• genie22

Benares & Everest

It's about time I did my annual entry onto this thing; the last year or so has been shocking as far as curry consumption has been concerned. Living outside cities with a significant curry-eating population has led to a paucity of reviews.

Margate has got the exceptional Ambrette (formerly the Indian Princess); well worth a trip out as the grub is amongst the best posh Indian I have eaten in my life. The service is exceptional and the chef, Dev Biswal, is of Bengali origin and trained in Bombay. His passion for fresh ingredients and inventive flavours will bring him to the Great British Menu one day, mark my words.

Other establishments in Margate are shocking, most notably the Tivoli Tandoori which gave everyone an itchy mouth. Canterbury fares better - the Jalsha and Unique India being passable as far as Keralan food goes.

So returning to the North Indian geographical theme; Benares in Mayfair and Everest in Lewisham. I'd avoid both of these like the plague; Benares is bland and stingily-portioned, Everest is way too spicy for it's own good. My tip for an excellent spicy Thai curry is Thai Square on Putney Bridge. The search for a great curry continues....Venue 5 in Eastcote and Rozana's in Kingston come highly recommended.


Hello poor neglected livejournal community. Can anyone recommend a good curry house not too far from the Holborn/Russell Squa area? Price no object as I will not be paying ;)
  • genie22

Yummy Yummy...

I think it's time I told you about my outings to Mint Leaf, Haandi and Chutney Mary? Favourites first then...

Knightsbridge's Haandi is very very yummy. Run by Kenyan Indians, you get sufficient Moghul and Gujerati favourites for your money. It's where the phrase "food-porn" came from, spicy, salty, carby-yum served in massive portions and making you want more. I'm still dreaming about the Chili Paneer, Black Dahl (Dahl Makhni) and Butter Chicken. The chicken biriyani is very very good and the staff are more than happy to create off-menu dishes to satisfy as you wish. I wish Chutney Mary could this leaf from them as they've got potential to be very, very good.

Chutney Mary is Chelsea's favourite Indian restaurant. Prices are (unsurprisingly) expensive and the decor, replete with indoor garden, is absolutely stunning. It's run by the same family who own Masala Zone, Amaya and Veeraswamy.

My friends and I shared an almost-vegetarian meal.  We kicked off with mocktails, all of which were lush! My duck kebabs with blueberry sauce were wonderful, a sharp contrast to the potato/ carrot/paneer/coriander kebabs my poor friends had to eat with bottled chilli sauce. Though the starters were stingy, the sides and carb portions more than made up for it. Rice and dal were the best I've had in town and the curried paneer and white pumpkin raita were equally well flavoured. I wasn't impressed with 'main dish' curry portion size; diners got five one-inch cubes of breast meat for a tenner; the same goes for lamb and paneer curries. Diners eating the "fusion" options did better wrt quantity. (steaks and duck breasts were of decent size). £57 for three with soft drinks isn't bad; I think we'll definitely head back there again :D

Piccadilly's Mint Leaf is really quite annoying. We had to wait 30 minutes for a table despite pre-booking. Service was intrusive, the waiters felt the need to rush us and forgot our drinks.  Whilst the vegetarian main dishes were substantial and of excellent quality (black dahl, yellow dahl, paneer and aubergines), the meat platters and curries were portioned with ants in mind. Irritatingly, the starter paneer, vegetable fritters and spinach dish were doused in mint sauce. Disgusting - hence plates were sent back and no service charge was paid. 

Beautiful Keralan cuisine in Stoke Newington

.... and it's not Rasa! Amazingly, after living in Stokey (N16) for 10 months I've still not made it to Rasa, despite the fave reviews and general acknowledgement that it's one of the top curry restaurants in the UK.

We've been looking for a good Indian takeaway for a while now, having found the very good Chilli and Spice in Newington Green but become a little bored of it. Distressingly, Rasa doesn't do delivery take-away. We had heard good things about Abi Ruchi which is almost next door to Rasa, and walking past there yesterday I grabbed a take-away menu. Like Rasa it is Keralan south Indian food, very fresh and simply cooked.

When I got home I googled Abi Ruchi and found this Time Out review and many many 9/10 and 10/10 public reviews, so we just had to check it out that evening! We got 3 starters, a main, 2 side dishes and 2 types of bread. Oh. My. God. It was THE MOST beautiful Indian food I've ever tasted by a long way. The meat was beautifully tender and extremely tasty, not like a lot of bland curry meat. I don't even like lamb usually but the lamb was exquisite - marinated in spices and stir fried with onion, tomato, sliced coconut and curry leaves. All of the flavours were fresh, strong and wonderful, nothing was lost.

The other fabulous thing is that there was NO OIL whatsoever. Nothing was greasy or oily, we didn't feel sickly and bloated afterwards. It really is the most beautiful wonderful food in every way - we've decided to treat ourselves to it once a fortnight! It's also cheap and really easy to order. If you eat in, they do buy two for the price of one with a Taste London card.

Their website is down, but you can see the menu here.


Just introducing myself!
My current favourite place to eat curry is Rasa on Stoke Newington Church Street, does anyone know it? There is a vegetarian restaurant on one side of the road and one which serves fish almost opposite. The food and service are always fantastic!
I look forward to sharing and gleaning more ace curry tips!

Cheers all!
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  • nou

Ganapati, Holly Grove, Peckham SE15

So last night I dragged rjw1 on the P12 bus down to Peckham, to check out Ganapati, a small South Indian restaurant tucked away on a side street off Rye Lane.

Wow, this place seems popular. By 8pm on a Tuesday night it was entirely packed, kind of unusual for so early in the week. (Although it's not very big; maybe around 35 covers.) The food is good — we shared poppadoms to start then both had thalis, me the fish, him the meat, both £13. Nothing was stodgy, nothing was greasy, just a good simple ample meal.

I'll definitely go back, even though I really don't like the P12 at all.

There's a more detailed writeup on RGL, and a photoset on Flickr.

Great Nepalese Restaurant, by Euston Station

So, the Great Nepalese Restaurant by Euston Station? Does exactly what it says on the tin sign.

I was meeting my Dad, for food, at Euston Station. A desperate preliminary search of the surrounding area revealed a lot of porn shops, lap dancers, 'spas', transvestite shops, and so on. Also one modern stylish Italian (yawn), a great pub with Thai (possible) and the Great Nepalese Restaurant (which had an article outside about it by Michael Palin). So I knew which one I wanted, and Dad concurred.

I went for the Special Nepalese Chicken Curry- Hot.
Looking at the menu, it was a bit of a standard choice. Fresh chillis, garlic, onion, spices etc. But it actually was very interesting, a wonderful blend of spices that I couldn't pin down at all. And certainly plenty hot enough.
I went for the homemade mango sorbet for pudding, just to cool me down a bit. I liked it a lot, full of flavour and did the job.

Dad fell into reminising-about-being-stationed-with-the-Gurkhas, and ordered a mutton curry and a vegetable dish. Can't remember which ones, sorry. But he seemed happy, and it was how he remembered Gurkha food. Which is a good thing, right?

I think it was about twenty quid each, with wine and rice and naans.

Music was, I assume, Nepalese. Nothing to complain about, added a bit of atmosphere. Decor was fairly traditional, not over the top or kitsch and with plenty of Nepalese touches. And proud pictures of Gurkhas receiving VCs.

So yes, very happy with the meal. We'll be back there next time Dad's in London.

Ice Bear

Lunch break curry

Oh my my, haven't we been quiet for a while...

Have no-one been for a good curry in nearly three months?

Anyway, if anyone works in the Canary Wharf area I can happily recommend popping by Waitrose.
They have curry every day for lunch and sometimes it's really really good.
Their Chicken Madras yesterday was a bit hot, very spicy and very very tasty.
I was slightly surprised by the hotness since Waitrose probably doesn't cater for the serious curry eater.
The chicken was remarkably succulent and tender and the rice/chicken/sauce ratio was spot on.

The only slightly disappointing lunch curry I've had there was todays as they had run out of pilau rice and was serving egg fried rice with the korma-like curry today :(

So I'm now full of curry which makes up (A little bit) for stressing over work :)
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