Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Curry Capital (delivery), Shoreditch
No matter how many miles you would happily travel for a good meal, how close your house or flat is to your favourite local restaurant or how good you are at whipping up a hearty dinner for ten in seconds flat, sometimes there's absolutely nothing better than kicking back in your own front room on a Saturday evening and tucking into a takeaway curry. When I first moved to London, I made a concerted effort to try all the local delivery places at least once so that if the opportunity arose I wouldn't inflict visiting friends and family with oily kebabs and soggy naans and send them back up North muttering about the standard of London food. A good, reliable delivery place is a valuable thing, as indispensible as a decent local minicab or a 24-hour off-licence in its contributions to a happy night in, and with that in mind I'd like to introduce you to the finest delivery service in East London - Curry Capital.
As with most of these places, the menu from Curry Capital is a mixture of familiar curry house favourites and the odd house speciality. It reads, let's be honest, like it could belong on any high street in the country, not just London, and is hardly the kind of thing to set pulses racing. But its strength isn't in the ambition of its Indian-Bangladeshi cuisine or the application of unusual techniques and ingredients - it's just that the main dishes from here are as good as I've had even in the best Indian restaurants in town, with a level of spicing and use of brilliant fresh ingredients that only seem to improve each time we make an order.
One item we never do without is the Lamb Xacuti. "Award winning" it's described on the menu, and we'll have to give them the benefit of the doubt, because it really is stunning. Tender strips of slow-cooked lamb rest in a thick spicy paste, slightly oiler than the Tayyabs dry meat perhaps but with almost the same level of meaty intensity. This week we also tried something called 'Kathmandu delicacy chicken', containing impossibly moist and tasty strips of grilled chicken in a fiery tomato/chilli sauce, as addictive and delicious as you could imagine. As if that wasn't enough, a starter portion of 'Mitah Changri' - tender king prawns in a sauce containing honey and fresh lime, amongst I'm sure many other things - was also superb, benefitting from wonderful fresh ingredients and a masterful command of spicing.
I should point out that I've never eaten in at their restaurant on Brick Lane - despite the excellent food coming out of their kitchens, that address is anathema to any self-respecting Londoner; if I'm going to leave the house for a meal I'll just keep walking to Whitechapel. But for those of you lucky enough to live within delivery distance I can only suggest next time you're in the mood for a lazy evening of curry-based indulgence and don't fancy leaving the flat, give them a call. And if you're reading this thinking "my favourite place looks better than that" then let me know and I'll give it a try - if it turns out you're right I'll be forever indebted. But after years of systematic testing of London's food delivery options, I can confidently say that operations like Curry Capital don't come along very often, and I consider myself its most loyal, and happiest, customer.