From fire to plate

Ricardo’s Fast Food, Beau Bassin, Mauritius

Not much beats deeply marinated chicken that’s served up within seconds of leaving the tandoor oven. Especially if you’ve got a nan bread dripping in butter and it’s one in the morning.

Ricardo’s is hardly on the beaten track for tourists visiting Mauritius, but lucky for us we’ve got a couple of friends in the know. We’d been planning to visit the place for days so it’s fair to say I had Malai Tikka on the brain by time we’d arrived. The tandoor chef certainly knew his stuff and it was a delight to watch him work his magic as he slid an array of meats onto large skewers – Sheek Kebabs (Rs 125), Haryali Kebabs (Rs 100) and, of course, Malai Kebabs (Rs 100) – and then plunged them into the over furnace. The breads were next and it didn’t take long for one of the tastiest street food snacks to emerge.

The tandoor menu is short and to the point – kebabs, nans (Rs 25 to Rs 50) and nan rolls (Rs 150 to Rs 200). There are a few other things on the menu like chips and sausages but frankly why would you bother when there is a super skilled tandoor chef waiting for your order? Just find a perch in the bustle of this ramshackle takeaway joint and watch the locals come and go as they fill up with late-night snacks.

Ricardo’s, Beau Bassin, Mauritius. Tel: 5759 2043. Open: till late.

Scores on the tandoors
Food 9
Decor 2
Service and friendliness 9
Vibe 9 (late night Friday)
Value 10

 

 

 

 

 

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Greenwich Curry Awards 2017 (Winners photo gallery)

Favourite Restaurant: Darjeeling (Lewisham)
Restaurant Offering Outstanding Value: Darjeeling (Lewisham)

Favourite Specialist Takeaway: Mogul Home Dining (Trafalgar Road, Greenwich)

Restaurant Offering Outstanding Service and Friendliness: Mountain View (Greenwich)

Greenwich Curry Club Special Awards for outstanding main dish Langtang Lamb:
Royal Nepalese (Westcombe Park)

Oh I do like to be…

The Riz, Margate

If you love a good old British-style seaside resort and you love a good curry may I direct you to the Riz in Margate?

The smartly dressed owner directed proceedings and gave us all the information we were after when it came to what was and what wasn’t in certain dishes. It’s always good to gauge different dishes and if the owner or staff are happy to help out then they’ve found the right man for a chat.

The decor is as smart as the owner. This is a real little gem, albeit not in the smartest of streets. And it looks like the locals know it too as there was a gaggle of girls getting stuck into and a couple of families enjoying the food.

My previous experience of trying to get a curry in this street had not gone well (yawn! Is it ever coming?) but my Margate friend assured us that this was the place to try. He was right.

The Riz serves superb dishes and they are as fresh as they come. This is the place to dip into South Indian and Sri Lankan dishes. So where to start? How about Nethli Meen Varuval (£4.50), spiced anchovies which are then deep fried. A pretty lively taste of Kerala I’d say. Or Fish Cutlet (£2.50), Sri Lankan traditional fish dumplings, crumb fried and served with hot spicy sauce perhaps?

House specials are parathas, iddapams and puttus, which all use eggs. A chicken paratha, scrambled with eggs and cooked with minced parathas is £6.95. But it’s got to be fish for me so the recommendation is Monkfish Curry with Mango (£8), a Keralan dish made with mango, coconut milk and ginger.

The Riz, 49 Northdown Road, Margate. Tel: 01843 293698.

Scores on the tandoors
Food 9
Decor 8
Service and friendliness 8
Atmosphere 7 (Tuesday evening)
Value for money 8

Greenwich Curry Club Award Winners

Greenwich curry club logo      Goa Beer logo

The Greenwich Curry Club’s Favourite Restaurant for 2017 is the Darjeeling in Lewisham. The friendly 50-seater restaurant got the thumbs up from voters for the main prize in this year’s Greenwich Curry Club Awards, which is sponsored by Goa Premium Beer. This is the first year the company, which produces gluten-free beer that is ideal with spicy food, has sponsored the Awards.

“Thanks to the support of Goa Beer we have enjoyed the best ever Awards and are delighted that they joined us in celebrating the restaurants, takeaways and staff that make this such a great industry in our area,” said Daniel Ford, founder of the Greenwich Curry Club.

The Awards, which recognises excellence in the local industry, has been held in association with the Greenwich Visitor – the only local newspaper to run a regular curry column – since 2011. All the awards were chosen by local curry lovers, who voted online for their favourite restaurants and takeaways, except for the Goa Beer Greenwich Curry Club Special Award, which was chosen by members of the Greenwich Curry Club. Restaurants and takeaways in SE10, SE3, SE8, SE7 and SE13 were eligible. This includes Greenwich, Maze Hill, Blackheath, Westcombe Park, Lewisham, Ladywell, Deptford, New Cross and Charlton.

Darjeeling owner Foyeg Kazi, who has been running the restaurant for 15 years, said: “We have a loyal following so it is thanks to them we have picked up this award. I’m thrilled for the team and we will keep working to serve up good quality food at real value prices.”

The restaurant has built a reputation for offering a menu that offers exceptional value, so it is no surprise that the Darjeeling also won the award for Restaurant Offering Outstanding Value, an award they have now won three times.

Mogul Home Dining Kitchen, located along the Trafalgar Road in Greenwich, picked up the Favourite Takeaway award. The Mogul name has become a byword for top-quality Indian food in Greenwich and this year the restaurant celebrates its 40th anniversary. The Home Dining Kitchen was opened in 2011 to offer a dedicated takeaway service. Owners Mr and Mrs Dev said: “This is great, especially as it comes on such a special anniversary for the Mogul.”

The ever-popular Mountain View, also on the Trafalgar Road, was voted as the Restaurant Offering Outstanding Service. Some fresh, young faces have joined the established service team this year and the smooth, friendly service from everyone on the floor has clearly not gone unnoticed by the voters.

Kasturi, Charlton’s classy Indian restaurant, announced its arrival onto the local scene by picking up the Favourite New Restaurant award and with its undoubted quality it is sure to be challenging for more awards in future years.

Members of the Curry Club decided that this year’s Goa Beer Greenwich Curry Club Special Award should go to the Royal Nepalese in Westcombe Park in recognition of its outstanding main dish Langtang Lamb. This succulent Himalayan dish, cooked with garlic, ginger, green chilli, fresh mint and mango chutney, had even the grumpiest of members cooing in delight and that in itself is worth an award.

“The Greenwich Curry Club Awards are an excellent initiative, recognising the merits of best local curry houses and encouraging ever higher culinary standards,” said Goa Premium Beer MD Ben Parmar, who added, “We applaud Daniel Ford’s endeavours and hope other areas of the country will take Greenwich’s lead and organise their own, similar local awards scheme”.

The Winners
Favourite Restaurant: Darjeeling (Lewisham)
Favourite Takeaway: Mogul Home Dining (Greenwich)
Restaurant Offering Outstanding Service: Mountain View (Greenwich)
Restaurant Offering Outstanding Value: Darjeeling (Lewisham)
Favourite New Restaurant: Kasturi (Charlton)
Goa Beer Greenwich Curry Club Special Award for Outstanding Dish (Langtang Lamb): Royal Nepalese (Westcombe Park)

 

 

Goa Beer Greenwich Curry Club Awards – voting has closed

Goa Beer logo  Greenwich curry club logo

Voting for the Goa Beer Greenwich Curry Club Awards 2017, in association with the Greenwich Visitor, has now closed. The Awards, which were established in 2011, aim to celebrate the restaurants, takeaways and the people who work in the spice industry in Greenwich and the surrounding are.. We thank everyone who has taken the time to vote in this year’s Awards.

The winners will be announced on this website in early December and in the December issue of the Greenwich Visitor.

This year there were five awards up for grabs (see Award categories below). In addition to these five Awards there will also be a special award as chosen by the members of the Curry Club. All those restaurants and takeaways nominated are listed below.

Restaurants
Chinipan (Blackheath)
Coriander (Westcombe Park)
Darjeeling (Lewisham)
Everest (Blackheath)
Gurkha’s Inn (Greenwich)
Kasturi (Charlton)
Mogul (Greenwich)
Mountain View (Greenwich)
Pathiri (Greenwich)
Royal Nepalese (Westcombe Park)
Saffron Club (Blackheath)
Taste Of Raj (Blackheath)

Takeaways
Charlton Indian Takeaway (Charlton)
Curry Royal Tandoori (Greenwich)
InDelicious (Greenwich)
Mogul Home Dining Kitchen (Trafalgar Road)
The Village Tandoori (Charlton)

Award categories
Favourite Restaurant
Favourite Takeaway
Restaurant Offering Outstanding Service
Restaurant Offering Outstanding Value
Favourite New Restaurant
Goa Beer Greenwich Curry Club Special Award

Here comes the Tiffin Club

Your chicken tikka masala takeaway could soon be arriving at your door in a neat metal container rather a leaky plastic one. This follows news from the Asian Catering Federation serveimage.jpg(ACF) that they will be launching a nationwide Tiffin Club with reusable containers next year.

Tiffins are a set of interlocking metal containers with a carry handle and are widely used for transporting food in Indian cities and at railway stations along the country’s 40,000 miles of tracks. The ACF believes that takeaways in the UK can adopt their use here – with customers paying a small deposit for the first one they receive and swapping them on subsequent orders.

This follows a proposal from Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s to introduce a levy on single-use plastic packaging.

Yawar Khan, the Chairman of the Asian Catering Federation (ACF), which represent the interests of 35,000 restaurants and takeaways in the UK, said: “Tiffins, which will eliminate plastic waste and keep takeaways warm, are an ideal opportunity for restaurateurs to introduce smaller, sharing dishes, healthier options and authentic Indian dishes being demanded by customers.”

The packing on a typical family takeaway order costs the restaurant owner around 25p. Busy takeaway restaurants can spend £2,000 on single-use packaging in a year.

Curry lovers can nominate their favourite Asian restaurant and takeaway in the ACF’s Asian Restaurant Awards, being held in Manchester on 12 February, via the nomination form on the ACF website.