For years I’ve been hearing that the best Indian food around is at Indi’s in Westbourne. So I was delighted to be able to try for myself.

We were given a warm welcome when we walked into the cosy restaurant, which has a simple elegance with its white walls and wooden tables.

For a week night, there were several full tables, which is always a pleasing sight, and added to the relaxed atmosphere.

As winners of the Best Indian Restaurant 2013, these guys obviously know their stuff and from a quick glance at the menu it was clear this is an Indian restaurant with a difference.

The food served at Indi’s is traditional Indian – no chicken kormas and vindaloos here (although the chef is quite happy to whip you one up if that’s what you would prefer).

We started with some nibbles – mini poppadoms with homemade chutneys (£2) – while we had a proper look at the food on offer.

Even these were a refreshing change from the norm – served warm with delicious mango and sunblush tomato chutneys. We also tried one of the spiced Masala poppadoms (95p each), which had a pleasing kick of flavour. I chose the duck rolls (£4.95) to start, while my husband opted for the Indi’s selection (£5.25).

Our waiter, who had seemed slightly disappointed we had chosen without his help, was delighted to talk us through some of the main dishes before we made our final decisions.

I settled on the Chicken de Kiki (£11.95), and my husband, on our waiter’s recommendation, went for the South Indian chicken curry (£10.95).

Our starters were quick to arrive and were absolutely piping hot – I had to wait a few minutes before I could eat mine, but it was certainly worth the wait.

The crispy parcels were filled with the most tender duck I have ever tasted, flavoured with a little spice and accompanied by a deliciously tangy sweet chilli dip.

My husband’s dish was equally pleasing – comprising a selection of malai chicken, meat samosa, onion bhaji and chicken pakora. All the meat was melt-in-the-mouth tender and the dishes were surprisingly light and fluffy – not words associated with your average onion bhaji.

Our main dishes were attractively presented – no food warmers in sight – and, unlike many Indian restaurants, were not daunting, huge-size portions.

My Chicken de Kiki was effectively a chicken kebab – chunks of chicken breast marinated in a mild spice with honey and mustard and skewered alongside onions and pepper, all draped with melted goats cheese.

Again, the meat was beautifully tender and the flavours worked wonderfully together.

The South Indian Chicken Curry was presented as two pieces of Tandoor-roasted chicken breast cooked in a traditional style with lemon, coconut and a “deggi mirch” sauce, served with basmati rice. The dish had a subtle spicy kick and the accompanying sauce was smooth and light.

We also ordered some garlic naan, which was lovely and fresh, and – again at our waiter’s recommendation – some “gunpowder potatoes”, topped with fresh spices for a delicious smokey flavour.

For dessert, chef created us a traditional Indian dish to try – Gulab Jamun, or sweet dough balls. The dish was incredibly sweet, but complimented well by the ice cream, made from coconut milk.

Simply beautiful, real Indian food, served in a relaxed, friendly setting. What more could you ask for?

  • Indi’s: Seamoor Road, Westbourne, 01202 759200,