After a COVID influenced absence of many months I finally returned to the Popular Balti, one of the best kept ‘secrets’ on the Ladypool Road. It’s had a minor makeover to complement its leatherette seating and booths but the one thing that they thankfully haven’t changed is the quality of food served. Crispy Poppadoms were accompanied by a deliciously creamy mint dip with the Popular’s traditional green dip at the other end of the chilli spectrum and not for the faint hearted. Starter was a fresh and lightly spiced Chicken Pakora with an equally light batter and one of the best Pakoras that I’ve ever tasted. Main course was a Balti Chicken and Paneer Bhuna, slightly dry as a good Bhuna should be but brimful of flavour. This was mopped up with a fresh and doughy Peshwari Naan. A couple of chocolate mints rounded off the meal nicely … a meal that must be in the top ten of the hundreds of Baltis that I’ve sampled over the years. I certainly won’t be waiting as long for my next visit!