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