The Tandoori and Curry Club is run by Tommy and his wife. Tommy is a gentle and unassuming man that is a great example of quiet success. Starting out his restaurant career as a dish washer, he opened the Tandoori and Curry Club on the west side of Hornsby twenty five years ago and has remained at the same location for all this time, building a large and loyal following.
The menu has changed little since they opened. A tweak here, a banquet there. If you’re looking for something different, the interesting stuff is up on their chalk board which varies every day.
Chatting with Tommy who is Maître D’ and head chef, he says the greatest challenge they face is continuous, reliable supply of provisions. They have tweaked suppliers here and there, but know that their clientele expect quality and have worked hard to ensure they have a good group of reliable, quality suppliers.
This evening, we were looking for a light, quick meal. We started with the Pappadam Chat which is small pieces of pappadams covered with potato, yoghurt and sweet tamarind chutney. We also had the lamb cutlets (a specialty of the restaurant) which are cooked in their tandoor with garlic and crushed spices. Both were served promptly. The chops were succulent and tasty and the Pappadam Chat went with the chops perfectly.
For the main course we had two simple dishes; the Chicken Tikka Masala and the Daal of the day served with Garlic Naan, plain roti and a Kashmiri Pulao which is slightly sweet rice mixed with saffron and dried fruits. The daal and rice worked together really well, the strong favours of the daal rounded-out nicely with sweetness of the rice.
The Chicken Tikka Masala had large pieces of tandoori chicken in a good tomato gravy.
The origins of the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe are not clear, but it is rumoured to have originated in Glasgow in Scotland by a chef called Ali Ahmed Aslam. Ali ran the Shish Mahal restaurant when a local came in for a chicken curry and complained that the meal was dry – presumably chicken tandoori. At the time, Ali’s father had an ulcer and was eating tomato soup and Ali took some of the tomato soup, added Indian spices, covered the meet and Chicken Tikka Masala was born!
There’s a homely feel to the meals at the Tandoori and Curry Club (not that I could cook these dishes in my home!) but there is a familiar and comfortable to the food. Service is efficient and friendly and portions are a good size.
The Tandoori and Curry Club has a loyal following from the locals and I hope they will keep serving their brand of Tandoori and Curry for another twenty five years.
Expect to pay $30 – $40 per head.
The Tandoori and Curry Club
177 Peats Ferry Road
Tel: 9477 6909