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Arguably one of the best days to gnosh down at your local Wetherspoons is a Thursday. You may ask why ? That because Thursday is their Curry Club day and thus you can cheaply satisfy a lust for the spicy stuff. I discovered this feature quite some time ago and thanks to this I’m frequently relieved of cooking duties on a Thursday !
For a cost of £5-7 depending on where your local ‘Spoons is you can choose from a selection of 15 curries ranging from the mild (Chicken Korma, Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Rogan Josh) to mouth peeling hot (Chicken Phaal, Thai Green Chicken Curry) and unusual (Goan Prawn, Malaysian Beef Rendang). Curry Club is also quite veggie friendly with 3 options here. I think the tangy and low fat Mushroom Dopiaza is the best of these. The curry comes with a small pile of yellow easy cook rice, 2 poppadoms, a small pot of mango chutney and a naan bread with which to scoop up all those delicious curry juices. Lots of carbohydrates here so if you’re on the Atkins you’re going to be left with a much smaller meal !
In addition you get a drink a thrown in. Unfortunately in my opinion these tend to be rather mediocre beers, wine and cider (Fosters, Pedigree, Fetzer Cold water Creek Red and White, Strongbow) with Cobra beer being a welcome exception. Nevertheless for all its lack of flavour, Fosters makes for a reasonably crisp drink with which to nuetralise the blaze of a hot curry.
On my last visit to ‘Spoons on Thursday I ordered myself a Sri Lankan Prawn Masala and my dining partner settled for the Mushroom Dopiaza. The cheerful manager informed me of a 10-15 minute wait for the food which was a surprising variation on the standard 10 minutes which I seem to be told at every ‘Spoons I’ve been to. I almost get the impression that if Lobster Thermidore or whole spit roast suckling pig was on the menu it would be magically rustled up by the kitchen in those 10 crucial minutes.
True to form around 10-15 minutes later the food was born to our table. Each of the naan breads with our curries had a cute little flag informing us we had a ‘Prawn Masala’ and ‘Mushroom Dopiaza’ respectively. The curries themselves were presented in stainless steel mini-balti bowls for that touch of ‘authenticity’ on a large white plate. Our poppadoms could have been a touch crisper which is a common problem in ‘Spoons and the mango chutney was rather on the sweet side. However the curries were satisfying. My Prawn Masala came in a very flavourful coconut laden sweet-sour sauce that went very well with the slightly sweet meaty texture of the prawns. It was not absurdly hot (rated at 2 chillies out of 5 on their menu) and the sauce was eagerly mopped with my naan bread and forkfuls of tasty yellow rice. My one issue is why did they give me a knife and fork for my eating irons ? A spoon is way more appropriate to deal with quite a liquid curry especially considering I was in ‘Spoons ! My veggie friend wolfed down her Dopiaza in short order so I’ve got a vegetarian’s seal of approval on this one.
The meal was quite adequate in filling a hungry hole but if you extra ravenous you can ask for some side orders of onion bhajis, samosas, aloo saag (spinach and potato), Bombay potatoes or extra naan or poppadoms for a small extra outlay. They also offer a mango and passion fruit sorbet for a dessert. I have never tried this but would imagine it would be quite refreshing on the palate after all that curry heat.
In conclusion for the money Curry Club is not a bad deal at all and the actual curries I’ve tried have been reasonably well made (in some factory somewhere no doubt !) and have always disappeared down my hungry gullet. In my opinion they compare favourably with any that I’ve eaten in many regular Curry Houses. However I wish I could Bring My Own booze with me to ‘Spoons to avoid Fosters et al which is of course an advantage some Curry Houses still have over Wetherspoons.
I've never tried the curry club but Wetherspoons are always great value for money. Very good review! David
duskmaiden 22.08.2007 00:35
Have notdone this for ages. the prawn curry sounds lovely. had an average vegetable pasanda from my local take away a coule of nights ago. Sauce was nice but veg selection wasn't great! The sorbet sounds good. i agree about the range of drinks though. Would rather try a guest ale
nic63 18.08.2007 23:39
Mmm, you really got my mouth watering there, I love a curry : ) Great review. Nic x