Source: Dexter McQueen on Unsplash

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.)

They 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, they’re little takeaway series has been affected by Lockdown 2.0, so for the foreseeable future, they’ll be cooing over their curries from a distance on Zoom.

The Standard (117 Walton Street, Jericho, OX2 6AJ)

Service

5th Week was drawing to a close and the traditional blues had hit us and our respective flats hard. Given that it was Diwali, it would have been rude to eat anything but a curry. We decided to go for one a bit more local to our accommodation – the Standard. However, it seemed that the rest of Oxford had the same idea as us, with the takeaway taking an agonising hour to arrive. But we’ll let them off given that it was likely their busiest night of the year. We will never find out if they give you free poppadoms because Riana, scarred after our last experience, decided to ask for them.

The Food

Once again, we excitedly stood at a distance and divvied up the feast. This took some doing because Riana’s flat got excited, despite the comparatively limited menu, and ordered a lot.

In Charlie’s flat, they munched on a chicken jalfrezi, a king prawn dhansak, vegetable samosas, pilau rice, and, as tradition dictates, a peshwari naan. The jalfrezi was a superb mix of spices and flavours but was never overwhelming; the sauce was perfect for dipping the sizeable, crisp vegetable samosas. Trying something new, Charlie’s flatmate enjoyed the dhansak and the prawns were of a good size. Unlike last week, the peshwari naan complemented both curries very well, although it was more stodgy than its 4th week equivalent.

Meanwhile in Riana’s flat, Charlie and his flatmates watched over a good old Microsoft Teams call as they ploughed into their many dishes. The onion bhajis were crisp and flavourful, with visible fresh onion, but were a little small even though there were four of them. Our curries were pretty good, especially the meat dishes – a Nihari lamb shank and a chicken saag, both of which were rich but not overly so. We also ordered the tandoori lamb chops, which were excellent.

The veggie sides were a bit more hit and miss – the daal was pleasingly more flavourful than your average, but the brinjal bhaji and the palak paneer were both a little lacklustre. However, the Bombay aloo surpassed our expectations, being a little more substantial than we anticipated. The pilau rice, garlic naan and roti were all pleasing accompaniments, but as with Charlie’s flat, it was agreed that better naan has been had on this quest.

All in all, it was a combination of many good elements of different places we’ve tried so far – so overall we’d give it an 8/10.

Riana Modi

Riana (she/her) is one of the Culture Editors at The Blue this term, and a second year Classicist at Jesus. When not trying to digest ancient texts, she can be found editing the Turl Arts Magazine, writing...