Editor’s Note: As I sat down to write this story, I learned Curry underwent renovations and an update to their menu during the first few days of 2015. They are open again, though some of the details from my first visit may differ.
Photos of the restaurant’s logo, space and flyer for the grand opening November 21, 2014 were being posted daily by Sidhartha Yalavarthi, the owner who hails from the southern Indian city of Hyderbabad.
I could hardly contain myself. Since 2009, I’ve been waiting for an authentic Indian restaurant to open and offer me the rich and flavorful curries I’ve grown to love.
Naan arrived first on the scene a few years ago, but it wasn’t as authentic as I’d hoped. Curry delivers on all fronts, from the food to the atmosphere and music you’ll hear.
There are three distinct seating areas at the restaurant, offering something for everyone.
The most traditional space features a long, low table with cushions for sitting on the floor. Elegant lamps hang from above, casting a red glow over everything.
The front of the restaurant features a covered patio area with tables and small, cushioned stools. This is where I and my friends from France who were joining me took our table.
And lastly, there are regular tables and chairs in the room in front of the kitchen for those who prefer a more Western-style of dining.
The first thing I did was order a sweet mango lassi, a yogurt-based drink I became fond of during my 2008 trip to India (5,500 pesos, $2.25).
My friend Laura ordered the plain (salty) lassi, which when I tasted, couldn’t comprehend how she was able to enjoy it.
Additional drink options include sodas, Te Hatsu (bottled tea), fresh fruit juices and beer (both national and micro). A hot masala tea will cost you 4,900 pesos ($2) and a hot ginger tea 5,900 pesos ($2.40).
By the end of our meal, I had space to try neither, so hot tea will be my drink of choice the next time I go back.
Appetizers include the classic vegetable samosa, as well as paneer pakora (cheese with garbanzo beans and spice) and masala papadam (a tortilla with lentils and vegetables).
Moving on the to the main event, the entrees are all made to the customer’s preference for heat. The scale is from 0 (mild) to 3 (very spicy).
All of the dishes are served with a small bowl of basmati rice at no extra cost.
This might not seem like a big deal, but the basmati rice has to be imported, so by giving it away or not accounting for it in the cost of the dishes, it’s an expense assumed by the restaurant in favor of offering the most authentic experience possible.
An extra bowl, if you need more to soak up your delicious curry, costs 4,900 pesos ($2).
I ordered my favorite, chicken tikka masala (22,900 pesos, $9.35). It, like all the curries, was served in an imported brass bowl from India.
The metal utensils were also imported, a detail I noted while we waited for our food to come out.
My curry was excellent and I appreciated the basmati rice versus the use of cheaper, more easily obtained white rice.
The level-2 spiciness was perfect for me. I could feel the heat, and it was enjoyable. I might try level-3 the next time I go back to see how hot they go at the high end of the spectrum.
Authenticity is in the details and it was abundantly clear that Sidhartha was making every effort to create an authentic Indian dining experience.
When he came out of the kitchen to say hi to us, one of the things he noted was that he imports almost everything from India, including 100kg of spices.
My friends shared a different curry dish, the sag chicken I believe, which was boneless chicken cooked in a mixture of spinach, mustard and spices (21,900 pesos, $9). I tried their’s too and it was just as tasty.
Additional entrees include the classic butter chicken (chicken with spices in a tomato, garlic and cream gravy), two curries with lamb and three vegetarian curries.
The naan comes in four varieties: plan, garlic, sesame and butter. I opted for garlic naan (4,900 pesos, $2), and though it was much thinner than I’m accustomed to the taste was fine.
Between the lassie, curry, rice and naan, I could barely finish my dinner. It was a great value for the quality and quantity.
The check was presented to us with a small silver bowl, filled with a mix of more than a dozen spices.
It’s a custom in India to take a spoonful from the bowl and put it in your mouth to both freshen your breath and aid in digestion.
If you head over to Curry for lunch or dinner, and I highly recommend you do, please be sure to let them know you learned about it from your friends at Medellín Living!