Quest for the best: curry

(from Bing images: Kenneth Williams, and also from Bing images: some vindaloo)

Ahhh…….curry! Some people who don’t eat curry are a little afraid of it but Marie & I absolutely love it. Of course, Indian food is the king of curry-based cuisine for us. But we also very much enjoy Ethiopian, and there are many cuisines where it’s a staple dish. I’m sure there are some excellent Jamaican curries for one, although we don’t like our curry to have on-the-bone meat so for us, personally, curry goat isn’t a favourite. Guyanese curries can be very good, Oh, and Thai of course!

When we have our “curry head” on, meaning that we’re in the mood for those amazing spices, to us Indian food is better than any international cuisine: better than Mexican, better than Italian, better than Greek, better than Chinese…better than anything really.

If you’re not sure you like curry but want to dip your toes in the water, tikka masala is always a good way to start. Maybe try making one at home, especially if you have a crock pot. Pataks and Sharwoods do excellent curry sauces, but our favourite is Maya Kaimal. If a meat eater, add chicken or lamb pieces, onions if you want and cherry or plum tomatoes (but later in the dish if using a crock pot so the they don’t get too soft). Plus we have all those delicious spices in our cupboards at any given time: cumin, coriander/cilantro, garam masala, turmeric etc etc etc. We used to joke about having “spices of mass destruction” at home. But dishes don’t have to be that hot if you prefer milder curries.

from Bing images

Here are just a few recommendations for eating curry at restaurants:

Our number 1 anywhere in the world that we’ve visited has to be The Vine near the Kenrick Park tram stop in West Bromwich, England. An unlikely pick perhaps, but this is a magnificent, down-to-earth and friendly pub that has various rooms indoors and out but most of all a long curry menu. We pick it mainly for it’s addictive clay pot chicken and clay pot lamb. If you don’t mind your curries spicy, it’s the most delicious dish anywhere.

from Bing images: The Vine (back room kebab grill; ideal accompaniment to your curry)

Marie and I together, or with others before we met, have tried curry all over the map. Even when in Venice. I lived for a few months in the Costa Blanca region of Spain, and my brother also did for over 2 years and my mom for over 20 years. Due to all the British expats on the Costas in Spain – and most Brits love curry (including myself) because of historical colonial ties – you can find some great Indian or Nepalese restaurants there.

In New York I’ve already mentioned two favourites on other posts on this site: The Drunken Munkey and Vatan (the latter is vegetarian only). In Port Washington in Long Island, but not far from Queens, Diwan is wonderful. During covid we’ve loved dining out on their deck overlooking the pond.

Agra in Bayside, Queens in very good too. In Britain, I’m happy to exaggerate and say that there are about half a million fine quality Indian and Pakistani restaurants. All of the bigger cities have a lot. Bradford in Yorkshire is famous for some notable ones.

If it’s not your thing, fair nuff but if you want to try it start with something mild. There’s nothing not to love!

Published by heathgrip

An Englishman in New York for around 15 years, I met a wonderful, beautiful, cannily smart and talented girl from Flushing, Queens whilst I was living in Manchester, UK, through the internet in 2005 and we married in Spring 2006! We both have a passion for travel, restaurants, history, music, all kinds of fun events. Who doesn't? I'm an artist and photographer, and also love to write. Anything creative really (you can keep your science and technology!). I've sent journals back home to family and friends for many years and they've often suggested I start a blog with writings pasted from my journals. So here it is!

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