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House of Curries (former Naan 'n' Curry)

Robert Lauriston Aug 16, 2006 04:02 PM

Anybody try House of Curries (the former Naan 'n' Curry branch on College Ave. in Berkeley) yet? I walked by Monday night around 9 and the place was packed. Menu and prices looked almost exactly the same as before.

  1. s
    shushu Aug 16, 2006 05:54 PM

    We tried it one Saturday afternoon, the food was bland and one-dimensional. Particularly we were on our way to Indus Village but saw the grand opening sign and decided to try it instead. I do not remember what we ordered though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shushu
      Robert Lauriston Aug 16, 2006 07:08 PM

      Sounds like they're taking their cues from Picante. No wonder the place was packed.

    2. s
      sarvey Aug 16, 2006 06:02 PM

      I was not so happy with the new House of Curry it either. The first time I tried N&C I was happy to find pasable Indian food at very cheap prices. But every time after that was a bust. I tried the House of Curries on College about a month ago and was just as disappointed. Had the tandorri shrimp, chicken tikka masala, tandori chicken, lamb curry. It was all pretty bland and one dimensional as the poster above said. There were only about 4 small tough pieces of lamb in the curry.

      From now on I've decided to go to Viks, Sultan, Ajanta, or Shalimar when I want Indian. Consistent quality and the prices reflect what you get. I'm particularly enamoured with Sultan these days. The tandori lamb chops are exquisite and I don't have to go home smelling like a campfire as I do when I go to Shalimar.

      Does anyone know why N&C changed to HofC? What's in a name?

      1. Chuckles the Clone Aug 16, 2006 06:43 PM

        Tried it on Monday night (that would be 14 August 2006, since with this wacky new
        relative date scheme here, "about one months" from now no one will be able to tell
        which Monday ...).

        Had the chicken tikka masala and the lamb saag. The CTM had a decent amount of
        chicken, loads of creamy sauce, but was lacking in interest. I got the idea they could
        have been using some generic off-the-shelf masala mix. It left a vague and vaguely
        unpleasant lemony aftertaste.

        The lamb was much better. A bit of spicyness, though again not nearly enough.
        However, the meat itself was particularly good and there was plenty of it.

        There's nothing inventive or unique about this place at all. The menu is a stereotypical
        curry joint listing of indian words.

        That said, it it what it is -- about as indian (or pakistani, actually) as Filippo's
        next door is Italian. Inexpensive, good chai and the iced mango lassi was
        good. I'll probably eat a lot of lunches there since I work in the neighborhood.

        1. oakjoan Aug 16, 2006 06:48 PM

          I'll bet the underseasoning and the name change have to do with making the place more acceptable to neophytes who don't know what naan is and don't like anything that's too spicy.

          I really like Sultan as well (albeit having only eaten there once). Three of us had a great dinner there a couple of weeks ago. One dish especially, lamb kofte in a delicious sauce, stood out. The breads were fresh and wonderful. It's worth running the gauntlet of Tenderloin characters to get there.

          And speaking about tandoori lamb chops, that place in Berkeley on Telegraph and Blake(?) has always been very good. The chops were never overcooked and they're very cheap. The place (I can never remember the name) is quite basic - with plastic tables and chairs ala Vik's.

          Are there any good Indian places in either South Berkeley or Oakland? We sometimes get take-out from Sabina (only good for tandoori chicken and daal makhani), and last time not that great for even those dishes.

          Ajanta is good but pricy. We also love that place on University - Kabana? Both are too far away for quick dinner on weeknight.

          3 Replies
          1. re: oakjoan
            Robert Lauriston Aug 16, 2006 07:15 PM

            Vik's (lunch only), Udupi Palace (vegetarian), and Indus Village (Pakistani) are my favorites. There have been some recent reports that Indus Village isn't quite as good as when it first opened.

            I like Naan 'n' Curry pretty well. Mehak, Viceroy, and Chaat Cafe are OK. The lunch buffet in the grocery store adjacent to Viceroy is a bargain.

            Khana Peena on Solano and Breads of India are OK but not worth the extra money.

            I wasn't pleased with Kabana, way too oily. Went to Priya once for dinner and didn't think much of it.

            1. re: oakjoan
              Chuckles the Clone Aug 16, 2006 07:37 PM

              Mehak on Sacramento at Dwight (across the street from Breads of India) is
              pretty decent. Looking at their menu ( http://www.shopinberkeley.com/menus/m...
              )it appears that prices have gone up a bit since I was last there. Their free delivery
              is very, very slow though it eventually will get there.

              Another option: amidst the salty mush of a lot of the dishes, there are some real finds to be
              found at the Afghani place in the Emery Bay food court. Right now I'm spacing on exactly
              what, though, sorry. It helps to ask what they've got that's really spicy and get that.

              1. re: oakjoan
                JasmineG Aug 16, 2006 10:33 PM

                I think you're talking about Tandoor Kitchen on Telegraph. I loved their tandoori lamb chops, but the last time I got some there I was disappointed, and the prices have gone up.

                I've been to the House of Curries twice since the name change, the food is defintely less seasoned than it used to be.

                The closest Indian for me is the Khana Peena on College, but the prices are a little high for midweek takeout.

              2. a
                alyssay Aug 18, 2006 01:31 AM

                I was in there a couple of weeks ago and asked about the name change. The guy working told me that the place and owners and management are all exactly the same as before and that they just changed the name-- apparently this location has always had different owners than the Telegraph location (and I have no idea about the other locations).
                Seems that the owners of this place and the Telegraph branch must have had some kind of falling out because the Telegraph N&C branch's windows are plastered with signs saying "College Ave. Location Closed."
                I was totally unimpressed with the food. After ordering the Lamb Vindaloo the cashier warned me about the spicyness and after I reassured him that I love spicy food I started to get excited about it, but found it under-seasoned. The rice was also less flavorful than the last time (maybe 2 years ago) I had it at the Telegraph N&C.

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