After a long overdue holiday the GP and myself wanted to relive some of the asian food that we enjoyed whilst on our travels.
We have often passed the Curry Lounge, admiring the 18th century building in a beautiful garden setting on the High Street in New Romney. The first thing that struck us as we approached the restaurant was the heady aroma of authentic Indian cooking pricking our taste buds and enticing us to come in.
On entering, we were met by the proprietor, Payal Khandaker, who’s smile was as warm as some of his dishes and very welcoming, on such a wet and windy evening that we’d chosen to visit.
We were shown into the cosy bar area for a drink, while we waited to be seated Payal gave us an interesting insight into his heritage and culture.
The restaurant is spacious with carefully chosen art work adorning the walls, with a gentle Bollywood soundtrack drifting through. So, down to business. The Food…
Most people will be familiar with the tradional curry house, they are as much a part of our culinary lifestyle as fish and chips! But many are now modern, stylish eateries, rivalling any gourmet restaurant. Which is exactly what the Curry Lounge is, with its extensive contemporary Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine, all cooked with the freshest ingredients. As we ordered our drinks and inspected the varied wine list, we enjoyed a stack of papadum’s with a selection of dips whilst we sipped on Cobra beer and the House Red. Reading the menu, we decided to ask Payal to suggest his favourite dishes, as being new to Bangladeshi food, we wanted to experience new tastes and flavours.
Under Payal’s guidance we chose one of the new dishes on the menu, Lamb Chops (£3.95) marinated in the chef’s own blend of spices then grilled in the tandoor oven. The GP went for the Desi Fish Fry (£4.50) Bangladeshi fish marinated in a mixture of spices then fried with onions and a hint of garlic and tamarind. Both dishes were delicious.
For the main course, Payal chose us a selection of dishes that very sounded interesting. Pudhina Chicken (£7.95) tender pieces of chicken marinated in spices and cooked with mint and honey in a creamy sauce. WOW, this was for me, a showstopper. If you normally favour a mild curry, such as Korma, I highly recommend this amazing dish with it’s unusual flavour combination that I have not come across before, but put together, it was a definite winner. Chicken Sizzler Tikka Karahi (£8.25) marinated on skewers and cooked in an iron stove with tomatoes, onions and green peppers. In both dishes the chicken was succulent and sauces delicately spiced.
It takes a lot to impress the Glamourpuss, so I was staggered when she proclaimed to had just eaten the best lamb curries she’d ever had. Lamb in curries is something that is so easy to get wrong, often (in her experience) being tough or tasteless. Lamb Sorisha (£7.95) lamb marinated in chefs own mixture, barbecued in a clay oven, then cooked again with mustard in a medium sauce, a procedure that allows the meat to be so soft, it melts in the mouth. Lamb Bhuna (£5.75) cooked with onions, fresh tomatoes, coriander,herbs and spices, all accompanied by lemon rice and cheese nan- all breads are made fresh in-house too, I discovered.
Even though we were both getting full, we couldn’t resist the dessert menu. We chose the Coconut Lagoon (£3.95) fresh coconut ice cream and Orange Delight (£3.75) a zesty orange sorbet.
We had superb, unobtrusive service from our waiter Nabid, and were treated to a complimentary liqueur from Payal, a fine way to end what was a masterclass in Eastern cookery.
The Curry Lounge is open 7 days a week and most nights offer discounted rates and special offers which can all be viewed on their website. Also, don’t forget to ask on your next visit about their VIP scheme and extensive takeaway menu. So if you, like us, fancy trying something different don’t be afraid to ask your waiter or the manager for their recommendations, you never know, you might just find your new favourite or if you prefer to stick to your old favourites, then give your taste buds a treat and visit Payal and his team over at the Curry Lounge.. .
For more information, check out their website
By R.A.C Fishman