Review by Russell Harness
The Curry Garden in Ringwood, not only creates award winning Indian cuisine, but it is also a Bangladeshi restaurant, offering a wide array of dishes where the master chefs create each and every dish to perfection.
My wife Claire and I visited one evening and received a very warm welcome from Jay, who owns the restaurant along with his brother Hum ‘H’. Originally from Bangladesh, the brothers came over to UK in the late 70s. Their father, a successful master chef since the 60s, with many previous restaurants throughout the UK and the original owner of the Curry Garden, handed over the reins in 1997.
The Curry Garden is celebrating its 30th anniversary in this current location and has in that time built up a fantastic reputation for excellent Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine along with customer service that has contributed to a very loyal customer base, with many of the customers being sons, daughters and grandchildren of some of the original customers 30 years ago. The establishment is also a firm favourite for a number of celebrities including some of the members of the boy band, Take That.
One of the main aspects of the success of the Curry Garden is that the produce is responsibly sourced and the meat and poultry has come from the same supplier for the 30 years. “We always pay that little bit extra for our meat and poultry produce to ensure that the quality is that much better,” says Jay, “by using the same company we have full traceability of where our meat and poultry have originated, something that is very important to customers and myself. We want the taste of the produce to reflect the care and dedication we have put into making sure that the right ingredients are put together to make the Curry Garden eating experience one that customers will want to repeat.”
Whist we perused the menu we were treated to some complimentary poppadums with a variety of chutneys, one of which is the Curry Garden Special consisting of mint, mango, yoghurt , garlic, ginger and turmeric; a mix that blends very well together and is very moreish.
I chose the Onion Bhaji and Claire decided on the Vegetable Samosa for our starters, which we both thought were the best we had tasted. The bhaji came with a little salad but was light and delicately spiced, the samosas were also nicely spiced with light and crispy coating. Both starters were the perfect size to start and a perfect taster before moving onto the main course.
Having been fans of Indian cuisine for years, we decided to try something a little different and opted for a couple of the Bangladeshi dishes. Claire chose the Prawn Deshi Saag Dal a nicely spiced mix of spinach combined with lentil and a touch of lemon juice, cooked in a delicate sauce with a selection of Bangladeshi herbs and spices with lots of garlic, onions and green peppers, served with Lemon Rice which complemented the delicacy of the dish perfectly. I opted for the rich and spicy Deshi Naarikell curry, made up from a coconut cream sauce blended with sliced ginger, cauliflower, red and yellow peppers, aubergines and mushrooms a superb selection of flavours all complemented with coriander and red chillies. The accompanying Pilau Rice with the flavour of the whole cloves added to the taste experience. As a final touch, we shared a dish of Mixed Vegetable Samba a warmly spiced mixture of cauliflower, potatoes, lentils and onions in a rich and satisfying sauce.
This was all washed down with a couple of glasses of Kingfisher Indian Lager that I would recommend.
We finished off with a coffee for me and a refreshing green tea for Claire.
Talking to Jay, we discovered plans for a Tapas style menu (known as Thaali) are being introduced in the coming months which will be an excellent addition to an already well-established restaurant and takeaway business. It almost goes without saying that Curry Garden is one of the most popular restaurants in town. Daily Special Lunch offer is only £7.95pp, and Banquet Nights are every Wednesday for only £14.95pp.
Having my first taste of Bangladeshi cuisine has now whetted my appetite to discover what other styles of cooking can be found that originate in the Indian sub-continent and I cannot wait to revisit the Curry Garden to explore the rest of the mouth-watering dishes that are on offer.
Curry Garden, 10 High Street, Ringwood, BH24 1AF | 01425 475 075