I’ve been reviewing the takeout cuisine from a lot of our favorite, more established restaurants. So I relished the chance to try a new place, even if I am sticking to curbside .
Curry House Indian Cuisine managed to open its doors a few weeks before restaurants were ordered to close for on-premises dining. It reopened for takeout dining on May 1.
The window of the storefront space in a large strip mall on South Orange Blossom Trail still has a sign touting its lunchtime buffet. That’ll have to come down – we won’t see buffets again for a very, very long time.
And besides, I’ve always thought the food was better when prepared to order.
And Curry House’s food was good. I especially liked the Lamb Vindaloo, which might have had a little more heat but nonetheless had a deliciously rich gravy and plenty of big hunks of meat.
I also ordered the Palak, a vegetarian dish of creamed spinach with a choice of an addition, such as paneer, which is the usual combination, but also mushrooms, potatoes or chickpeas. I went with chickpeas. I liked the creaminess of the spinach, and the bit of ginger in the dish really came through. Both entrees were good when spooned on the basmati rice, which was included.
For an appetizer, I ordered the Ragada, an Indian street food of fried seasoned potato patties topped with chickpeas – hey, I like chickpeas – and served with yogurt, tamarind and mint chutneys. The mint was hotter than any mint chutney I’ve had before, and it went best with the patties.
I also dipped some of the Onion Kulcha in the chutney, though it didn’t really need anything to enhance the flavors. And it looked good, too, with lots of red onions to brighten it up.
Getting the food was problematic. I ordered over the phone after getting assurance that the restaurant had contactless curbside pickup. But when I started to give the credit card number, the man on the phone told me I could just pay when I got there.
I explained that I didn’t want to do that – I wanted to pay in advance, including the tip, so that I wouldn’t have to sign anything when I arrived. It took some doing, but I finally got him to agree.
He told me the food would be ready in 15 to 20 minutes, which was fine, I said, because it would probably take me 25 minutes to get there. In fact, it took over 30 minutes.
So I was a bit miffed when I called from in front of the restaurant and was told that the order would be ready in a couple of minutes. But 20 minutes more passed with me sitting there idling in my car. The food was finally brought out and placed in my trunk almost exactly one hour after I had called in my order.
And then the young man who brought it out tried to get me to sign the check slip. I said through the cracked window that I had already authorized the payment. But when I got home and looked over the credit slip that was in the takeout bag, I saw that no tip had been added. I tried.
It seems clear that the kitchen didn’t start cooking my order until I arrived, which is odd seeing as how I’d prepaid for it.
After dinner, my companion and I both said, “At least the food is really good.”
Curry House Indian Cuisine is at 11352 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner. The phone number is 321-352-7742.