THE SCENE Hidden away from Wimbledon high street, a stone’s throw from the train station and opposite Saffa favourite The Slug, Curry Royal has been going strong since it was established in 1969. It’s a cosy bijou affair and if there’s ever an indication of whether a place is any good, being consistently packed with happy diners is it.
THE GRUB There’s a wide variety of the flavours you’d expect from a local curry joint, as they aim to recreate cuisine from “all five regions” of India. However, Curry Royal specialises mainly in the cuisine of Bengal, in the north-east of the country. There’s traditional standards such as jalfrezi, balti and, of course, tikka masala – which are classic favourites for good reason – alongside house specialties, including the sizzling chicken tava with Northern Frontier herbs and spices, and salmon cooked in mustard, ginger and garlic. The rogan josh curry in particular comes highly recommended. Where Curry Royal really sets itself apart is with presentation and atmosphere, but it delivers big flavours, too.
The subtleties and variations on offer make most curry houses seem bland by comparison. As well as a huge range of meat and fish dishes, they offer a decent selection for the vegetarians in your party as well. All curries can be ordered hot or mild, depending on how tough you’re feeling on the day. Curry Royal was recently bestowed with the honour of being Highly Commended in the London Suburbs category of the Asian Curry Awards and they deliver for free to within a three-mile radius.
BEHIND THE BAR Kingfisher lager on tap for £3.50 a pint – would you ever want anything else with a curry? If so, there’s a limited wine selection.
BILL PLEASE Starters from £2.95; mains from £4.95-£14.25.
VERDICT Excellent, flavoursome curry at a price that won’t break the bank, with a touch of class thrown in. Be warned, though, once you’ve had a Royal, you’ll find it hard to find anywhere else that hits the spot.
33 Hartfield Road, SW19 3SG
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