“WE EAT with our eyes,” those TV chefs are fond of saying pompously, but actually the true measure of culinary success is all in the tastebuds.

Which was just as well at PappadamS, where my choice of lamb saagwala was one of the finest, most flavourful curries I have ever had the pleasure to eat, but with its sludgy mixture of brown lamb and green spinach looked suspiciously like sh... well, let’s just say shomething I might have ‘shtepped’ in.

The restaurant, which opened earlier this year in the old Dolce Vita premises on the corner of Groundwell Road, was encouragingly busy when we showed up on a Thursday night, and the waiters were quick to whisk away our coats and whip up a couple of drinks and a bowl of PappadamS (the correct spelling, apparently, no ‘o’s or ‘u’s in sight).

With loads of choice on the menu, I’d like to say our tactic of choosing both traditional and more specialist dishes between us was a deliberate one, but the truth is my partner is a man who knows what he wants when it comes to curry.

The idea of choosing anything other than his usual onion bhaji followed by chicken tikka masala was out of the question, and it was left to me to be a little more adventurous.

For starters, I tried the caju chilli corn (£3.75), small croquettes of spiced corn and chick peas deep fried in batter. The vivid green mint dip alongside helped to cool the heat of these little firecrackers, which really packed a punch.

The onion bhajis (£2.95) opposite were deemed ‘perfect’ and also came with that fresh mint sauce for countering the chilli.

The wait between courses — not too long but not so quick as to feel rushed — gave us the chance to have a proper look around.

The restaurant is vast, and the decor light and bright, with white walls and beautiful photos of India to break the starkness.

Personally, I found the lighting a little on the harsh side — this isn’t necessarily the place for a romantic tete a tete, but at least you can see what’s on your plate.

Which wasn’t perhaps the best thing when it came to my main course.

The lamb saagwala (£8.15) was an odd-looking dish (read downright ugly) but I’m so glad I wasn’t put off its brown, murky appearance.

Once I’d mastered the art of eating without actually looking at my food, I found the meat to be tender and the sauce a subtle blend of fresh spinach and spice, without any of that cloying sweetness found in many more popular dishes.

With some pilau rice (£3.15) to soak up the sauce and a slice of garlic naan to mop up afterwards, my stomach was as satisfied as my curiosity.

The tikka masala (£7.99) was the usual garish orange (which, with the yellow rice, made for a whole spectrum of stains on our tablecloth) and was gone in a flash. The empty dish was evidence enough of my other half’s approval.

The food itself is reasonably priced — it was only the three pints of Cobra which pushed the bill up to £49; still not bad for a meal for two.

I left with only one question about the new venture that is PappadamS — what on earth is that capital ‘S’ in the name all about?