Spice Library - Mexborough, Doncaster

The Old Library, Bank Street, Mexborough, S64 9QD
Telephone: 01709 580 580

Opening Times:
7 Days a Week - 5:30pm to 11:00pm

"In No Race To Return"
Date of Visit: Friday 15th September 2017

Chicken Pakora - £3.25
Mixed Kebab - £3.45
Sheekh Kebab - £2.95
Special Vegetable Handi - £5.65
Chicken Passanda - £6.95
Chicken Hari Masala - £7.95
Bendhi Gosht - £6.45
Chapati - 0.70p
Peshwari Nan - £2.25
Cheese Nan - £2.95

It was the final day of Race Week at Town Moor, Doncaster. Apart from us, there was just one other table occupied when we entered... and it didn't get much busier whilst we dined.

The Mixed Kebab (2/5) consisted of a Sheekh & Shami Kebab & an Onion Bhaji. Two of us went for this option and awarded the same marks. The sheekh kebab was small and then and wasn't very spicy. The shami kebab was wafer thin and as a result had no flavouring. The onion bhaji was ok, not the greatest, but not the worst.

The Greyhound rated his Sheekh Kebab (2/5).

Inspector Blake was very, very disappointed with his "Chicken Pakora" (1/5). I had a taste of one and I've had better frozen chicken dippers. They were incredibly small pieces of chicken strips. Very poor!

So far, so bad.

Bring on the mains!

My Special Vegetable Handi (4/5) was excellent.
Inspector Blake's Chicken Passanda (2/5) became more and more sweet and sickly the further he got in to the dish. It wasn't very warmly received.
Old Ironguts enjoyed his Bendhi Gosht (4/5) 
The Greyhounds Chicken Hari Masala (1/5) was inedible as it was that hot. It was at least of Vindaloo heat. A very bad recommendation by the waiter. Manuel?

For me, the highlight of the evening was the Bengal Tiger in the Concertina Band Club. The brewer seems to be steering this beer in the right direction. He lost his yeast culture a few years ago and has been working very hard to restore this legendary brew to it's former level of excellence.

The Spice Library tried us for poppadoms, rice and soft drinks. How very South Yorkshiresque.
I wouldn't bother with the starters, they aren't up to standard.
With the mains, Caveat Emptor!



"We Were Overdue Another Visit"
Date of Visit: 02/08/15

Banquet Night £7.95

Our last visit to the Library was in April of this year - had anything changed in just four months?

We took advantage of the "Banquet" offer - poppadom and mint yoghurt sauce, starter, main and a rice or naan for £7.95… note that you have to pay an additional £1 for some starters and £2 for some mains - the King Prawns etc.

The Poppadoms (50p) were still warm when presented at the table - I guess that's an advantage of dining early. The Mixed Keebab (£3.25) was pretty average with the Onion Bhaji being slightly better than the Shami and Seekh Keebab. Three out of five for the starters then.

The Greyhound asked for a dish not listed on the menu, a Chicken Methi (£5.65). He thoroughly enjoyed the dish served, awarding it 4/5.
My Keema India (£7.25) was a bit strange, as there also seemed to be small diced cubes of chicken in the dish as well. Still, not to worry, it was a nice enough dish and I rated it 4/5.

The Naans (£1.95) are pretty good here.

On a non-Banquet night, my meal would have cost £12.95 - so I saved a fiver, which is a massive 38% discount.

The Library is proving to be a rock solid three star establishment serving average starters which are made up for by good mains and breads.  

And don't forget… you can quaff the legendary Bengal Tiger (only £2.15) in The Concertina Band Club, which is only a couple of minutes away on foot!

Awarded April 2015



"We Headed For The Reference Section…"
Date of Visit: 04/04/15

And after conferring, concluded that we were correct to issue this restaurant with a three star rating.

Vegetable Pakora £2.25
Onion Bhaji £2.45
Seekh Keebab £2.65
Saag Chana Aloo £5.65
Meat Balti £6.25
Chicken Rogan Josh £5.65
Family Naan £4.25
Plain Naan £1.95
Pilau Rice £2.20

The starters were all of good quality and appeared to have been freshly made on the premises. Once more, as with so many restaurants, we'd have liked the Bhaji's and Keebab's to have had a little "zing" about them.
The Saag Chana Aloo was sampled by a different diner on this occasion - the scorecard displayed the same rating… a four star dish.
The Meat Balti and Chicken Rogan Josh were both enjoyed but were lacking in something and were rated as being 3 star dishes.
The Family Naan was a bit of a disappointment and it looked as if we'd have done better by ordering two standard ones.
The Plain Naan that was ordered was of good quality and there was nothing wrong with the Pillau Rice.
It's not a place that we would enthuse about but you should get a decent enough curry here. Just remember not to distract them with words like "Bradford", "Apna" and "Homestyle" - as you may get more heat in your dish than you can cope with!



"Shhh - Where the curries do the talking"
Date of Visit: 31/05/14

A former bastion of knowledge and learning, what could the Spice Library teach us?
After 3 pints of Bengal Tiger at the Concertina Band Club, I was now well ready for my curry!
It was 5:30pm and we were the first patrons of the evening at this delightfully plush eatery. 
The staff were all pleasant and more than happy to engage in conversation about our previous cross country curry experiences from a decade ago. 

The poppadom & pickle tray question was asked, alas, no complimentaries were forthcoming. However at 50p per poppadom and £1.80 for the pickle tray, I thought that these were favourably priced, should you feel the need to indulge.

For a moment, I thought I was back in Bradford - "Bring your own alcohol". Excellent, an establishment focusing on the quality of the food rather than trying to ply you with an additional quart of over priced beer.

First impressions were favourable.

Mixed Kebab (£3.25) was my starter of choice. Presentation was good, with a nice amount of side salad, bravo; a lot of Indian restaurants seem to think we don't like salad! The Sheekh Kebab, Shami Kebab and Onion Bhaji all looked good and tasted fine. Neither outstanding or an embarrassment, an even keeled opening.

For my main, I chose the Saag Chana Aloo (£5.65) - "a dish cooked with spinach, chick peas and potato mixed with chilli, fresh coriander and added Asian spices" the menu stated.
I fully enjoyed this dish; it was nicely spiced and following the meat starter, was just enough.

After discussing the size of the Chapattis (70p) with one of the members of staff, I opted for two. A fine recommendation from the waiter as Chapatti & Curry matched each other, mouthful for mouthful. No waste, yet not having to order an extra Chapatti through running out - perfect. 
The Chapatti's were excellent; larger than those found in Bradford, having a great texture and were served piping hot.

Overall, the restaurant left a favourable impression.

I'm rating it a good solid 3 star. If the starters had been just a little more spicy, then it would have scored a four star rating. 

Why not a four star with a potential uplift to a five star I hear you say. The main reason being the fact that my 2 friends dishes had been well over spiced (heated not flavoured). They had asked for their dishes to be presented "Madras hot", what was served was of Vindaloo strength! I had one small taster of their dishes and it burnt my oesophagus.
A dirty glass, though exchanged was a very minor niggle. Gratis poppadoms (they only cost a few pennies) and a mint dip always sit favourably too.