the wonderful world of veena.

08 February 2013

restaurant review: culture curry.

My dear, sweet little brother Alex-boy came to Bombay for a visit at the end of January, and while he was here we decided to try out one of the restaurants listed in his Lonely PlanetCulture Curry.

While I normally tend to avoid places that are mentioned in the LP, this one sounded pretty intriguing. It's two-restaurants-in-one and serves a mash-up of all different kinds of food from South India: Chettinad curry from Tamil Nadu; Hyderabadi-style dishes from Andhra Pradesh; bissi-bele bath [I know that spelling is incorrect. my apologies] from Karnataka; red rice from Kerala; and coastal dishes from Mangalore and Goa as well as fresh fish from Bombay.

In other words, it's pretty much heaven in a menu.

The restaurant itself is quite eclectic and a bit over-the-top, with lots of advertisements showing off various accolades and awards the restaurant and its founders have received. It's in that weird place between being ironic and being braggy, but in a weird way, it kind of works.

And besides, the food is delicious.

[Culture Curry's "sister" restaurant]

We were a bit confused when we received the menus for both Culture Curry and Goa Portuguesa, as we thought they were separate restaurants that were next to each other rather than two restaurants located in the same building. It definitely took us a few minutes to sort out that we could order from either, or both, but we soon figured it all out.

We decided that since the restaurant celebrates the different aspects of South Indian cuisine, we should as well. We decided to start our meal with something slightly Maharashtrian in the form of some slightly fried surmei [kingfish]. It was beautifully cooked and tasted amazing - nice and light and the perfect start to our meal.

For the main course we ventured to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and coastal Karnataka [I think?] with some chicken Chettinad curry, appam [for Alex], neer dosa [for me], and red rice. I have been craving red rice for a few months now, and I think I scared Alex with my excitement when I saw it on the menu. And it was all so good that I forgot to take pictures until we were almost done...

Overall we had a very lovely and enjoyable meal, and I would definitely recommend Culture Curry for a dinner out. It was pretty reasonable priced, in Bombay terms - we each had a drink, and a lot of food, and our bill was about rs 900 each. It's one of those places that is fun to take an out-of-town visitor for a change of scenery.

Important Info:
Location: Matunga [W]. If traveling by train, take the Western Line, get off at the Matunga Rd stop, and head west. It's walking distance from the station - when you get to the flyover at the station, turn left and walk straight. You'll pass a roundabout and a major intersection, and then you'll see it after a bit on your left. All in all, it's about 700m from the station. Nice little stroll if you're in the mood. If you're not, you can take a cab from the station - ask for Hinduja Hospital, but keep an eye on it, as you'll pass the restaurant before you get to the turn for the hospital. I swear it's not as confusing as I'm making it out to be.
Average price for main dishes: rs 300-450, but seafood is a bit pricier.
Portion sizes: big enough for 2 people to split a main dish and a rice. Naans can probably be split, but rotis will be for one person. Appam and neer dosa were enough for one person.
Method[s] of payment: We paid cash, but they accept cards as well.
Meal[s] served: Lunch and dinner.

[I spend too much time convincing people outside South India of this truth]

[I mean, who wouldn't want to eat at a place wehre Rajnikant greets you when you open the menu?]

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