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. And 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 for the next 7 weeks (Covid permitting etc. etc.)
We shall be perusing far and wide, from Summertown to Cowley, to find you the best daal for your dosh.
It was a Sunday night at the beginning of 3rd week. We were more than ready to begin the quest for the best curry in Oxford. Our call to Chutneys Indian Brasserie to order featured increasingly impressive service – particularly exciting was the offer of two bags of poppadoms and a free curry of our choice (we decided to let them surprise us). The ensuing wait was agonising but not too long, despite a miscommunication about our address on our part which led to us running down Woodstock Road in a curry-fuelled fever.
We eventually brought the heavenly goods back, and the table was hardly big enough to hold our banquet. We decided to get a plain naan and a garlic naan, both of which were a good size and not too thick. Unfortunately, the onion bhajis were somewhat lacklustre, although we did get five of them, having only expected two.
That slight downer was soon ignored once we got onto the main event: a korai chicken, a saag paneer, a brijal bhaji (aubergine, potato and assorted veg), a tarka daal, the surprise dish of okra, a mushroom and a plain rice. We were offered a choice as to how spicy we wanted the chicken, so we went for medium, having different spice tolerance (Charlie – “better than the average Brit”, and Riana who grew up with a mother who once put chilli in her porridge by mistake). However, we both agreed that getting “hot” would have elevated it further, as excellent as it was.
Regarding the rest, we were in agreement the saag paneer and the okra were above average in quality – after all, the paneer was good enough to convert Riana, after two decades of her grandmother trying and failing to make her like it.
The daal and brijal bhaji were agreed to be average takeaway standard by comparison – solid and reliable, but nothing particularly special- as was the rice.
Overall, excellent range of choice and good service, a little above the average takeaway standard. It fed 4 people to a point of very comfortable curry-induced coma for £56.05.
As Charlie put it, in the ‘Come Dine With Me’ cab on the way home, we’d give it a 7/10.
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