PRITHVI has received such universal praise that it’s tempting to assume the restaurant must be overhyped.

Named the best curry house in the UK by Trip Advisor, lauded by The Sun and The Telegraph, showered with awards – the Cheltenham restaurant is the most officially recommended in Gloucestershire, but these kinds of reviews don’t necessarily mean somewhere is a good place to eat.

Critics and ordinary customers can often be miles apart on what constitutes a top dining experience, so it was with some scepticism that I ventured into the Bath Road eatery on a Saturday evening.

The first thing to say is that, despite being named the best curry house in the UK, Prithvi is not really a curry house. There are no kormas or vindaloos on the menu. This is Indian fine dining, with an emphasis on fine. Plus, how many curry houses have you been to where the waiters serve the dishes with white gloves and iron the table cloths before laying the cutlery?

In the evening, diners have the option of the Tour of Prithvi set menu at £43.50 per person with an additional £36 for the wines which accompany each course. Among the dishes are halibut with sea purslane, mustard jus, broccoli, lime rice and a glass of Te Mania sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, along with duck and jersey royals, carrot julienne, lime & coconut and nan accompanied by a Villa Wolf pinot noir from Germany. As you can see, this is haute cuisine and a world away from the average curry house on the corner.

There is also an a la carte men, from which my companion and I chose, opting for:


Brown shrimps, radish, evesham asparagus, quail egg (£9.90)

Pan-fried scallops, prawns, mango, coconut jus (£9.90)


Beef, crushed black pepper, lentils, turnips (£19.50) with garlic nan (£3.50) Halibut, sea purslane, mustard jus, broccoli (£17.50)


Dark chocolate sphere, poached pear, vanilla (£7.00)

Home made Indian ice cream (£7.00)

Just like the critics said, the food was exquisite. Although the portions were not huge, the quality and presentation was exceptional and neither of us walked away hungry.

From the shrimps and scallops to the beef and halibut and the chocolate and ice cream, everything was done to perfection.

The staff were also superb, with the waiters attentive without being overbearing and the manager explaining the dishes with an infectious passion.

The layout and décor of the 28-cover restaurant has been designed with as much taste and care as the menu.

There are just a handful of tables in each section with enough space between to avoid overhearing the conversations of other customers.

With a simple black and white design scheme complemented by paintings of Cheltenham’s Promenade, with its Regency architecture and striking trees, there is an elegance to the interior of the restaurant, even if from the outside it looks nothing special.

Overall, it is impossible to fault Prithvi – all that praise is well-deserved.