New Indian Restaurant in Boca Raton
I tried "Malai Kofta" and "Paneer Pasanda" at Curries and More, a new Indian Restaurant in east Boca and liked both a lot. I specified "low salt" and "medium" when I placed my order, because I like low salt, mild food. They were priced at about $11 each ( ? ).
After a long time ( I have lived in South Florida for nearly 14 years ) my wife and I were pleasantly surprised by the taste of these two dishes. They were prepared in Moghalai style ( means cream and cashew nut paste in the sauce) and reminded us of food we have enjoyed in big Indian cities in the past.
I suppose their meat/fish dishes would be equally good. Those who are interested in Indian food should give this place a try. I am not connected with the owners or anybody else you might meet there :-).
They are located east of Mizner Blvd on Palmetto Park Road ( on the North side of the road) not too far from the ocean. Details :
Curries and More
217 E. Palmetto Park Rd.
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Phone: (561) 392-2999
I hope they are still in business as I have seen good food being punished before.
ooh I am excited. As an expat Brit in Florida, Indian food in Boca has so far been limited to the Punjab once (one time too many) or the average Bombay Cafe for takeout.
will definitely try it, thanks
In my opinion, Curries and More is way better than Madras Cafe, or any other Indian Restaurant around, because they come very close to the real thing ( big city party food in India.)
There is no one Indian cuisine. When most people think of Indian food outside India, they picture Punjabi/Moghalai cuisine ( which is what I call big city party food.) Madras Cafe owners know the Malabar Coastal Cuisine inside out ( because they belong to that part of India) but there is no market for Malabar Coastal Cuisine here, so they are trying to make ends meet by serving what they can sell, which is mainly Punjabi/Moghalai style food ( like Chicken Tikka Masala). Once upon a time, they used to have a weekly special "Regional Indian Food" dinner buffet every Wednesday evening, with focus on a different region of India every week. In those days their Malabar buffet was mind blowingly good ( it was called Kerala Night ). Unfortunately, they cannot stay in business by serving only what they know the best.
Conversely, Curries and More cannot be expected to match Madras Cafe when it comes to Malabar Coastal Cuisine ( because Curries and More chefs, probably, have no experience of the life and food of Malabar Coast that makes up the Indian state of Kerala ).
There isn't much good Indian Food around in South Florida yet. :-( By careful selection one can avoid surprises. For example, at Punjab in Boca, I always order mixed veggies lunch special, when I am there, which is once in a long while ( 2-3 years !) To sample South Indian grain cooking, Woodlands ( on University Drive in Tamarac area ) is a good bet.
BTW, Carribean Rotis and Tex-Mex Chili, taste a lot like good Indian food to me. No kidding !
All that said, for the price once pays, Indian Food lunch buffets/lunch specials in South Florida are an excellent value, no matter where one eats. Usually there is enough variety of foods on the lunch menu/buffet table for one to find something interesting to eat.
re: Deep Food
I've been wanting to try indian food for some time, but was afraid, as I had not heard if there was any good Indian cuisine in the area.
I'll try Curries and More soon, and thanks for the post!
I had actually come on here to post with a request for good indian in the area. I'm in Pompano and there is a place called madras cafe on powerline, but I haven't been there.
If anyone has any thoughts on it, I'd also appreciate their input as well!
I used to love Madras - everything was always very fresh and well prepared. Even the buffet was good, and a great value. I was there every couple of weeks in '06, but then life changed and I wasn't going to make the drive from Miami that frequently just for lunch. Madras was always full of Indian families on weekends. I'm going to try Madras again this Sunday, so I'll post a report to this thread. I hope it hasn't changed!
My wife and I went to Curries and More today for lunch. We both had the lunch special (and both chose Lamb Roganjosh.) For $7.95 we got a cup of tomato soup, a choice of the lamb, chicken curry, or vegetable curry, rice, a side of great lentils, salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber undressed), naan, and Gulab Jamun (sweet dumplings in sugar syrup) for dessert.
We've tried Indian food a few times before (most recently at Madras Cafe) and with the exception of Madras have always been disappointed. However we really enjoyed this meal. The curry had just the right heat and the lamb was delicious. I thought the naan and lentils were also exceptional but again, my frame of reference is pretty limited. Lunch for 2 with two sodas and tax was just over $20.
We're definitely planning on going back for dinner.
Went yesterday, had the Chicken Tikka Masala and it was excelent. Asked for it hot and got it hot. The basmati rice on the side was perfect and nicely & subtly seasoned with cardamon perhaps and cilantro. I ordered this ala carte, was about $11. I'll go back for lunch with a crew from work soon and we'll try the $7.95 lunch special. We normally go to Punjab so a change would be good. My first reaction is that this is better.
I ate there last night for the first time. It was take-out admittedly, so I didn't get the full fresh experience, but I was farily impressed and can absolutely confirm that the Chicken Tikka Masala (I always start with a simple staple at any new Indian restaurant) is so far above and beyond Bombay Cafe and the woeful Punjab to make meaningful comparison impossible. I also had the Papdi Chaat appetizer and it was, as the menu promised, a "sweet and sour treat". The only disappointment was the naan bread. One of the real treats of eating from an Indian restaurant over preparing Indian food at home is, in my opinion, the naan. Gigantic elephant ears of bread, crispy, chewy, moist and absorbent all at once, it is almost impossible to recreate the char flavor imparted by a good tandoor on a good naan. Either Curries and More doesn't have a tandoor or I went on a quiet enough night (an out of season Tuesday) that they were using bought in naan's. My 2 orders of garlic naan were two small ovals of dry, dense dough, apparently machine made and with no hint of either garlic nor tandoori charring flavor. I would have had a more authentic experience drizzling some butter on half a warm pita. Good naan is so important to me that I am going to try the restaurant one more time earlier on a busier night to try a more adventurous curry and to see if the kitchen does prepare something more authentic in the eway of naan given the opportunity. If not. I regret I am unlikely to frequent Curries and More, irrespective of the respectable curry and charming owner.
From what I have experienced, Indian + resto + lunch = buffet. That was the norm in ATL and I have yet to see many offerings like that except for maybe one in WPB. People may equate buffet to the lowest end of the spectrum, but that is not necessarily true, especially for Indian restos that I am used to. I am anti-buffet anything except when it comes to Indian food b/c I can sample a lot of different things at once. It's my only buffet sacrifice.
I guess I should be glad that there is at least one place worth noting locally. I am no Indian cuisine guru but I do know what is good to me and what is not. These reviews sound like it's above and beyond Punjab, which is welcome news. Now I have to find time to take an extended lunch and check it out.
I'm still waiting on smartie's review.......
While I don't live in S E Florida, we also lack Indian restaurants here in S W Florida...but there's a great place in Ft. Myers called India Palace that also offers $7.95 Lunch Specials that include Dahl Soup, Naan, Tomato Onion Chutney, Entree of your choice from a list of about 7 or 8 entrees, and salad similar to the post above--lettuce tomato undressed (to me, it's more to cleanse the palate than to be an "American salad")...does not include any dessert but oh, my! It's a great place!
Paulm you nailed it. Curries and More is excellent but there's something "off" with the naan. I noticed it myself two times but was thinking "maybe it's just me." It tastes doughy or yeasty or something...
They could go to Bombay or Punjab 5 minutes away and see what far better naan tastes like. Twould be a same if Curries fared poorly just due to this one flaw - but for Indian food, it is a major one. I use the naan to sop up my left over sauce and if it's not good, the whole effect is ruined.
I think I'm going to mention this to them next time I'm in. Perhaps we ALL should...
Let's not let this place with such promise fail just because we decided to "suffer in silence" regarding their naan.
went to Curries and More tonight in Boca. Here's my review
well, being a Brit I have high curry standards which have so far not been met in South Fl. This place was a bit hit and miss.
the menu is small compared to British Indian restaurants and some of the usual suspects are missing. There were 3 of us tonight so we picked a few dishes to try. Chicken Tikka Masala was very good flavourful, sauce was thick and tasty and mild. Chicken Madras was bloody awful, thin runny sauce, the chicken was definitely not cooked in the sauce. Worse still was the lamb in spinach sauce which was about as thick as my washing up water after having done the dishes in the sink. Not only was it gruel like in consistency it was utterly tasteless and not a rich creamy spinach sauce as described in the menu. The lamb was tiny pieces, with bone and gristle and again tasteless.
The rice was ok, nothing special.
the mutter paneer (called something else like paneer and peas) was very good.
the butter naan was abysmal. 2 small pieces of doughy bread. I am used to a huge naan which is light and fluffy. This was more akin to pita bread and not worth the money.
some spicy potato samosas were on the house which were ok.
the service was rushed which was odd because there was only one other table. Waitress was irritating and kept trying to clear our plates when we were obviously still eating. She brought our check without us asking and then coming back to get our money. We felt we were being rushed.
most dishes are cooked with a cashew and tomato paste.
As Randy Jackson keeps saying 'dog, it was just ok'.
Decor is stark and basic, there is streetside seating but it's noisy.
will I go back? probably only because there are so few places to get Indian food.
Smartie, I'd love to hear how you think Woodlands Vegetarian in Lauderhill stacks against what you've had in the past:
I find they do South Indian pretty well. Big fan of the chana bhatura and the gobi manchurian there, plus great breads and dosas.
Woodlands Indian Cuisine
4816 N University Dr, Lauderhill, FL 33351
John I have been there. Again I thought it was just ok. Ask any Brit in South Fl about Indian restaurants here and we all agree it's better across the pond. Indian food is the #1 food in the UK in terms of where people go out to eat, there is an Indian on every single high street, often half a dozen or more. We are spoilt for choice and quality. A bad Indian resto wouldn't last 5 minutes in any town. I personally am less fond of South Indian food than Tandoori but that is just what I am used to. Trust me I am no expert!!
On a funny note, about 10 years ago we went to Marmaris in Turkey for a holiday. It is quite a British destination for holiday makers and Indian restaurants were in abundance. There was a huge sign outside one that said how amazing this particular curry house was and the last line of the sign said ALL COOKED BY FAMOUS CHEF FROM BRADFORD. (Bradford is a town in Yorkshire in the north of England). It made us laugh that they imported a chef to Turkey from England to cook Indian food.
In my opinion, there are two main business models in the Indian restaurant food business:
(1) High volume, low markup ( like Burger King )
(2) Low volume, high markup ( like any fancy steak house)
One can find delicious food in both situations, as the economic incentive to make and sell good food is there.
In South Florida, none of the above models is working. In Britain, both the models seem to work well.
Indian food has immense variety. Way more than what has become popular in Britain, from what I can tell. In Madras one can find a million different curries and not one of them is called Madras Curry. :-)
Smartie, That is probably true. Adaptation and change are good ! To me as long as British Indian food tastes good ( which it does ,) there is little reason to worry about anything else. Even in India some people argue over authenticity of recipes, but only after eating their fill.
The street corner/popular British Indian food is a delicious but small window to a bunch of diverse multidimensional ( grain/ vegetarian/ meat/ seafood/ etc ) cuisines ( I can count over 15 different, well defined regional cuisines) that make up the food map of India. To enjoy greater variety one might have to pay through one's nose (low volume high margin stuff) but the choice is there ( at least in places like London.) All this is possible because there is a huge market for Indian Food in Britain.
Once we have a big enough market for Indian Food in South Florida, we shall have better tasting food and I think we are getting there.