Simon Lam loves to eat. Although he isn't a trained chef, he sure knows what good food tastes like.
Not as Good as Before
Curry Original opened in 1985. Over the years, they have had mostly favourable reviews. We visited them in late August. Inside, their very upscale and exotic interiors delighted our senses. Most of us ordered the Atlantic salmon tandoori. We were served papadum while our meals were being prepared. My friend also ordered onion bhaji to share. The papadum and onion bhaji were both excellent. The mulligatawny soup was just average and a bit watery. The salad that came with our main was fresh but not outstanding. The rice and the fish were not very appealing and appeared parched. They both tasted that way as well. The yogurt mint sauce did improve the flavour, but I thought it all lacked seasoning. My friend agreed that it was flavourless.
The other aspects of the restaurant were mostly all right. The service was quick and efficient, but could have been more friendly. The washrooms were cleaned and well stocked. Health-wise, they did fairly well on their inspection, only receiving a repeated non-critical violation, which was corrected at the time of inspection.
I was expecting great food based on past reviews and experience, but I was a bit disappointed with the quality. It has sadly declined. Hopefully, they can inject more life into their food.
A Bit of History
Owners Ali and Weais Afzal opened Curry Original in 1985. The restaurant has received positive reviews locally and nationally. It has been featured in "Where to Eat in Canada," an annual guide that features top restaurants, from 1999 to 2015.
The dining area has an earthy feel, but undeniably very Indian-inspired. The walls are painted a neutral tan colour with interesting handprinted green, yellow and orange designs on the edges of the walls and doorways. Indian paintings, sculpture and woodwork are scattered through the restaurant, creating a very exotic vibe.
Beautiful chandeliers provide warm lighting. Natural light coming from the windows also illuminate the dining area.
The table, place settings, and dark, brown, upholstered chairs are very upscale and elegant. The tables are covered with black and white table cloths. Wine glasses accompany silverware that are placed on the tables. Cloth napkins are set in the wine glasses as if they were flowers growing out of the glasses.
The atmosphere is very exotic and quite high-class.
My friends and I visited Curry Original in late August. I have eaten here when I was in undergrad, which was over 10 years ago. I remember they served really good food, so I had high expectations.
The very first items on the lunch menu were the tandoori dishes. I decided to try the Atlantic salmon tandoori, consisting of a four-ounce salmon filet, soup, salad and palao rice. A few of my other friends also got the same thing. It was very well priced at $10.95.
While we waited for our food, we were served papadum.
Papadum, Onion Bhaji and Mulligatawny Soup
The papadum was a wonderful treat. It was slightly spicy and very satisfying. It kind of reminds of potato chips.
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The onion bhaji was wonderful. It had a nice crunch and was quite warm. The sauce really added a nice touch to the fried fritters.
The mulligatawny soup was just all right. There were carrots, lentils, and cilantro in the soup. It was a bit watery, though.
The salmon tandoori was served on a textured white plate. The salad looked fresh and appealing. The rice had a nice colour but look a bit desiccated. The salmon also looked parched, and somewhat burnt.
I started off with the salad. It was mostly green lettuce, with some julienned carrots and red cabbage with a tangy dressing. It was lacklustre.
The rice tasted the way it looked: dried. The salmon was somewhat bland and wasn't very satisfying. The yogurt mint sauce improved the taste of the rice and fish. However, everything could have used a bit more seasoning. Overall, I thought it lacked flavour. My friend agreed with me that it wasn't that tasty.
We were served by two waiters. One server took our orders and answered our questions about the menu. Another waiter brought us our food. We didn't have to wait too long for the food. The service was efficient but could have been more upbeat and cheerful.
The state of a restaurant's washroom is often an indication of the establishment's cleanliness and upkeep. I visited Curry Original's washroom after our meal. It was a good size, pleasant, clean and well stock. I was happy with their washroom.
The Kingston Public Health Unit regularly inspects local food facilities and post their results online. I went on their website to see how Curry Original did on their last inspection. They were last inspected on May 16, 2019. They incurred one non-critical violation, which was a repeat from last time. This was corrected at the inspection. I'm happy to report that they did pretty well on their check up.
© 2020 Simon Lam