Curry House review
All plans of visiting the Curry House that night went out the window the moment I woke up.

The previous day, my right ankle had started to ache a bit but by the next morning I could barely walk. I can’t remember twisting it, but I must have sprained my foot as I rushed around doing my daily business.

As a non-driver, I spend my life pounding the streets of Bristol. I must know every crack in every pavement of this city.

But there I was unable to even walk down the stairs without screaming in agony, every slight movement leading to a tirade of expletives through gritted teeth.

And so began three days of being housebound, dragging my foot around, popping painkillers and generally feeling sorry for myself.

When you are freelance writer, you can’t afford to be ill. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid – there is no sick pay.

But I had a restaurant review to file and I couldn’t even get to the restaurant. It was time to dial for a curry.

I had been meaning to revisit the Curry House in Brislington for a while. It must be eight years since I last reviewed this small Indian restaurant opposite Arnos Vale cemetery.

It is clearly a long-time favourite with Crackerjack readers as there are ten rave reviews for it on the website.

Comments range from “the best restaurant in the South West” to “ten out of ten – best restaurant I’ve ever been to”.

Most of the comments mention the excellent delivery service so I logged on to the Curry House website (curryhouse-bristol.co.uk) to see the menu and phoned in my order.

The Curry House has been open 20 years and it has won awards for its food and service.

The delivery service is free and it covers the whole of south Bristol, from St Philips to Southville, and they will even deliver your korma to Keynsham if the order is above £15.

I phoned at 6.30pm to be told that the food would be with me within 45 minutes.

It was actually 7.30pm when there was a tap on the door, but they had a load of other orders and deliveries to deal with so an hour to cook the food and deliver it to Windmill Hill seemed perfectly acceptable.

In my experience of buying Indian takeaways and carrying them back, the curries invariably leak from their foil containers, through the brown paper bag and into the carrier bag. There has been many a time when the oily sauce has dripped from the bag, leaving a trail of orangey brown to my front door.

On other occasions, it has dripped on to my trousers or shoes and there’s nothing worse than bhuna on your brogues. And by time the food gets home, it’s invariably lukewarm. And so I was interested to see how our curries would travel from Brislington on the passenger seat of a small white van that parked outside at 7.30pm. The friendly driver gave me the white carrier bag as I handed over my cash, and I could already see that the food had been packed with care.

Inside the white carrier bag, which was free from any dripping sauces, there was a sturdy brown paper bag containing the neatly piled foil containers and assorted bags and pots of sauces. Nothing had escaped between leaving the kitchen and my house, which was pretty impressive.

The plain papadums (60p each) were still intact in their own brown paper bag and they were crisp and grease-free.

The five different chutneys and pickles (£2) were in small clear plastic pots with tight-fitting lids.

A garlic naan (£2.20) was snug and warm inside a foil-lined paper bag that looked like a padded Jiffy envelope.

The excellent onion bhaji (£2.10) comprised three small, crisp balls of deep-fried, gram flour-coated onions.

Pepper lamb (£3.95) was a revelation – a whole green pepper which had been hollowed out and filled with shredded lamb tikka and then cooked in a tandoori oven until the pepper was black-edged and blistered.

Our main courses were still hot and they were excellent. Lamb tikka karahi (£6.95) contained large pieces of reasonably tender lamb in a thick blanket of tomatoey sauce full of sliced onions, ginger and coriander.

Chicken tikka garlic massala (£4.40) was a mild curry with plenty of tender chicken chunks in a spicy, creamy, very garlicky sauce. A shared portion of fluffy pilau rice (£2.20) was speckled with colourful grains of basmati – some green, some pink.

For the quality of the food, not to mention the size of the portions, the bill seemed a bargain, especially as delivery was free. It would have cost a lot more to eat in the restaurant once you add drinks and taxis.

This home-delivery takeaway was a good advert for the restaurant.

It certainly made me want to go back there for the real Curry House experience – as soon as I am back to full match fitness that is.

Mark Taylor Crackerjack
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