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Dining in Derbyshire – The Curry Lounge, Somercotes

Dining in Derbyshire – The Curry Lounge, Somercotes

It was early on a Wednesday evening when we parked on the Market Place in Somercotes adjacent to the familiar restaurant entrance. The welcoming, contemporary designed foyer hadn’t changed but for one addition; in pride-of place, the wall facing the door was adorned with a large ceramic plaque. On it, in bold type, it reads Best Restaurant Awards 2022.

The restaurant was awarded the prize for Best Indian & Bangladeshi Restaurant at the Curry Life awards in October last year. Curry Life is a British independent trade magazine for the Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants and takeaways in Great Britain. With over 300 reviews taken in to account the prestigious award was made for their top class food, excellent service and overall customer experience.

We made our way into the restaurant and bumped in to Syed Hussain, owner of the Curry Lounge, and congratulated him on his fabulous achievement. Obviously proud of his award he showed us a video on his phone of the ceremony.

We were shown to a table for two by the window and started to unpack our drinks. The Curry Lounge doesn’t have a licence to serve alcohol but there’s nothing to stop you bringing your own. There’s something a bit naughty  about walking into a restaurant with your own favourite beer or wine clinking in a much used ‘bag for life’. Our waiter provided the appropriate glasses: one wine glass and one for beer. Plus a very essential bottle opener.

The menu had several items ‘flagged’ as new and we decided to order one each of the kitchen’s latest creations. We started with pickles and poppadoms; part of the curry meal ritual. A smooth mango chutney, a refreshing chunky tomato salad and spicy dark amber tamarind dip accompanied the two huge poppadoms. Plus a smooth raita that was, at our request, to stay on the table.

A platter of onion bhajis was the next course. So often with these little morsels of loveliness there’s too much gram flour and very little onion but these were full of sweet onion. Soft and pillowy in the middle and cracklingly crunchy on the outside. Accompanied with the sauce boat of raita I could have made a meal of them.

From one of the new additions to the list of Curry Lounge signature dishes I chose the gulbahar lamb. It’s a mildly spicy dish that was loaded with succulent lamb. The mild sauce was studded with mushrooms, onion and green peppers and a sweet spicy note lingered on the palate. I ordered a bowl of pilau rice to go with the dish. However, when I saw the peshwari naan that Sue had ordered I was tempted to try it with the gulbahar.

The naan was warm, soft and overflowed with coconut giving a lovely, slightly  sweet flavour to the bread. As it turned out it was a different but perfect accompaniment to the spicy lamb. Susan had ordered special vegetable paneer korai; also on the list of new additions to the Curry Lounge signature dishes. It is a combination of fresh vegetables and paneer (cubed Indian cottage cheese) cooked in a tandoori sauce with onion, peppers and tomatoes and is served in a hot tandoor dish. It’s mid-range spicy and bursting with flavour. The fresh, green vegetables were tender and flavourful. The plain paneer is a perfect vehicle for any sauce but especially delicious when coated with a sauce of tandoor spices and yoghurt. 

The peshwari naan turned out to be equally delicious with the paneer korai. Next time we’ll skip the rice and order two naans. 

We’d had a wonderful evening with delicious food, attentive service and the pleasure of trying new dishes.

The Curry Lounge,

Market Place, Somercotes, Derbyshire. Tel 01773 528 588


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