Review: The Curry Lounge, Nottingham
Published on December 17, 2012
By Matt Wright
Monday night isn’t the best time to go out for a curry, but seeing as I was on press deadline and it was the only free evening available, Monday it had to be. Happily, the quality of food at The Curry Lounge in Nottingham was more than a match for the end-of-weekend blues.
Owned by Arfan ‘Raz’ Razak, The Curry Lounge is a large restaurant in the centre of Nottingham. The interior comprises lots of dark wood, subdued lighting, rows of large and squashy chairs, hanging silver beads, LED lights and intriguing water features.
The menu is a huge improvement on those found in many Indian restaurants, where you have to choose from endless lists of dishes, all with limited descriptions. At the Curry Lounge the menu is logical and the options are described well. Also at odds with the norm, here you can choose from a section headed ‘Healthy Mains’, within which are six low-fat dishes. Each comes with its calorie count written next to it – for example, the Tandoori Chicken Healthy Option has 698 calories, and the Vegetable Salan 552 calories. Owner Raz is a qualified GP so it’s good to see him putting his menu where his mouth is. And in case you were wondering, the calorie counts were worked out following a study that the restaurant undertook with the University of Nottingham, where Raz studied medicine.
Service was polite, fast and efficient during our visit, which isn’t surprising because the Curry Lounge’s staff recently won Team of the Year 2012 at the English Curry Awards.
We went for a Vegetarian Platter to start followed by Tandoori Chicken and Chicken Curry from the Healthy section. Ordering Samosas, Bhajis and Aloo Tikka Cakes made our low-calorie mains something of a token gesture but it was all delicious. The Bhajis were crisp and the Samosas full of flavour. The mains were some of the best Indian food we’ve eaten – beautifully presented and well balanced in the spice department. The chicken was moist and well cooked. The food here is inspired by Raz’s experiences of his mum’s home cooking while growing up in Pakistan. It’s unfussy and fantastic.