DISH DETECTIVE: If you are inclined to order your weight in food... ask for separate bowls
Britain's favourite dish is undoubtedly curry and having a good curry house up your sleeve is a basic modern need.
Many of us have our regular go-to, but there are a lot of good curry houses out there and we really should broaden our horizons and sample more than just our regular korma from the place round the corner.
Dish Detective has found a curry house offering the traditional dishes we all know and love plus different Asian delights, and a few twists on the classics.
Kuti’s of Wickham is just off the village square. There’s plenty of parking nearby which is good for Dish Detective’s Wednesday night trip there. It was surprisingly busy for a midweek night.
First impressions? The staff are attentive as soon as you cross the threshold.
They take you through to one of two dining spaces before quickly offering fresh poppadoms (70p each) with four sauces (£2) including a sweet but not too sweet mango chutney and a mint yoghurt dipping sauce Dish Detective could drink on its own.
For starters DD and DD’s mother chose two dishes to share. A classic mixed kebab (£5.95) and slightly different spicy squid with a chilli sauce (£4.95) was our choice. Neither disappointed.
The mixed kebab came with a tender sheek kebab, shami kebab and onion bhaji with just the right amount of crunch.
We were worried the squid would be too hot, but partnered with a light chilli lemon sauce meant the heat was pleasant and didn’t leave your mouth with a desire for dairy to calm the spice.
For mains there was a lot to choose from. In fact I would describe the menu as not far short of a novel with the beginning, middle and end all very satisfying.
Whether you prefer mild, spicy, chicken, lamb, veal, seafood or vegetarian there is an extensive choice for even the fussiest palate, including a very mild twist on the korma.
How do you make korma milder? I don’t know, but madhu murg (chicken strips with honey and coconut with a touch of cream, £12.50) means there’s no excuse for those absolutely-no-spicy-food eaters to ruin a curry night.
In the end I opted for a chicken tikka pasanda (£9.95) which had a light spice with an almond creamy sauce while DD’s mother chose malai duck (£13.95) with a coconut, apricot and cinnamon sauce.
While trying to ignore how much food we had already consumed, we ordered a side of pilau rice (£3.50), plain naan (£2.95) and a tandoori roti (£1.95) and quickly realised we would not be able to finish all the dishes in one sitting.
Kuti’s offers the doggie-bag option so you can relive your food at a later date. However, our main meals were served in one bowl so saving for another day may not have been very hygienic.
But other tables did have their curries and sides in separate bowls with serving spoons. So, if you are inclined to order your weight in food, DD suggests asking for separate bowls.
If I could pick only one side it would have to be the naan which was a pillow of fresh heaven and perfect for dipping into curry sauce and the aforementioned to-die-for mint yoghurt dipping sauce.
The restaurant vibe was relaxed and evenings are definitely suited for couples and groups of friends.
However, DD feels the menu would suit families at lunchtime.
For starters, mains with sides and two beverages (one alcoholic) the bill was about £25 a head – about the going rate for a good curry house and Kuti’s makes you feel it’s money well spent with excellent customer service and delicious food.
Overall this curry house got our seal of approval. A solid naan out of 10.
Tel: 01329 835353