By Charlie Croasdale

The big highlight of the festive season for me is squeezing in some quality time with family and friends - and eating plenty of good food in the process.

So when a group of friends - all with a mutual love of football, cricket and curries - suggested we head out to Anise for an Indian on the Saturday before Christmas, I was never going to refuse!

I’ve been to Anise on Smithfield Road (opposite Debenhams on Eagles Meadow) on several occasions and it never disappoints.

Serving an Indian and Bangladeshi menu, the Anise is firmly established as one of the best places in Wrexham to sample Asian cuisine, with booking always recommended at the weekend for this busy eatery.

Our party of 10 was immediately seated upstairs and the attentive staff members ensured the liquid refreshment - on this occasion 10 fine pints of Wrexham Lager - kept flowing throughout the evening.

It was the first time I’d been in the upstairs room and although the atmosphere was perfectly enjoyable, it didn’t quite have the crackle of the main restaurant, which is located at the far end of the main floor.

Now onto the important part - the food. After a selection of papadums and chutneys which whet our appetites, we ordered our meals and I went for the vegetarian mixed platter to start, which consisted of onion bhaji, vegetable pakora and a vegetable samosa. The platter was delicious and the portion sizes were also on the generous side for all in the party.

Everyone has their favourite Indian dish, I love a lamb sagwala and yet again, Anise’s version didn’t let me down. Plentiful amounts of tasty spinach, a fairly mild sauce, while the lamb itself was tender and just melted off the fork - ideal.

The pilau rice and keema naan bread couldn’t be faulted either and it was fair to say we were all full up by the end of the meal.

The waiting-on staff were top-notch all night and couldn’t do enough for us. They also did a good turn by rescuing my jumper after I left it on the chair at the end of the evening, which is something not all restaurants would take the care to do.

All in all my friends and I had a terrific evening at Anise and will no doubt be returning in the New Year. I’d advise anyone else who lives near Wrexham to do the same.