Curry Original (Kingston) – Good but bloody expensive

I’ve always noted that when I went to Indian restaurants, I never saw any Indian people (or very few). I asked some of my Indian friends about this and overwhelmingly, they felt that Indians don’t think that there is any value in going out to eat Indian when your mom can make better. True enough I suppose but those of us who love curry and don’t have Indian moms have to make do by going out to eat.

Curry Original has two locations in Kingston but I’ve only ever gone to the downtown location. I’ve been 4 times and I have always been a) impressed with the naan bread and b) astounded by the high prices.

This is the Beef Biryani (“a grand, festive basmati rice dish. Rice is cooked with layers of meat with coconut, peanuts and raisins. Flavoured with saffron and rose-water, garnished with fried onions and almonds”) for $15.95. This dish was pretty disappointing. The rice was very mildly flavoured (I for sure didn’t taste rose water) and the beef chunks were on the dry side. This dish was bloody expensive. Sadly, there were more meat chunks in this dish than in the other curries.

This is the Lamb Dhansak (“a Persian-style, spicy sweet-sour curry with a hot undertone. Cooked with lentils, yogurt, fenngreek leaves, fresh lemon juice and sugar in a very thick sauce”) for $14.95. The lamb was tender but there were really only 7 pieces. I loved the curry though. It was a wonderful balance of heat, sour, and sweetness. I seriously could lick the sauce off this plate. Because the flavours were so good, I didn’t mind the price.

This is the butter chicken (“our most popular dish. Marinated chicken breast skewered in the Tandoori oven, then diced and cooked with cream, yogurt, coconut, sugar, raisins, peanuts, and clarified butter. Garnished with almonds and fried onions. Very mild”) for $14.50. To be honest, I didn’t really get a sense that the chicken was cooked in the oven first before being finished in the sauce. The chicken could’ve had more Tandoori flavour. The sauce was really different compared to other butter chickens I’ve had. It was much sweeter and much milder. Again, not a lot of meat for the price.

This is the Aloo Ghobi (“potatoes and cauliflower cooked with tomatoes, onions and fenngreek leaves”) for $10.50. I really enjoyed this vegetarian dish. The cauliflower was tender and really fell apart with each jab with the fork. The potatoes, mixed with cauliflower bits and rice, really were quite satisfying. Also, the price was fantastic!

Overall, I have mixed feelings about Curry Original. I think they make some great dishes (Dhansak and Aloo Gobi) but their prices are pretty inflated for how much meat/sauce you got in each dish. Compared to Darbar (where the curry isn’t quite as good), it is about 10-15% cheaper. My recommendation: order Curry Original as take out, make your own rice at home, and enjoy the curry with your favourite Home Alone (Lost in New York being my favourite).

Curry Original, 253 Ontario St, Kingston, Ontario K7L 5P7, (613) 531-9376, www.curryoriginal.ca

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~ by Russ on November 4, 2010.

9 Responses to “Curry Original (Kingston) – Good but bloody expensive”

  1. I totally agree that Curry Original is generally overpriced. My advice is to stick with the downtown location and I second your suggestion to get take out (the portions are actually bigger if you get take-out). Their uptown location is a little disappointing (adding in hunks of green pepper as a filler in their beef/lamb/chicken curries and they do not offer the mint sauce with their chicken tandoori)

    Try their lamb korma the next time you go, I’m generally pleased with that one. Or go for their lunch specials.

    • I know this is sacrilege but… I sort of feel that Indian for lunch is a) A mistake if you have to go back to work, and b) Best had…. as a buffet. I know. I am advocating for buffet. I never do that. But… Indian buffet is sooo goooood. I wonder if there is an Indian buffet place in town?

  2. They are a bit expensive, but with a student ID, you can get 20% off during the week.

  3. I enjoyed a deslicious meal recently at Curry Original Uptown Kingston. It was worth the wait to get in for dinner and the ambiance was spectacular. Large architectural paintings of Taj Mahal in Agra and other forts and palaces of significane in India provide a nice backdrop to the emaculately clean environment. The food is gourmet and authetic Indian cusine, cooked by theis star chef Sabir. To test the quality and service I asked for a green pepper, generally provided on the side at Dhaba style restaurants in Toronto. I was politely informed by my server that they do not serve green peppers on the side. Their Nans are perfectly crispy in their Tandoor and served hot. The selection of entres is not wide, but their taste is awsome. I higly recommend the Shrimp Masala and the Karahi Gosht. I give it a 9 out of 10.

    I will definetly be returning to this jewel of the crown in Kingston Upton.

    • I haven’t been to the Uptown location. I should try it out! Too bad they didn’t bring you a green pepper. It sounds like an interesting way to test out the quality of a place. Thanks for the comment.

  4. As an Indian in Kingston, I’ll add that the reason given by your Indian friends is Answer B. Answer A is that Indian restaurants in Kingston don’t make authentic Indian dishes, but rather each dish is watered down to meet the North American palate (less flavourful, less spicy, unnecessary sugar)…in fact I hate calling it Indian food. This may be harsh, but just the general consensus amongst my Indian friends in Kingston.

    • Haha, maybe you should open up a resto Shai and show Kingstonians what true Indian food is about. Unfortunately… it might not do well. That is my best guess as to why there are no authentic Chinese places, only places that serve dumplings and fried pork.

  5. I went to Curry Original the other day and while the food was good, it was very expensive. Rice was extra, the Nan was extra, all these extras should be included. The samosas were excellent. What is with the sweet yellow sauce butter chicken in Kingston. Terrible. Do the Indian restaurants in Kingston not know how to make a proper butter chicken?

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