Macabre maybe, but only the other week I found myself pondering what my last meal would be if I was perched on Death Row. Ideas were numerous, but most I discounted. Wojciech Amaro, I reasoned, would probably be too busy to devise an eight moment menu with an escape kit inside. My mother, too, would have other things on her mind than cooking an English Sunday Roast to my strict specifications. Through a process of elimination I eventually settled for a chicken vindaloo.
Of course, this wouldn’t be any ordinary chicken vindaloo, for that’s what you find in most restaurants out here. There’s no real science to it, and it’s a pretty basic meal, but that doesn’t stop most Indian restaurants from getting it wrong. There is, however, one place that stands out: Curry House, take a bow. For the past year I’ve been a devoted patron of their outpost in Bielany, though it wouldn’t be a distortion to call it a bit basic: the toilet is in a port-a-cabin contraption outside; the dining area, in a glorified tent, has barred windows. But, in their mitigation, the food is fantastic.
Even so, it’s not the kind of background in which to sit down and dine. So, the opening of a ‘proper’ branch in Ursynów is good news indeed. Set on two floors, it’s a place of light woods and big windows. The welcome is warm, and my appetite is stirred by the pungent aroma that hangs in the air.
This night, we are dining as three: my GF orders chicken madras, our friend, prawn jalfrezi. For me, it’s a no brainer: chicken vindaloo. Now, in their Bielany operation I’m recognized as Mr. Very Very Hot – not for my looks (I think), rather my dietary preferences. As a result, I’m frequently sighted leaving with rings of smoke blowing out of my ears. They know how to deal with me. But does their Ursynów location?
The answer is a resounding yes. The vindaloo is everything I want: an intense wave of fire that leaves me catching my breath. I feel like I’ve been hit by a rocket. My eyes stream, my clothes dampen. Even my hair tingles. I do take samples from the other two dishes, but it’s a pointless exercise: my mouth is numb and I can’t taste a thing. I’m assured, however, that it’s all top notch.
Fans of Indian food in Wa-wa have been very fortunate the past months. In part, that’s ascribed to the regeneration of two greats (India Curry, now Rain, and Tandoor Palace, now Tandoor). But there is another reason, and that’s the continual, consistent greatness of the Curry House. If you’re looking to turn up the heat, then there’s no better place.
(Words & Photos: AW)
Curry House Al. KEN 47, www.curry-house.pl