Curry Corner Curry Corner Offers Bangladeshi Cuisine in a Smart Setting.
Curry Corner in One Paragraph:
A Bangladeshi restaurant that is very much a cut above other Cheltenham ‘Indian’ restaurants, albeit at a price. Food is distinguished by masterly spicing. Smart dining room, too.
The Longer Read:
‘ Curry Corner ‘ might sound like the name of the kind of late night High Street ‘Indian’ restaurant you’d look to avoid. It’s a pleasant surprise then, to find that this stylish Bangladeshi family-run business occupies a quiet residential location in up-and-coming Fairview.
Bangladeshi cuisine has, by and large, been absorbed into the heading of ‘Indian Food’ by an incurious British public. Also by savvy Bangladeshi restaurant proprietors who know that what the white British market wants is ‘an Indian’ or ‘a curry’. Shame really – Bangladesh does have its own distinctive food tradition. Steamed rice and a variety of vegetables, fried or curried, thick lentil soups, egg, fish and meat preparations of chicken, mutton and duck predominate. Indian Hindus avoid beef for religious reasons, whereas in Bangladesh (which is mostly Islamic) beef dishes are more common.
The upshot of that particular culinary / cultural history lesson is that Curry Corner offers a savvy mix of familiar names and flavours. We rush to point out that they do it with much more finesse than the average curry house.
The Curry Corner Menu
The relatively short menu has reassuring names such as Tikka Masala, Jalfrezi and Rogan Josh. The eye-catching signature dish is chef Shamsul Krori’s 16 Spice Masala. I suppose on a first date, if conversation was flagging, you could try to guess the 16 spices. It’s probably best to just relax and enjoy a beautifully spiced tender chicken dish. Also available in vegetable, lamb, duck, prawn or river fish options
There are several reassuring references on the menu to the use of local ingredients. Hydrogenated fats or cheap oils are avoided. And the ghee is pure, from buffalo milk. Along with the skilful use of quality spices, the result is that there is none of the harshness, the burn, associated with British Indian food.
A sweet and spicy honey chicken was precisely that, served with tarka dhal and Bengal potato, pilau rice and a naan. A brilliant warming soul-foody dish for a cold evening. Niramish, a vegetable mixture with daikon wasn’t quite so successful, in my view.
At Curry Corner, Kulfi, the traditional dessert, is homemade.
Drinks at Curry Corner
Drinks were routine curry house lagers. Frustratingly, Favourite Beers, Cheltenham’s beer shop par excellence is a short walk away. There is so much inspiration there in terms of beers that could lift the food to new heights. We’ve noted this at other restaurants.
The atmosphere in the restaurant was fine, despite the fact that not so many tables were occupied.
A few years ago Curry Corner did well on a Gordon Ramsay restaurant show. It may have been a double edged thing – several people locally have mentioned that they thought prices went up as a result. Restaurants such as Prithvi and East India Cafe have arrived to raise the Cheltenham posh curry game in recent years.
Main courses are in the range of about £11 to £20, although side dishes bump up the cost of dinner quite quickly. On the other hand, Curry Corner sources high quality ingredients and stunning spices – so the prices sit reasonably alongside the competition in the top end of the Cheltenham restaurant scene – which is precisely where Curry Corner ranks.