Mention the word ‘curry’ and most people immediately think of a tikka masala and naan bread.
However, the talented staff at The New Curry Centre strive to provide diners with something different.
The restaurant opened in 1968 and, since then, has earned a sterling reputation for its innovative and creative approach to Indian and Nepalese cuisine.
As my colleagues and I sat down for a pleasant chat with the manager, Rana Zaman, we were treated to papadoms with the usual sauces – onion, mango chutney, mint joghurt and lime pickle.
However, there was one sauce we didn’t recognise.
“This is our own sauce,” said Rana. “Red tamarin sauce. It’s really nice, everybody likes it.”
We had a taste and agreed that there was a lot to like. It was a sweet mixture with a slight spicy kick and Rana explained that it contains about 15 ingredients, including garlic, ginger and coriander but mainly tamarin and mint.
He gestured to the other four pots. “If you go to an Indian restaurant you always get these four, so we add extra.”
By this time our taste buds were tingling and that was just the beginning of our meal…
For starters, we had Ponir Shaslic (soft and mild Indian cheese in sweet marinated spices), Jhinga-lal (juicy king prawns coated with a tangy sauce), Mas Bangla (Bangladeshi fish), Napali Murg (succulent chicken in a mildly spicy sauce) and Kathi Kebab (well spiced and diced lamb with onions and tomatoes).
The main course was even better. We were served Gurkha Ki Shaan (a beautifully hot lamb dish with fresh Napali herbs), Mushroom Pillaw Rice, Tarka Dall and some rich garlic naan bread with a satisfyingly strong flavour. We also had Sattkara Tarkari (delightfully tender chicken cooked with Indian Fresh Lemons), Roshuni Mirchi (chicken cooked with garlic and chillies) and Bindi with cauliflower bhajee.
In short, all the dishes were delicious and our meal offered the perfect blend of exotic, complex and mouthwatering spices alongside subtler, more delicate flavours. It was a unique dining experience and it all took place among the stylish, elegant and modern décor.
However, we found out, it’s not just the food and surroundings that makes The New Curry Centre stand out.
Every two months Elvis Presley returns to perform a fantastically entertaining show.
The Elvis impersonator, who wears a costume worth £6,000 from The King’s actual tailor, is wonderfully convincing, said Rana.
“We’ve done ten shows,” he explained. “We do it every two months and it’s really, really popular. There’s always demand to do another show.”
Rana showed us a video clip of the Elvis Night merriment with fun-loving diners dancing through the restaurant. This great night out costs just £21.95 per head, which includes a five course meal.
There are other excellent deals as well. Tuesday’s Banquet Night (6pm to 11.30pm) is a popular choice, offering a five course meal for only £12.50. Visitors can order any starter, main course, side dish, rice or naan and filter coffee.
The Sunday Banquet Lunch also offers something special. Vistors can order any starter, main course, side dish and rice or naan for just £8.95. For children under 12 it’s only £5.95.
It’s very different from a buffet, as it offers the diner the freedom to choose exactly the dish they desire.
The New Curry Centre is located at 43 London Road, Horsham, RH12 1AN. Call 01403 254811 for more information or visit www.thenewcurrycentre.co.uk.
By Lawrence Smith