FIRSTLY, I would like to apologise to Masooms for these photos.

Some types of cuisine naturally lend themselves to photography, and bowls of curry, sadly, do not.

Thankfully, the uninspiring images do not reflect the flavours on offer at Wantage's newest curry house.

By way of introduction for anyone not from Wantage, the opening of Masooms was something of a talking point in the town.

Wantage has not had a new curry house for a long time, and with the beloved Jade Palace Chinese takeaway having recently shut its doors after three decades of service, Wantage needed some new eastern spice in its life.

The unit which the proprietors of Masooms chose as their new home has something of a curse on it: in the time that Jade Palace steadily served the community from its little shop front in the Market Place, number 14 Wallingford Street has been Supa Fruits greengrocers, Blakes bistro, Blakes wine bar, Bistro 14 and now this.

The first reviews I heard of Masooms were mixed - Guy Ripley, landlord of the Shoulder of Mutton up the road, urged me to try it; someone else said their curry was 'meat soup' (not a compliment).

Whatever it was like, Masooms was going to have its work cut out competing with Wantage's two existing Indian restaurants - the beloved Sylhetti Spice opposite the Swan (which doesn't sell alcohol but lets diners buy a round at the pub over the road and bring it across) and the slightly more reserved House of Spice.

Of the two dining styles, Masooms is definitely more in the House of Spice camp: there are waiters in waistcoats, starched white table cloths, soft music in the background: you wouldn't stumble in here with a tray of pints from the Shoulder and shout 'beers up boys'.

Despite the fine dining feel, however, the staff did inform us in advance that their card machine wasn't working so, having forgotten this by the time we arrived, I had to run out again to make a cash dash.

Back in the warm, we ordered the poppadoms and pickles: nothing fancy here, just the usual fare.

For my main I went for my favourite tester dish for a new Indian - a Goan red fish curry.

When our meals were ready, the waiter came over to tell us and asked if he could take away the poppadoms which we were still working on, which seemed slightly weird, as if we didn't really want the poppadoms, we'd just ordered them to fill the time until the mains arrived.

This hustle may have had something to do with the fact the restaurant was extremely busy that Friday, mostly filled with people trying to get in a quick meal before going to see Rory Bremner and Jan Ravens at the civic hall (ourselves included).

We persuaded the waiter to give us two minutes in which to wolf down the rest of the poppadoms before he brought the mains.

Even having popped off with the poppadoms there was still barely room on our modest little table for the three dishes and one naan we ordered, but we squeezed it all on.

The presentation, as you can see from the dodgy photos, was nice: very neat, with little garnishes on things (including, charmingly, a single cashew rolling around on my peshwari naan) and the curries colourful.

My fish was delish: sweet, succulent and aromatic, though it could have had a bit more heat to it.

The naan was equally good and the biriany opposite me seemed to get demolished pretty quickly, too.

Sadly I failed to write down how much any of our food cost and, because there is no working Masooms website at the time of writing and the restaurant's Facebook page does not have an eat-in menu, I can't look it up.

By way of guidance, and having scoured Masooms' Facebook page for a photo of the takeaway menu, I can tell you that a chicken biriany costs £10.

Browsing through the rest of the Facebook photos, I see that Masooms themselves have taken plenty of beautiful photos of mouthwatering and artistically-presented dishes, which you can see for yourselves.

Based on photography alone, Masooms definitely looks more appetising and exciting than either of Wantage's other two curry houses, but the public are a fickle bunch.

As to whether they are good enough to beat the curse of Number 14 Wallingford Street, only time will tell.