Greenwich Curry Club Award Winners

Greenwich curry club logo      Goa Beer logo

The Greenwich Curry Club’s Favourite Restaurant for 2017 is the Darjeeling in Lewisham. The friendly 50-seater restaurant got the thumbs up from voters for the main prize in this year’s Greenwich Curry Club Awards, which is sponsored by Goa Premium Beer. This is the first year the company, which produces gluten-free beer that is ideal with spicy food, has sponsored the Awards.

“Thanks to the support of Goa Beer we have enjoyed the best ever Awards and are delighted that they joined us in celebrating the restaurants, takeaways and staff that make this such a great industry in our area,” said Daniel Ford, founder of the Greenwich Curry Club.

The Awards, which recognises excellence in the local industry, has been held in association with the Greenwich Visitor – the only local newspaper to run a regular curry column – since 2011. All the awards were chosen by local curry lovers, who voted online for their favourite restaurants and takeaways, except for the Goa Beer Greenwich Curry Club Special Award, which was chosen by members of the Greenwich Curry Club. Restaurants and takeaways in SE10, SE3, SE8, SE7 and SE13 were eligible. This includes Greenwich, Maze Hill, Blackheath, Westcombe Park, Lewisham, Ladywell, Deptford, New Cross and Charlton.

Darjeeling owner Foyeg Kazi, who has been running the restaurant for 15 years, said: “We have a loyal following so it is thanks to them we have picked up this award. I’m thrilled for the team and we will keep working to serve up good quality food at real value prices.”

The restaurant has built a reputation for offering a menu that offers exceptional value, so it is no surprise that the Darjeeling also won the award for Restaurant Offering Outstanding Value, an award they have now won three times.

Mogul Home Dining Kitchen, located along the Trafalgar Road in Greenwich, picked up the Favourite Takeaway award. The Mogul name has become a byword for top-quality Indian food in Greenwich and this year the restaurant celebrates its 40th anniversary. The Home Dining Kitchen was opened in 2011 to offer a dedicated takeaway service. Owners Mr and Mrs Dev said: “This is great, especially as it comes on such a special anniversary for the Mogul.”

The ever-popular Mountain View, also on the Trafalgar Road, was voted as the Restaurant Offering Outstanding Service. Some fresh, young faces have joined the established service team this year and the smooth, friendly service from everyone on the floor has clearly not gone unnoticed by the voters.

Kasturi, Charlton’s classy Indian restaurant, announced its arrival onto the local scene by picking up the Favourite New Restaurant award and with its undoubted quality it is sure to be challenging for more awards in future years.

Members of the Curry Club decided that this year’s Goa Beer Greenwich Curry Club Special Award should go to the Royal Nepalese in Westcombe Park in recognition of its outstanding main dish Langtang Lamb. This succulent Himalayan dish, cooked with garlic, ginger, green chilli, fresh mint and mango chutney, had even the grumpiest of members cooing in delight and that in itself is worth an award.

“The Greenwich Curry Club Awards are an excellent initiative, recognising the merits of best local curry houses and encouraging ever higher culinary standards,” said Goa Premium Beer MD Ben Parmar, who added, “We applaud Daniel Ford’s endeavours and hope other areas of the country will take Greenwich’s lead and organise their own, similar local awards scheme”.

The Winners
Favourite Restaurant: Darjeeling (Lewisham)
Favourite Takeaway: Mogul Home Dining (Greenwich)
Restaurant Offering Outstanding Service: Mountain View (Greenwich)
Restaurant Offering Outstanding Value: Darjeeling (Lewisham)
Favourite New Restaurant: Kasturi (Charlton)
Goa Beer Greenwich Curry Club Special Award for Outstanding Dish (Langtang Lamb): Royal Nepalese (Westcombe Park)

 

 

Most popular curry restaurant names

What are the most popular names for curry restaurants and takeaways? Answers revealed here

It takes all sauce

Ribble Tandoori, Clitheroe, Lancashire
(Takeaway)

As one of only a handful of curry houses serving the market town of Clitheroe, as well as the large surrounding area of villages and farms, the Ribble Tandoori needs to be good. And as it is the nearest Indian to my friend’s cottage, requiring a good 40-minute round trip, I am delighted to report that it is, which is no surprise as it’s been operating since 1993. A post-pub curry in these parts need a certain amount of planning if you live in one of the Forest of Bowland villages, so disappointment isn’t really an option.

The sauces for both the South Indian Hot Garlic Keema (£5.45) and the Rogan Josh (£5.45) were thick and tasty, using finely chopped onions instead of the oft mulched-in-blender method for the base. This found an immediate fan, not least because I have adopted this approach in my own cooking in the last couple of years. Self-validation and all that. It does take a bit longer to soften up the onions but it draws out their sweetness better and the reward in the texture is well worth it, as anyone who has dished up a curry that makes them think of baby food will agree.

The garlic in South Indian Hot Garlic Keema was similarly noticeable and its taste prominent, as indeed it should be if you order a dish with garlic in its name. It was refreshing to see this dish on the menu, and indeed there were many others that don’t appear on too many others, including Lonka Garlic Masala, Lonka Piaja, Jai Puri, Zafranai, and Hathkora. I could have stayed for ages discussing the ways these dishes are created with the friendly guy serving and watching the chefs at work in the open kitchen, but alas it was necessary for me to go and find out the bit below for where to have a beer while you are waiting.

And the curries were indeed worth the wait. We added Lemon rice (£1,95) and a nan (£1.50).

Parking: on the Waddington Road or one of the nearby side streets.

Delivery: yes, but the menu doesn’t specify a distance or a minimum. Because it serves a rural area it will depend how far away you are ordering from.

Beer while you’re waiting: the Wagon and Horses is a two-minute walk up Pimlico Road and the Royal Oak, in Waterloo Road, is four minutes.

Ribble Tandoori Takeaway, 19 Waddington Road, Clitheroe, BB7 2HJ. Tel: 1200 443368. Open: daily 5pm-11.30pm. Sunday 4pm – 10.30pm.

The scores on the tandoors

Food 8

Waiting area: 5

Value 9

Service and friendliness 8

Spice panorama

 The Vista, Nairobi, Kenya

There are great views of the Kenyan capital from this seventh floor restaurant in the vibey area of Westlands. Large glass panels offer diners about 180 degree span of the city as they enjoy their curry.

As the Vista serves as the Hotel Emerald’s restaurant and bar there are different cuisines on the menu, but strictly speaking this is a curry restaurant and it welcomes a lot of locals and visitors who aren’t staying at the hotel.

Considering the chefs do have to cater for different tastes there is decent line up in the Indian section, with no less than 20 starters and 34 main dishes, not to mention naans and rice. Vegetarians are particularly well catered for, with a host of tasty sounding dishes, including the lively looking Dynamite Paneer Pops (Ksh600).

If in doubt keep it simple, so I opted for a Chicken Malai Kebab (Ksh800), a butter naan (Ksh100) and pickles. The chicken was tender and as the juice oozed out of delicately charing you you could taste the tandoor at work, while the coriander and crunchy salad provided the perfect fresh complement. Wrapped up in soft naan and topped off with some spicy pickle it makes for a great lunch.

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Chicken Malai Kebab with butter naan.

The Vista (at the Hotel Emerald), 7th Floor, Krishna Centre, Woodvale Grove, Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 (0)716 228 302. Open: daily noon–3pm and 6pm–10.30pm.

The exchange rate at the time of the visit was £1 = Ksh153, $1 = Ksh100.

The scores on the tandoors

Food 8

Decor 6

Vibe 3 (Saturday lunchtime)

Service and friendliness 8

Value 9

Would you Adam and Eve it

Adam’s Curries, Baku, Azerbaijan
(Review by Neil Beard, Greenwich resident and International Curry Correspondent).

Adam curries pic

After spending two long, hot and busy months in Azerbaijan and at the request of Curry Bard Dan, I finally managed to get around to visiting Adam’s Curries in Baku for the first time, just four days before I return to the Royal Borough, warm beer and the rain.

My three dining colleagues for the evening were, along with myself, working on the 1st European Games. However, I imagine that their roles in catering services would, perhaps, make them slightly more critical of any dining out experience, especially as one of them is the former head chef at Asia Da Cuba St. Martins Lane, London. Adam’s was my recommendation so the pressure was on!

We hit Adam’s (which also doubles as a Thai on some nights) at eight, after beers at the Clansman pub. It was relatively busy and the aroma of spices was prominent on the street before we entered. Our reserved table was already occupied but the kind gentleman was politely asked to move to make way for four hungry men on a curry mission. Strategically placed next to the buffet, we couldn’t wait to get started.

The buffet was already pre-selected in everyone’s mind before we arrived but seeing the excellent choices, and our lack of a decent spicy meal for months, the decision was quickly re-affirmed. The Saturday evening buffet is 15 AZN per person (approx £8) with the local Xirdelan beer at 4 AZN (approx £2).

We tucked into delicious Chicken Tikka pieces, not just coloured chicken but really tender, and tasting like it had been baked in a traditional tandoor. Freshly cooked naan bread with mint raita, yogurt, and just for good measure a chili spice dip, were all available. Delicious.

There was no bhajis on offer but a selection of other starters including samosas and pakoras were available but as with all buffet food timing is everything. We quickly turned to the main event

The main courses included, among others, a Beef Madras, Chick Pea Curry and a Chicken Jalfrezi.

Each curry was individual, clearly all home made using fresh spices, which was a real surprise to us all and we commented on the authentic taste of each dish in turn. Fluffy basmati rice (a genuine art) complemented each mouthful, and quietness descended upon the table – always the best indication of a quality meal. Seconds, and even thirds, were consumed

I wish I had visited Adam’s before so I could have tried other dishes on the menu, in particular the Goan Fish Curry, which I’m sure would have been amazing as a specialty dish

Our hosts, curry meisters Narayan Pawar and his team, were incredibly friendly and polite. Adam’s is clearly a favourite among the ex-pats and oil-working community and long may it continue.

Adam’s Curries, 12 Tarlan Aliyarbeyov Street, Baku, Azerbaijan. Tel: +99455-348-1857. E-mail: adamscurries@gmail.com. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adams-Curries/123673817720175?sk=info&tab=page_info

 

Menu expressions

Manjal, London E14

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This classy Isle of Dogs gem has always impressed me with its freshness (see Fast but certainly fresh) – now it boasts a fresh menu as well as fresh food. And what a menu it is.

Dishes are split into sections on the new line-up: as well as dosas, rice and breads, there are veg starters, autograph veg starters, non-veg starters, autograph non-veg starters, with the same format  used for mains. I almost felt sorry for the lovely sounding dishes that failed to be elevated to the autograph status! But there was no need. The Potato Tikka Chat (£5.95) was one such dish and it was delicious. The potato patties were lightly fried and topped with channa dal and carrying an unexpected kick with its spicing.

This was just one of the dishes that will interest vegetarians. Broccoli Varulal (£5.95), delivers the trademark freshness, as I know from previous visits, while the great named Gobi ’65 (£5.95) – an Indo-Chinese offering of deep-fried cauliflower florets – is certain to get a testing in the future. It’s also nice to see dal dishes treated with deserved respect by the menu creator as too often diners see it just as something to moisten up their rice, if they eat it at all. Here there is a choice of Dal Tadka (£5.95), the wonderfully creamy Dal Makhani (£6.95), a popular dal-lovers dish that is cooked with different types of lentils, and Dal Manjal (£6.95), a coconut curry from South India.

But this dockside venue, which had a smart after-work business buzz to it on this visit, has superb choices for those of us who enjoy non-veg dishes as well.

The Mutton Kothu Roti (£9.95) has to be tried. This dry dish of Sri Lankan origin is a mix of meat (there are also chicken and veg versions), onions, leeks, spices and pieces of shredded bread – think of it as a sort of bread biryani. It’s really unusual – each mouthful delivers a spicy mix with tasty chunks of mutton and the odd chewy piece of roti thrown in for good measure. It’s always extremely filling – I could only manage one tier of this nicely presented two-tiered dish. It comes with a side of spicy sauce.

The kottu was, of course, one of the autograph non-veg curries. And it had some serious competition when it came to me choosing my main because others on the menu were the Chettinad Manjal Special Chicken Curry (£8.95), the Manjal Special Fish Curry (£10.95) and the got-to-be-tried-next-visit Manjal Special Lamb Curry (£9.95). Another creation from South India, this is a dish where lamb, liver and bones are all cooked together in a thick masala sauce.

I’m always on the look out for new dishes to try and this menu certainly offers scope for plenty of return visits for that. Having tried the Devil Chicken starter (£9.95), another of the Indo-Chinese offerings with a wow spice kick, as well the dishes mentioned above, I know they are more than worth a try.

Manjal, 3 Turnberry Quay, Pepper Street, London, E14 9RD. Tel: 020 7538 1140. E-mail: info@manjalrestaurant.com. Open: daily, noon–11pm.

Scores on the tandoors

Food 9

Decor 9

Atmosphere 8 (Thursday night)

Service and friendliness 9

Value 9

* The Greenwich Curry Club was hosted by Manjal restaurant.

Manjal on Urbanspoon

Bit of a classic

Aroma Spice, Macclesfield

Although we were  eating a little bit early on a Saturday night I was surprised this curry house wasn’t a bit busier. Aroma Spice is a good-to-honest curry house that ticks all the boxes: smart interior, friendly enough service and food that hits the mark. All in all this is what all curry houses were like before the contemporary restaurants started appearing.

The restaurant was recommended by a local resident and if I lived in Macclesfield this is the sort of place that I would visit regularly for my curry needs. Restaurants across Britain have been churning out classic starters like Tandoori Chicken (£2.90), Sheek and Shami Kebabs (both £2.50) for years – and the chef here certainly has perfected them in that classic (lots of red and salad) way. They all hit the spot.

The stand-out main dish was the Zinga Garlic Chill (£9.90) with plump prawns coated in a thick, juicy sauce littered with garlic, although there was certainly no complaints about the Chicken Tikka Masala (£7.50) or the Chicken Dupiazia (£6.20). Special Pilau Rice  was £2.80 and a rather good Keema Nan £2.50.

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Classic starters: Tandoori Chicken and Shami Kebabs

Aroma Spice, 40 Park Green, Macclesfield, SK11 7NE. Tel: 01625 503374/500927. Open: Sun–Thurs 5.30pm–11.30pm, Fri–Sat 5pm–midnight.

The scores on the tandoors

Food 7

Decor 7

Service and friendliness 7

Atmosphere (Saturday night) 6

Value 8

Aroma Spice on Urbanspoon