House of Curry: Indian Dining Where Mona Lisa Wears a Sari
The House of Curry is an elaborately-decorated restaurant located at The Beach – JBR. Its interiors depict an old Indian haveli. Havelis are traditional mansions deriving inspiration from Islamic architecture. They usually have a huge courtyards and a fountain in the centre.
The sea-facing table settings on the terrace would make a lovely dining experience, specially during the cooler months. We arrived at the restaurant for lunch, however. The sun was too bright and the breeze warm enough to make us run back into the air-conditioned haveli.
See, there’s even a huge fake tree inside! Leaning against the huge trunk is an old, rusted bicycle. Love the white and blue wrought iron chairs that compliment the ethnic decor well.
The menu on offer at House of Curry is based on the ancient recipes of the Maharajas; authentic flavors that are created with a blend of the highest quality of herbs and spices. Also included on the menu are some rare coastal dishes from the fishing villages of the South (source).
Veg Samosas • AED 15
Stuffed triangular deep-fried pastries. Two pieces are stuffed with potatoes and the other two are stuffed with spiced plantains. Served with mint/coriander and a sweet sauce.
Indian Garden Salad • AED 25
Mix of green lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, onions, and chick peas finished with Indian honey mustard vinaigrette.
Onion Pakoras • AED 25
Bowl of onions deep fried to a crisp with an Indian spiced batter and served with a tangy tamarind sauce.
Paneer Tikka • AED 30
Cottage cheese cubes marinated in dry spices and cooked in a tandoor.
Fish Koliwada • AED 35
Six pieces of lightly-spiced fried fish. It’s House of Curry’s version of fish-n-chips, or so they claim.
Murgh Malai Kabab • AED 40
Creamy and succulent chicken cubes cooked with light spices in a tandoor.
Zeera Rice • AED 30
Aromatic cumin fragrant long-grain basmati rice.
Gulab Jamun with Ice Cream Scoop • AED 45
A deep-fried soft dumpling with a hint of cardamom served warm with a sweet syrup.
Notice how I only managed to take pictures of our starters. These were really delicious and the portions were generous. Anyway, we were a group of eighteen or so adults who ordered so much that we ended up taking the extra food with us back to the office, but unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to take photographs of the main course. My colleagues are aware of my obsession with shooting food, and I’m sure they’re patient and kind enough to allow me, but I didn’t want their food to turn cold. Had this been a group of food bloggers … well, that would’ve been a different story.
I suppose the highlight of this restaurant’s dining experience is the fish counter, where you can chose your fish and tell them how you want it cooked. The men in our group ordered crab (which they seemed to be struggling to eat, since it appeared like they weren’t really skilled at removing the shell), and a huge grilled lobster which I absolutely loved.
Butter chicken and mutton curry were also ordered but the bright, flame-red gravy’s sweetness overpowered the heat, and I don’t like my curries sweet. I’ve had better butter chicken elsewhere. Then there was the dum biryani; it failed to seduce my taste buds despite its perfect presentation. So if you’re someone who, like me, love their Indian food to be authentic, you can request the staff to tone down the sweetness and make it more spicy (like how a curry should be).
I wouldn’t say this is the best Indian restaurant in the city, but I would recommend House of Curry for their delicious and fresh seafood options. It’s a good restaurant to bring your guests over to.
Oh, and there’s Mona Lisa clad in a sari and decked in traditional Indian jewelry, peeking out a carved wooden window.
House of Curry The Beach – JBR Walk Tel: 04 346 9740 Times: Open daily noon-midnight
Price: Dhs350-500 for two Parking: North Parking, Park in the Green area and Take Escalator next to G / H.