Cirencester is a town criss-crossed with streets of character and history, crowded with attractive, charming buildings that hint at a town’s once prosperous past.

To see inside one of them, visit the Indian Rasoi in Dollar Street, a short distance from the Cotswold capital’s imposing parish church.

Walk by the unassuming frontage, and the subtly lit interior is immediately inviting. That continues once you step through the door, with a warm welcome from the staff, and the heady aroma of Indian spices cooking elsewhere in the building.

The restaurant is elegant, but not in an intimidating way. It is attractively decorated, the furnishings are comfortable, and there seems to be a genuine effort to create a subtle Indian-Cotswold fusion.

The food, on the other hand, is out and out Indian.

I started with a meat samosa (£3.95) – there is a vegetable choice too – which was accompanied by a small salad garnish and dipping sauces. It was neat, crisp and tasty.

My wife tried the tikka salmon (£6.95), cubes of salmon marinated and barbecued and cooked in a tandoor oven. On the plus side, it tasted great (I know, she let me try a sliver); on the minus side, there wasn’t much of it – the cubes were small, not much bigger than a couple of die in a board game, and it came with a side of shredded iceberg lettuce, a slice of lemon and two drops of sauce. My wife was disappointed: “I appreciate that starters are to whet your appetite, but I had really been looking forward to it. It was lovely – but vanished in a trice.”

But let’s try to focus on the positives: it was delicious.

We expected the mains to be equally tasty, and more substantial. The menu certainly gave us a dazzling selection of tempting dishes and we needed a bit of time to make our minds up.

I eventually plumped for the Bengal fish curry (£10.95), a Bangladeshi de-boned fish prepared with a sauce made from garlic, chilli, tomatoes and coriander. “Hot and spicy” the menu warned/promised. It was hot and spicy, but not enough to overpower the delicate the flavour of the fish, of which, thankfully, there was plenty, nice large chunks which fell apart in flakes as I applied my fork. I had a generous portion of rice (£2.75) which soaked up the rich, very spicy sauce.

A rich and sticky sauce accompanied my wife’s Bombay flame lamb (£9.50), which is prepared with a selection of herbs and spices including coriander, fresh mint, garlic, yoghurt and butter in a rich and tangy sauce. No complaints here – the silence on the other side of the table said it all, especially when she was mopping up that sauce with nan bread. Mushroom rice (£3.95) bulked it up, and we shared sides of keema nan (£2.95) and Bombay aloo (£3.95), spiced potatoes which were a great accompaniment to our dishes.

If the starters were on the light side, the main courses more than made up for it – there was plenty there and we were so full that, as tempting as the dessert menu was, we had to decline a further course, with me settling for a coffee and my wife choosing a calypso coffee, declaring “good evening 1985” as she took her first sip.

There was nothing 1985 about the India Rasoi though. While it is housed in a lovely old building, it feels modern and contemporary, as does the food, which was delicious.

It was also reasonably priced too – the bill came to just over £60, which included drinks (my wife tried a glass of Indian white wine – “dry and fruity. I’ve not had Indian wine before – I think I’d like to try it again”). Not necessarily a cheap night out, but you can pay a heck of a lot more at a less pleasant establishment.

And Indian Rasoi isn’t just another curry house – this is a restaurant that thinks carefully about its menu and takes care of its customers. It’s definitely worth a trip out to Cirencester.