The Phantom Falls Off The Curry Waggon

Over the past couple of years the Phantom Waistline has been taking a bit of a beating, so a few months ago, I started to try to do something about it (eek). I’m not talking anything desperate, like running or anything, but I did make a bit of an effort not to eat curry every night. It’s possible you even noticed I stopped reviewing Indian restaurants for a while…

But let’s face it – that kind of thing never lasts. There are some times when only a good old fashioned British Curry will do. Scales be damned.

I hadn’t been to the Royal Nepalese for some time. It takes a long while to work your way round all the curry houses of Greenwich – and they change chefs or close more quickly than I can get to them (I mean – what is going on at Kerala Zone? Last I was walking past it, a couple of blokes were manhandling out a giant mattress covered in the most dubious-looking stains imaginable. An hour or so later, I walked back and the mattress was back inside, leaning louchely against the tables – still set for dinner. Ick…)

But back to the Royal Nepalese. Funny – I never really think of the place. It’s always there, and the last time I went there I enjoyed it well enough – I just never remember to go back there.

As soon as we walked in, we were treated like we were the only people in the place. Which, actually, we (almost) were. It was freezing, raining, and sleeting outside – a filthy night – which, I am sure, accounted for the fact that there were only two other people in there the whole time we were there.

There were a whole bunch of new dishes on the menu, which meant that we deviated from the Phantom Control Menu a little.

For example, the Lamb Achari, cooked with mango pickle and really rather tasty. And the Vegetable Karahi – a little on the sweet side, but still slipping down rather well.

To get the best choice of lots of flavours, we ordered a selection of side dishes rather than main courses. The best, by a long chalk was the Bringle Aloo (You say Brin-Jal, I say Brin-Gal…) whose aubergines had clearly been cooking for a very long time (mmmmm….) and just melted on my tongue. But the rest were lovely and, I’m afraid to say, we didn’t have much left over.

I’m not going to pretend that this is modern Asian/Indian fare. It’s traditional ‘British’ Nepalese curry – but sorry – that really hits the Phantom spot. I loved it. Nouvelle Cuisine, Schmouvelle Cuisine. And while you can always put swift, attentive service in an empty restaurant down to boredom, I got the feeling that they would be like this whatever the state of their table plans. I had a good time (though the pictures on the wall are as creepy as ever.)

At the end of the meal, they offered us a liqueur on the house – presumably to make us come back . To be honest, I can’t imagine drinking creamy spirits after a curry (I had the same thing in the Mehak recently (well, obviously, not that recently, ahem…) – they brought me a Baileys - very kind but – yeuch! Is this a latest fashion among Indian restaurants?) I passed on the offer – but points to them for offering.

So, why am I wittering on; not writing a proper review about this today?

Well, I’m afraid it’s an excuse to write about a new Greenwich club I like the look of. Greenwich Curry Club is a bunch of curryphiles who are working their way around the Indian (and otherwise) restaurants of Greenwich and reporting on their findings in blog-form.

They’re happy to welcome new friends to their ever-expanding membership (and waistlines, which, Daniel, who told me about it, tells me is no excuse.)
Check ‘em out and join in, perhaps, on their next outing in March…

5 Comments to “The Phantom Falls Off The Curry Waggon”

  1. scared of chives says:

    I'd join the club but there's a rule that states you 'can't do a runner before the bill is paid'. Oh well, will stick to home delivery.

    ps: I think the Gurkha's Inn has come on a long way in the last year – and the club says, it's great value.

    pps: Kerala Zone were pulled up on their 'Cockroach Korma' a while back

  2. RogerW says:

    Sounds like Royal Nepalese could be worth a visit – thanks for the review.
    In the 'not-quite-Greenwich' category, one of my favourites (which used to be take-away only but now has dine in as well) is Spice Island on Eltham Hill

  3. Lucy says:

    This is not about curry – I am so sorry! I just cannot get outlook working to use ask the phantom! Was there an explosion round here today? I wasn't in, but my family across the river heard it and said their house shook, and it seemed to be round here..

  4. scared of chives says:

    Lucy – we've all had an explosion after a curry, I'm sure

  5. Andrekabu says:

    A few months ago we headed to Coriander for a nice evening out. Although there was only one other couple there, we were treated like interlopers and told we were not allowed to order only sides with rice. We didn't fancy any mains, so we went across the street to Royal Nepalese.

    They looked like they were going to explode out of their skins they were so happy to have us. My hopes were not high based on the damp stains on the walls and the general decor. When the food came, though, it was amazing.

    I remember one dish had fresh peas. They snapped slightly when I bit into them in the way frozen peas never do. There were lots of touches that demonstrated a real love of the food that I really adore. From that point on, Royal Nepalese has been my first choice for a local curry.