I beg your pardon, they always promised me a curry garden and I got one par excellence. I was recommended to this gem of an eatery by a Ghurkha friend of mine, who regularly scours the capital for something a little different.
I have now been several times and have never experienced any disappointment whatsoever. The attentive waiters are happy to derive from you your culinary needs, and using their newly found informed knowledge design your gastric experience accordingly. For instance, on learning that I am not only of the carnivorous nature, I also have a passion for all things hot and spicy. Imagine my delight, when for my starter, I was presented with a mixed kebab, accompanied by a chilli raita ensconced in cumin that worked so perfectly with my meat feast that I was compelled to order another portion of this exquisite dish.
After much deliberation with my attentive waiter, I went for a mixed kebab main embossed in a plethora of onions and chillies that had been imported from Bengal from a noted chilli farm just East of Calculta. The way the meat had been marinated in yogurt and subtle herbs, gave this dish that all important zing you are looking for, when in search of that special spice orientated experience. My side of sizzling keema and aubergine masala (another customised treat) was the perfect companion to my main and offset the impact of the heat emanating from the chillies. The delicious cold Indian beer also helped in this department.
Another thing I noted at this wonderful antiquated establishment, was the fact that the dips such as the lime pickle had been made from scratch, thus confirming the home cooking aspect and general policy of the Curry garden's excellent team of chefs. this is almost certainly one of the best Indian restaurants I have ever experienced and could not recommend it highly enough.
I'm not one to usually dine in at Indian restaurants (usually keen on a takeway so I can stuff my face in private). But I am so glad I did here!! Everything about this place was great: the service, the food, the decor, even the cute little old man who (most likely) owned it!
We started with poppadoms (or as I mistakenly keep calling them, pompadoms), which were served with a heaping helping of mango chutney, lime pickle, chopped onion salad, and mint cucumber youghurt (I like to mix the chutney and onion salad!)
For our mains, we tried the chicken tikka masala (it's my litmus test), and chicken biriyani, with a side of plain rice and a peshwari naan. The food was served hot and fast, and was placed on those little warming trays (which I love!). Both of our mains were so amazingly good! I love dipping my naan in my masala sauce. It's kinda like desert for dinner, with all that almond-y coconut-y goodness. As my other half so eloquently put it, "Even the boiled rice was really good boiled rice!"
We were so full after dinner I'm surprised we didn't have to be rolled outta the joint. We shunned the dessert menu (this time), and asked for the bill. Our waitress was so sweet and even gave me a flower! I was elated! Also, the Curry Garden got an award in 2007. Yeah, it was 2 years ago, but this place is still up to an award winning standard!
Thinking ahead (I'm a planner), I grabbed a takeaway menu. Free delivery, or 10% discount on collection. Schwing! I think I've just found my new weak spot.
It was sad to see this place empty on a Saturday night. I used to eat regularly at this straight-forward curry house, but stopped when they got 0 out of 5 stars for hygiene ("Scores on the doors" scheme). In April 2008 they moved up to 2 stars (their last assessment).
Before that scheme the food was always excellent, with good service and a relaxed atmosphere. I'm sure that hasn't changed based on Michaelia's review, but being empty on Saturday night (8.15pm) indicated to me that something is up (we turned away and went to Cafe Masala). Let's hope they can improve hygiene and the customers return to this once popular restaurant.
Quality Indian food. That would be the best way to describe this restaurant. The dishes are prepared with care and everything taste heavenly, with just the right amount of spices. I am definitely going back with even bigger party.
Family run business, owner is always around greeting and checking on the customers.
Walking distance from Kew gardens and minutes from the tube. Traditional dishes served promptly. This is the only indian restaurant i have been to which i would go back again and thats what counts
A fantastic local curry house. Really wide range of dishes. Just quality Indian food, with no pretention.
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