takeaway's menu rather than cook another meal in moments of lockdown despair.

But it's been ages since I actually got out for an Indian meal rather than dispense it from a plastic tub onto a plate at home to consume in front of a trash Netflix show (don't judge).

So when a colleague suggested trying out Dilli Hatt's new Bournemouth restaurant, I could almost taste the onion bhajis and metaphorically bit her hand off.

Bournemouth Echo: Dilli Haat in Old Christchurch Road, BournemouthDilli Haat in Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth

The new venue on Old Christchurch Road is among a strip of international eateries and bars on the busy road.

But step inside and it's an oasis of calm compared to the chaotic comings and goings outside.

The menu is brilliant. 

Not only is there a huge amount of choice, but it explains what everything is for those who want to either try something new or are inexperienced curry-eaters.

With spice settings and a range of vegetable or meat curries, you are spoilt for choice.

There's also a biryani section and special dishes, which I've eyed up for another visit. In fact, you could dine out like a royal just on their extensive selection of starters.

Read more: Dilli Haat in Westbourne to open new branch in Bournemouth

Our table went for a range of dishes - from passander to rogan josh, bhuna and balti, the hottest order being a madras (again, don't judge).

Bournemouth Echo: There's an extensive cocktail menu at Dilli Haat in Bournemouth tooThere's an extensive cocktail menu at Dilli Haat in Bournemouth too

No-one was brave enough to sample the phall or tindaloo - but there's always next time.

Being the hungry crowd we are, we asked for starters to be brought at the same time as the mains. 

Half a pint of cold Cobra later (the only thing you can really drink with a curry in my opinion), followed by poppadoms with some delicious homemade lime pickle and sweet mango chutney, we were ready for our curries.

Food was brought out in stylish individual dishes with rice separately which is great as everyone has their own rice to curry ratio they prefer.

I'd opted for a chicken rogan josh and tikka rice. And it's just as well we were in a restaurant as I'd probably have licked my plate if I'd been at home.

Bournemouth Echo: Dilli Haat dishesDilli Haat dishes

The warmth from the ginger and curry spices was balanced perfectly, with slightly more of a kick of chilli from the tikka rice which also had succulent pieces of chicken stirred through it.

With a garlic naan on the side, I couldn't finish it all. And I gave it a good go. Ask my fellow diners.

We're a noisy (but polite) group so it was telling there was a hush over the table as people savoured their meals.

Onion bhajis were inhaled like we hadn't eaten for weeks, with only grains of rice left on most plates by the time we were finished.

What's great about Dilli Haat is that staff offer to amend the spice levels once you've had a taste of your dish. Whether it's too hot or not spicy enough, they will tinker with that dish until you're happy.

So if you're new to the curry game or you want to try something you've not dared to before, you couldn't be in better hands.

There's obviously a huge amount of work which goes into getting their spice mixes right. And it's noticeable. It's the most delicious curry I've eaten in years.

We'll definitely be back. And I might relegate my takeaway menu to the back of the stack in favour of a revisit. Very soon.