I don’t know why it’s taken so long for an Indian restaurant to take advantage of the street name Curry Ford, but Forever Naan has finally stepped up with the subname Curry Street Grill.
It’s a little slip of a place near the corner of Conway Road in a strip that holds a pawn shop (once a Blockbuster Video) and a payday loan business. If I remember correctly, the space that Forever Naan occupies was once a Hungry Howie’s Pizza. So we’re not talking the toniest district.
But inside, FN has a pleasantly casual space. Although it seems more suited as a takeout restaurant, it has seating for dining in, albeit on uncomfortable looking metal chairs and backless stools. A bright red wall in the front of the space seems dedicated to Bollywood, with film reel sculptures, movie ticket signs and lobby cards for Indian flicks.
The menu is as compact as the space, with seven curries, three vegetarian and four non. For my takeout order, I selected the Butter Chicken and the Lamb Curry. I also got an order of Samosas for an appetizer.
After I paid at the front counter, my order, which included the curries, naan and rice, was handed to me in a plastic bag. The plastic bag was fortunate because when I got home I discovered that one of the curries had leaked considerably.
But Indian food is always a little messy, so that’s ok.
The chickpea flour of the samosa turnovers was crisp. Inside was a seasoned mixture of potatoes and peas. The tamarind dipping chutney added a nice note.
The Butter Chicken had a smooth gravy tinged with tomatoes, its myriad spices tempered with a bit of cream. The chunks of chicken were tender, and it all tasted great on the turmeric rice.
The Lamb Curry was more complex. The meat did not have any lamby characteristics. Nor do I think the kitchen substituted mutton, which in Indian cooking usually means goat. Goat would have given a distinct flavor. The meat here was just mild.
Not that the dish lacked flavor or seasoning. In fact, I have never seen so many bay leaves in one small dish. I easily fished out half a dozen. There were also a couple of whole woody cinnamon sticks. I definitely crunched down on a couple of whole cloves. This curry had a more oily component. A Deepwater Horizon-sized slick covered the top. All of these components could have made a great curry, even the fat. But instead of coming together to form a complete dish, they stood alone.
The naan had a nice pullable texture and buttery note. The bread was topped with crunchy black nigella seeds.
Most of the curries are a reasonable $10.95. The lamb curry is a dollar more — all those bay leaves are expensive.
Forever Naan is at 4205 Curry Ford Road, Orlando. It is open for dinner Tuesday through Friday and Sunday. The phone number is 407-601-0835.