There was once was a Northerner named Charlie, and an Indian lass called Riana, and they had a great void in their hearts and stomachs for a good curry. As much as they asked, they couldn’t get people to give them recommendations for which establishment to visit. They invite you to join them on their quest to find the best Indian takeaway in Oxford (Covid permitting etc. etc.)
We shall be perusing far and wide, from Summertown to Cowley, to find you the best daal for your dosh.
Like seemingly everything in England at the moment, our little takeaway series has been affected by Lockdown 2.0, so for the foreseeable future, we’ll be cooing over our curries from a distance on Zoom.
4500 miles from India (40 Park End Street, OX1 1JD)
The end of 4th Week. A week that had seen a ground-breaking election, England re-entering national lockdown and a subsequent return to the nation eyeing up loo roll in supermarkets. Never had a takeaway been so needed. We gave 4500 miles from India an eager phone call to see if they would deliver – and were sadly told to order through Deliveroo instead. Not to be put off, we placed our (rather extensive) order, and watched the animated deliveroo frying pan with wide eyes.
The frantic dash to collect (after a fairly brief wait) wasn’t quite as dramatic as last week but did feature a rather complicated socially distanced division of onion bhajis, and a mourning of the fact there were no free poppadoms, unlike last week.
Our feast was delivered, and we proceeded to arrange our separate banquets. With very little delay, the onion bhajis were rapidly deemed to be far superior to those of the previous week – these were crisp, warm and flavourful, although there were 3 to last week’s 5 or so.
We were more daring in our ventures this week; Charlie’s order especially, which featured a North Bengali Fruity Chicken. However, we came to the conclusion Charlie’s sweet tooth had rather got the better of him – while his chicken and Peshwari Naan were both individually very good, they proved a little overpowering in combination. The chicken madras that graced Charlie’s flat was also underwhelming- although it does raise the question of whether one should really be ordering a Madras anyway.
Riana’s order included a black lentil daal, which was good enough to convert her lentil-sceptic flatmate. The North Indian Garlic Chilli Chicken was pleasingly spicy – enough to feel the heat, but not so much that one feels they’ve entered the seventh circle of hell. Meanwhile, the Lamb Saag proved a revelation – creamy and rich, yet satisfying rather than cloying. And our humble attempt to get some of our five a day in the form of a Gobhi Mutter was a little thwarted by excess oil, but on the whole pretty tasty.
The rice (pilau and mushroom) and the breads (a Garlic Naan, the Peshwari, and a Roti) were of a high quality and very satisfying to our souls.
However, a caveat must be added to our praise- this week’s curry was significantly more expensive, and featured a great deal less free food – a hefty blow to our mid-term student wallets. Our order totalled £91, which fed 4 people and left a decent amount of leftovers- enough for lunch for two the next day.
All in all, we conclude that this takeaway was expensive, but great quality if you want to bring the tastes of India a little closer than 4500 miles.
An 8/10 on a glittery Strictly-style paddle from us.