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Curry Lounge
110 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham, NG1 6LN
Tel: 0115 941 8844

Food type: Indian

Food rating: 2/10

Nearest tube: –

Website: Curry Lounge

For our second night at Nottingham we decided to dine at Curry Lounge. Wait a second… does that place ring a bell? Why of course! This is the same Curry Lounge that was featured on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Yes, the same Curry Lounge  with the ridiculous ‘Create Your Own Curry’ menu and the more absurd ‘antler’ naan stand. (Speaking of Kitchen Nightmares, boy-oh-boy is Gordon in a lot of hot soup – this writer is of the personal opinion that Mr. Ramsay has dipped his grubby mitts into one pudding too many)

Speaking to the cab driver as we made our journey from our middle-of-no-where hotel (thanks in part to the ingenious, well thought out planning of the badminton club) he mentioned that the restaurant was a good choice but was rather cynical about Ramsay’s involvement. According to him the whole thing was just a publicity stunt to raise the profile of the newly opened restaurant. Having done my bit of research into this, what I do know is that the restaurant was only opened for 6 months before GR was called in to save this failing restaurant. Read into that what you wish. In addition, many of the changes introduced by GR such as the tiffin trays and the streamlined menu have since been discarded.
The restaurant had a very glitzy decor – with tall, sparkling chandelier glass dangling from the ceiling. Red curtains were used as dividers between tables. The tables themselves were wooden, varnished in black, accompanied by chairs of the same variety. Unfortunately the tables were rather small (yes smaller than the cramped up once at Benares) which is not conducive to Indian food which is a lot about sharing small dishes. For the purpose of this review, we ordered the food ‘apna’ style (ie the way that Indian people would eat their food)

currylounge_07Papadoms & Various Dips

Papadoms were brought to us with an assortment of dips including Mango Chutney, Mint & Yoghurt, Lime & Chilli and Cucumber Raita. The papadom themselves were greasy, the dips disappointing. Mint & Yoghurt was watery and tasteless, Lime & chili over salted, emphasizing the bitter peel and Mango Chutney was sweet and watery. Only the Cucumber Raita was tolerable with decent crunch from  the mixture of cucumber and onion. This abomination was actually worse than some of the papadoms & dip that are given out free by Indian takeaways. (0/10)

currylounge_04Onion Bhaji

Onion Bhaji arrived as two egg-sized balls, had good flavour but again was a tad greasy. This was accompanied by another anaemic, watered down mint yoghurt dip and the ‘standard’ salad consisting of token lettuce and a slice of carrot. (1/10)

currylounge_05Meat Samosa

Better was our meat samosas which were had good filling of mince lamb and floury potatoes, the samosas themselves crisp and less greasy the dishes preceding them. The sweet chilli sauce was dismissable, the dip drenched with a layer of oil. The meat samosas also came accompanied with the aforementioned ‘standard’ salad. (2/10)

currylounge_08Amuri Murgh

Our combination of curries included the Saturday special called Amuri Murgh. This was a mildly spiced chicken curry, flavoured by cardamom and garnished with pomegranate. The tender pieces of chicken fillet could have benefited with longer cooking time to allow it to take on the flavour of the curry which spicing was well balanced. (2/10)

currylounge_09Lamb Korma

Lamb Korma is the signature dish here and was pleasant. The chunks of lamb clearly benefiting from the long cooking process and was able to take on the flavours of the sauce. However, I felt that the curry was slightly sour, perhaps because of the addition of too much yoghurt. (3/10)

currylounge_10Lobster Pepper Fry

Lobster pepper fry fortunately kept the pepper to a sensible level. The flavour of the lobster was able to shine through the spicing. The lobster itself was passable, cooked a fraction too long it was slightly tough but still edible. (2/10)

currylounge_11Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is one of my favourite Indian dishes. This dish is composed of spinach (palak) and Indian Cottage cheese (paneer).  Unfortunately this dish was simply a travesty, the rather flavourless cheese was swimming in a pool of rather sorry spinach which was bland… now that is something you can’t say often about Indian food. (0/10)

currylounge_12Family Naan

Curries, as in any Indian meal, were accompanied by a combination of Naan and pilao rice which were both well prepared. (2/10) We finished dinner by sharing a Pistachio and Almond Kulfi which was half melted by the time it was brought to us (which is pretty hard to achieve bearing in mind Kulfi in general melts slower than regular ice-cream). This was again very poor, the kulfi tasting very watered down – this from a dessert which is made from double cream in combination with evaporated & condensed milk. (1/10)

Overall, our dinner at Curry Lounge was a disappointing experience. The cooking was palatable in parts, horrendous in others – the kitchen clearly cutting corners and letting standard slip. For example, our ‘standard’ salad consisted of some wilted, brown lettuce leaves. It is clear from the menu (and the crowd dining here) that this restaurant aims to cater to the average Brit with creations such as ‘Chili cheese naan’. Service here was good, our server engaging in some pleasant conversation. Food came at a rather quick pace, too quick in fact. Curries arrived while we were still half way through our starters. It was blatantly clear we were being rushed through dinner, emphasized by their one and a half hour table turnover time.The place was doing very well in terms of business, no doubt cashing in on its appearance on Kitchen Nightmares. But unfortunately, for this diner, the Curry Lounge is just another soul-less, over-hyped restaurant capitalizing on the Ramsay PR machine.