At the tail end of 2015, the Taste of Gloucestershire Food & Farming Awards took place and Curry Corner was named as Best Eating Out Establishment and Shamsul, the owner (along with his daughter) and chef, was a finalist in the Chef of the Year category. To celebrate these fantastic achievements, Shamsul and his daughter Monrusha, decided to throw a celebration feast to which we were lucky enough to be invited.
First of all, let me start by telling you this place is a tardis! It has an incy wincy frontage, but as you walk through the door the restaurant stretches out in front of you and the warmest welcome awaits from the Krori family.
To accompany our fizz, we had onion pakora’s with a special sauce whilst we started to natter away to some of their loyal customers, neighbours and friends. At that point in time, it caught my eye that all the tables were laid up ready for a full-on meal and it was then that I got really, really excited and realised that Monrusha and Shamsul’s idea of a ‘feast’, matched perfectly with mine!
We pulled up a chair and enjoyed poppadum’s with all the trimmings, followed by two samosa’s: One with 48 hour braised and shredded Cotswold lamb and the other with lightly spiced seasonal Bangladeshi and British vegetables. Kingsley and I fought about which one was best, but agreed to let it go because they were both so damn good!
It was clear, even from just eating the starters, that Curry Corner takes great pride in the food they serve. Everything (and I mean everything) is cooked/made from scratch and they source many of their ingredients locally (something you know I’m passionate about).
We were then treated to Chef Shamsul Krori’s Signature 16 Spice Chicken Masala. Imagine that…16 herbs and spices all in one dish. Well imagine no more, because I can tell you that this is an extremely flavoursome curry and as another guest put it so eloquently, you don’t just taste an amalgamation of various herbs and spices, you can taste each and every single one. This is cooking from scratch at its best. We also tried the vegetarian counterpart, which is equally as tasty and even Kingsley - meat-eater extraordinaire - said he really liked the vegetarian version.
The feast didn’t stop there, because we also had the Curry Corner Almond Cream Chicken Tikka Makhani which was a favourite for both of us; this is a mild curry with a buttery tomato and almond sauce base which along with tender chicken pieces, melts in the mouth.
To help mop up all the delicious curries, we had a mound of steamed rice, Honey & Pistachio Naan and Sesame Seed & Ghee Naan. I’m usually a peshwari naan fan, so the sweetness of the honey mixed with pistachio’s was a winner for me.
For our fifth and final course, we had - I apologise I don’t know the official name - chocolate cake which was gorgeously gooey in the middle and as soft as anything; the perfect way to round of an absolutely stunning meal.
Obviously it would be wrong of me not to focus on the food – this is a food blog after all – but Monrusha and her father Shamsul definitely deserve a mention on this post. It was clear, as we spoke to people and spent time with Monrusha, this is very much a family business, and a cornerstone of the local community (they have been based here for almost 40 years)! We felt as if we were dear friends and not first-time visitors. What more could you ask of a restaurant?!
Having written this blog post, I’ve now had a chance to peruse the menu and it looks as if I’m going to have to visit every week for the next year to try all of the dishes that appeal to me! But in all seriousness, we will definitely be returning – lots!