Curry Leaf Café Brighton at Home

Award-winning South Indian street food, expertly spiced curries, tandoor-grilled specialities and incredible authentic spiced desserts, with a terrific range of craft beer, all from the comfort of your own home!

It’s fair to say the unprecedented circumstances we have been in the last few months has had a profound affect on all our lives. The lockdown and subsequent forced temporary closures of businesses around the country and indeed the world will mean that many will struggle to survive. Here in Brighton businesses have been forced to adapt to make ends-meat, with many of our favourite restaurants now offering takeaway and delivery services to keep going and ensure survival. In some cases, even this might not be enough.

One household name that I am certain will weather the storm and come out of this situation stronger than ever, is Curry Leaf Café. A favourite of Absolute Magazine that has taken Brighton by Storm over the last few years, the team launched their flagship street food diner on Brighton’s ship Street in 2014.  They quickly become one of Brighton’s most loved Indian restaurants, winning multiple awards for their incredible authentic South Indian street food. We swung by their Kemptown café to try out their takeaway menu and have a chat with Co-Founder Euan Sey about what has been going on behind the scenes and his post lockdown plans for Curry Leaf.

Despite having been a regular visitor to Curry Leaf Café over the years this is the first time I have met Euan. I immediately get the sense that his passion for providing unrivalled quality South Indian Street food is matched by some noteworthy foresight and business acumen. Curry Leaf Café was the very first restaurant to offer a cold food delivery scheme the day before lockdown was announced by the government. The scheme was already in the pipeline and due to be launched this Summer. The lockdown only encouraged them to speed it all along and launch early. The company is transporting meals in a refrigerated van as part of its Curry Leaf Café at Home service. Hot meals are still available through Deliveroo, however cool meals travel further in good condition, meaning cooped-up hungry customers far and wide can tuck into their favourite South Asian dishes from the safety of their homes, and the quality is identical to the dishes served in the restaurant. Initially the service was launched to cover Brighton and Hove, but they recently expanded the delivery area to places further afield such as Worthing, Lewes and Burgess Hill on certain days of the week. The meals arrive with easy to follow heating instructions and packed in biodegradable, compostable containers that keep them fresh in the fridge for at least three days.

I asked what the future holds for Curry Leaf Café and Euan was excited to tell me all about the imminent launch of their Tiffin meals for one which come in branded Tiffin boxes which will also be circulated to select cafes around Brighton and Hove for takeaway, and by mid-June they will have distribution centres in Chichester Eastbourne Haywards Heath and Worthing so they can supply to households in these areas seven days a week!

On to the food. I ordered Goan Pork Ribs, Chicken 65, and some Spinach and Onion Pakoras to start us off, a Hyderabadi Lamb Curry and a vegetarian Aubergine Kuzhambi tiffin for mains, and as Curry leaf Café’s selection of craft beers has synonymous with their incredible curries. a couple of tins of Burning Sky Arise IPA to wash it all down.

The dishes take mere minutes to heat up in either the oven or microwave, so we are able to tuck straight into our starters. The Goan Pork Ribs are so tender I could lick the meat off the bone. Sticky, messy, fun to eat and the flavour of the fiery sweet and sour marinade completely blew me away. The light as a feather Pakoras were charmingly moreish, subtle and incredibly well balanced fresh and fragrant spices encased in a light crisp shell, which when dipped in the mango chutney produced harmonious flavours which danced around the tongue.

Our main courses were equally as impressive if not more so. My Hyderabadi Lamb Curry was nothing short of spectacular. Slow cooking was certainly evident as the Lamb melted away releasing the meats full flavour which went perfectly with the rich, spicy, intensely fragrant and colourful sauce that hit all the right notes. My wife’s Aubergine Kuzhambi tiffin was just sublime.  The aubergine was cooked to absolute perfection, soaking up all the wonderful flavours of the aromatic sweet and sour sauce it is cooked in. The IPAs were perfect for washing it all down and refreshing the pallet between courses.

We absolutely loved every bit of our takeaway meal; the food really was restaurant-quality and I am seriously tempted to stock up on some of their delicious curries to keep us going until the restaurant opens its doors again. Because so much of it is sauce-based and coated in spices, the food is ideally suited for home freezing. The ordering process could not be easier, you simply visit the online shop, add your dishes to the basket, choose a delivery date that matches your postcode and checkout up to 3pm on the day of delivery.

With regards to the restaurant, the Brighton location will still be able to seat 30+ guests with a two-metre distance between them. The safety of their customers and staff will be paramount. If necessary, they will go above and beyond any guidelines that are announced. Even introducing an app for diners to order on to reduce contact between them and the staff.

Tony Shattell

Curry Leaf Café.

Brighton: 60 Ship Street, BN1 1AE. 01273 207070

Kempton: 40 Upper St James’ Street, BN2 1JN. 01273 526911