Some places are just made for eating with other people. Curry Spot is one of those joints. It has a really great décor, soft colors, good lighting, and a relaxed vibe. While the environment is great, that is not necessarily what makes the communal eating aspect perfect. It is much easier to share dishes when they are brought out in serving bowls as opposed to individual plates. It allows everyone to try out more than one dish without fear of reaching over into someone’s plate.
I’ve been going to Curry Spot for years, so I have a hard time giving them anything other than a glowing review, but for these purposes, I will attempt to be as impartial as possible. On this particular trip I had two dining companions. One is as enamored as I with the restaurant, the other has only had Indian food a few times in his life.
The other great part about multiple dining companions is it allows us to order a multitude of dishes without feeling like gluttons or wastrels.
First, drinks. From left to right Sweet Lassi, Mango Lassi, and Dooq. Each of these are yogurt based drink, so they have a creamy quality that is not unlike a milkshake, but it is not thick or filling. A few ice cubes are tossed into each drink to keep it cool. The Sweet Lassi has the gentle flavor of plain sweetened yogurt. The Mango, of course, adds a mango flavor. (Duh.) The Dooq is a little more complete. Take the regular Lassi, add mint and some carbonation (probably from seltzer). Though not as creamy as the others, it is still smooth.
If you go out for Indian food, you’ve got to have bread. How else are you going to mop up the delicious sauces left on your plate or in the serving bowl? No. Licking the bowl is considered bad form.
Poori ($2.95) is like a bread pillow. Soft and light, it is filled with hot air as it comes to your table. I always like to have the uninitiated stab the bread to watch the steam billow out. This Poori is not as yeasty as some others I’ve had, and it tends to be a little on the oily side. Nevertheless, its texture is right on the border of bread without crossing over into cracker.
The Garlic Naan ($2.95) is standard fare. Just about every Indian restaurant and food cart will have naan. Stop N’ Shop even sells it now. This is just naan with fresh garlic and cilantro toss on top. For those who have never had naan, imagine a thin crust pizza that is just crust (no sauce, cheese, etc…). It’s not focaccia bread, but that might be its Italian cousin.
A cauldron of rice comes with the main course and will generously be refilled upon request. I believe this is white basmati rice. It’s rice. It wasn’t bad. (There isn’t really much I can say about rice.) It didn’t suck.
Chicken Tikka Masala ($9.95) is probably the most popular Indian dish in all of North America. It is the hamburger of the Indian restaurant. Every place must have it, whether they like it or not. Curry Spot does a wonderful job. The sauce is rich and plentiful. The chicken is perfectly cooked, tender and juicy, served in chunks, not shreds. Some purveyors may dislike that this dish has no skin or bones, but that is no problem for me. For those seeking heat, this is not the dish. It is by no means bland, but this will not bring tears to even the most timid of eyes. If you want heat, I would suggest…
…the Lamb Vindaloo ($11.95). They will ask if you want it spicy. Say “YES!” This is a good sinus-clearing dish. It is not just a dish of heat for heat’s sake. The burn does not overwhelm the flavor of savory lamb (not gamey at all). The filler is kept to a minimum, so while there are some potatoes in the dish, it does not outweigh the meat.
Navrattan Korma ($8.95) is a vegetable dish. Imagine a nutty, creamy, curry sauce, with mixed vegetables tossed inside. Though not particularly hot, the flavor is bold.
The one dish that did not knock my socks off was the Baigan Bhartha ($7.95). I will confess that I am not a big fan of eggplant, but this just tasted like mashed eggplant with tomatoes. There was no complexity, or at least none that I could discern. It did not go over huge with my dining companions either.
It is funny that an Indian restaurant is situated in the midst of Irish bars, but thankfully they do get a steady stream of customers. They also do a brisk lunch business. Travelers without cars should not worry as they are close to public transportation.
4268 Katonah Avenue
Bronx, NY 10470