Tuesday 31 December 2013

Dhanmondi - 8th Jan

The table is booked!  We start 2014 with a visit to Dhanmondi, Whitehill, on Wednesday 8th January.  This is the earliest that a 'second Wednesday' can be, just three evenings after Twelfth Night marks the end of the Christmas season.  We last had a Curry Club evening so early in January in 2003, when 12 turned up to Paradise Balti.

The details: aperitifs at The Woodlark (a.k.a. the Two for One) just down the road from the restaurant from about 19:30, and then dinner will be at 20:30.

We had a great response to my request for replies for the December meeting, which meant that the restaurant was ready for us and able to fit everyone in.  Please let me know by e-mail or through the feedback page on our web site if you expect to be able to make this one.

And best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2014 to all our members and friends!

Thursday 12 December 2013

Malabon - good last meeting of 2013


In 2013, we had 11 meetings, and 29 people attended at least one of these; the average attendance was 10. 

This wasn't our best year; in 2007, we held 12 meetings, with 32 individuals attending at least one, and an average attendance of 11.6 per meeting.  But, at least, it's above the historical average of 9.5, and maybe we can hope that the worst effects of the recession are starting to ease. 

Our most visited restaurant was Malabon, where we went three times, including last night.  This was the biggest turnout of the year, and we were met with a warm welcome and a great selection of dishes.  The menu was chosen for us by the restaurant as usual, and included king prawn rogan josh (we thought this was delicious), handi lamb (dry-ish lamb dish with red chillies), rajeshwari chicken (saucy and medium hot), gosht lajawaab (saucy and mild), and Goan green curry which tasted good even though it looks rather dark.  Accompaniments were a good selection of rice, naan and vegetable side dishes, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. 

It was a good way to finish the year, and in January we plan to go to Dhanmondi in Whitehill.  Best wishes for a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Monday 9 December 2013

December meeting - Malabon

The table is booked!  Thank you to everyone that responded to the November - December e-mail and gave us a good indication of the numbers for our meeting just two weeks before Christmas.

We'll be meeting on 11th December in Petersfield. The chosen venue is Malabon, which we thoroughly enjoyed on our visits there in April and August.  As we're at that end of the town, and to help the less mobile, aperitifs will be taken at the Red Lion.   If you want to reassure me that you plan to be there, please e-mail or through the feedback page on our website. 

Mentioning Christmas, please remember the Curry Club when shopping on Amazon - it costs nothing more to click through our Amazon shop, on our website, before choosing your purchases.  We may then - depending on what you choose - receive some funding for a future round of drinks.

And now a free giveaway, mentioned in the November e-mail.  Those who've seen me struggling with the bill at Curry Club meetings will know that I've built an iPhone app that will work out the tip and amounts per head depending on the remaining kitty.  This has now been published on the iTunes App Store, downloaded about 50 times, and you can find it here:

Monday 11 November 2013

November and December

We planned to hold the November meeting on Wednesday 13th in Haslemere, visiting the Inn on the Hill (the one opposite the station) for aperitifs and then Chilli Nights for dinner.  We find ourselves low on numbers again so, sorry everyone, we've cancelled this time.

We expect to hold our Christmas meeting on 11th December in Petersfield, subject to availability of table. The chosen venue is Malabon, which we thoroughly enjoyed on our visits there in April and August.  As we're at that end of the town, and to help the less mobile, aperitifs will be taken at the Red Lion.  The date is very much in the Christmas party season, so we need an indication of numbers as soon as possible to make sure we can book a sufficiently-big table.   Please let us know by e-mail or through the feedback page on our website if you plan to be there. I need to know by 19:00 on 26th November, please.

Mentioning Christmas, please remember the Curry Club when shopping on Amazon - it costs nothing more to click through our Amazon shop, on our website, before choosing your purchases.  We may then - depending on what you choose - receive some funding for a future round of drinks.

And now a free giveaway.  Those who've seen me struggling with the bill at Curry Club meetings will know that I've built an iPhone app that will work out the tip and amounts per head depending on the remaining kitty.  This has now been published on the iTunes App Store, and you can find it here:

Tuesday 1 October 2013

October meeting - Paradise Balti - Wed 9th

The table is booked!  We'll be visiting the Paradise Balti on Wednesday 9th October, our second visit of the year. 

As usual we'll take aperitifs at the Old Drum (with its fine selection of real ales) from about 19:30, and then cross the road for dinner at 20:30. 

Please confirm either in response to the members' e-mail or by using the feedback form on our web site.  In July, I 'fixed' the form response on the web site to stop spam mail from some losers who sit on line and fill out forms at random in the hope of annoying businesses.  The fix was completely successful as (until I realised) I didn't receive any completed forms at all, from anyone at all!  I've now repaired it again.  If you use the form you should see a 'Thank You' page which will show that it's working properly. 

Looking forward to a great evening on 9th October! 

Madhuban - 11th September

Considering that many of our regulars were away on holidays in various warmer parts of the world, we had an excellent turnout, on a wet and windy evening, for our second visit to Madhuban of 2013.  

Papadums always seem better with a choice of spicy pickles as well as milder chutneys, and we weren't disappointed - both lime and hot mango pickle were on offer for those that like them.  As usual, we asked the restaurant to select the dishes for the evening.  

First, we had a mixed starter of salmon tikka pakora, onion bhaji, shish kebab, huseini (chicken) kebab and chana aloo chat.  This gave a great selection of various flavours and was a great appetizer before the main courses.

After a milder selection last time, we asked the restaurant to warm things up a little.  They certainly did!  Main dishes were Chicken Korma Mirchwangan - medium hot dish in a deep red sauce - the red comes from various ingrdients including beetroot, tomato, red peppers and spices, Jungli Lamb - Madras hot, quite dry with red chilli, and Methi Lamb.  Vegetable dishes were Madras Sambar - South Indian hot and spicy vegetable and lentil curry with exotic curry leaf, and Panch mela (a dish of five vegetables).  All of these were accompanied by pilau rice, plain and garlic naans. This was a great selection of hot food, but maybe left one or two members behind in terms of heat and intensity. 

Madhuban continues to offer fine cooking accompanied by a warm welcome, and we had a thoroughly good evening.  Our plans for the rest of this year are as follows:

9th October - Paradise Balti, Petersfield
13th November - Chilli Night(s), Haslemere
11th December - Malabon, Petersfield

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Madhuban - 11th September

The table is booked, and we're making a much-anticipated return to Madhuban on 11th September.  This was our venue in January, and we thought the standard of cooking was absolutely superb.  The details are as usual - we'll meet for aperitifs at the Spread Eagle at about 19:30, and then dinner at Madhuban will be at 20:30. 

As mentioned the review of our January meeting, Madhuban is listed in this year's Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2013: Hotels & Restaurants, still available from Amazon.

In case numbers are a problem, would members please let us know either by using the website feedback form or in reply to the meeting notice e-mail whether you expect to be there.

Looking forward to a great evening!

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Saturday 17 August 2013

Malabon - August 2013

Despite the fact that this is the middle of the summer holidays, we had a good turnout for Malabon on Wednesday 14th.  We decided to move the rendezvous from the Old Drum to the Red Lion, to help our less mobile members, and so it was just a short walk from aperitifs to a warm welcome at the restaurant.  

After papadums with a good selection of pickles, hot as well as mild, the starters were an interesting and unusual selection.  Panner (curd cheese) tikka, aloo chana chat (potato and chick-pea), deep-fried keema mushroom and onion bhaji were all tasty, and quite different to the usual selection - and almost exclusively vegetarian.

The main courses were exactly what we wished for - a great combination of medium to hot dishes, including king prawn jalfrezi, garlic chili chicken massala, handi lamb (dry Madras-hot), and Darjeeling chicken (mint-marinated in a tomato-based sauce).  Several other main dishes as well as rice, naans, and vegetable side dishes made for a feast that we struggled to finish - one of our number had a takeaway for next day's lunch.  

We're also glad to say that no-one kidnapped an ornamental camel, though one of our members was eyeing up the possibilities, to general hilarity. All in all, we had a great evening and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

We decided that Madhuban should be the venue for September.

Malabon details: 
14 Dragon St,  Petersfield GU31 4JJ
01730 265493

Monday 29 July 2013

August - Malabon - Wed 14th

The table is booked! Our August meeting will be at the Malabon, Dragon Street, Petersfield, on Wednesday 14th.  Dinner is at 20:30, and aperitifs will be taken at the Old Drum, corner of Lavant Street and Chapel Street, which impresses us with its fine choice of beers, as well as its convivial atmosphere.

Members, please let us know whether you expect to make it or whether you've found a spot on a Mediterranean beach for August.  You can either reply to the meeting notice that you'll receive by e-mail or use the feedback form on our website.

Looking forward to a sunny August and a great evening on the 14th!

Tuesday 2 July 2013

2013 Cobra Good Curry Guide

I just noticed that our blog's Amazon link was showing a link to the 2013 Cobra Good Curry Guide, and so I clicked through. Probably one of the most subversive reviews of Amazon's business model that I've seen... on Amazon.

 2013 Cobra Good Curry Guide

Unavailable on Amazon!

Buy it now

By Drumond Base
The new Guide is NOT AVAILABLE ON AMAZON and new copies never will be. Without reference to the author they priced it at £12.71. They then take 60% leaving the Guide with under £5 per copy. And they have to pay to deliver it meaning they would make a loss. And Amazon don't even pay tax on UK earnings. Furthermore, the publisher has to wait for up to 90 days for payment by Amazon. Pat Chapman is the sole supplier. Ring 01428 658327 to order and pay by card (or by cheque to The Curry Club and send it to 50, West Street, Haslemere GU27 2AP) and they will dispatch it the same day. If you would like it author-signed, just ask. And if you mention that you have read this rant about Amazon, then it's yours for only £12.71 inc p&p!

Monday 1 July 2013

July - Spice Lounge - Wed 10th

The table is booked!  Our July meeting takes place at Spice Lounge; aperitifs will be taken at the Old Drum from 19:30 or before, and dinner will be at 20:30 as usual.

The meeting notice will be sent out by e-mail as usual, and members can reply to that, or use the feedback form on our web site (select the "I'm coming to the meeting" button).

For anyone that's interested (and this is one of the most tedious subjects around at the moment), our web site is cookie-free apart from a Google Analytics tag.  There's some stuff about this for you to read if you're bothered.  If you use our Amazon shop, they'll probably track you too, to improve their customer service.  And why not?

Looking forward to a great evening on the 10th!

Thursday 13 June 2013

Bay Leaf - June meeting report

This should be flaming June, but in fact it was a filthy rain- and wind-swept evening more like October. In the circumstances, and maybe driving up from Petersfield on such a bad night wasn't an attractive idea, fewer members showed up than expected. However, the gallant few that braved the weather were rewarded with some really good food.

Starters were very tasty and varied: fish pakora, lamb pakora, chicken sadeko* - seemed like spicy chicken with a little soy in the marinade - and momo lamb, served with plenty of salad and some interesting dips, from mild to hot. After that, the main courses were a great selection: chicken jalfrezi, lamb pathia and a chicken special curry were served first. These were accompanied by naans: keema, garlic and a Bay Leaf special. Vegetable dishes were a channa (chick pea) massala, black dahl and sag paneer, together with Bay Leaf's special rice. Then the centrepiece of the meal was - if I've spelled it right - lamb massala bharta, lamb leg steaks cooked in a rich tomato and onion sauce. Really delicious, and not on the regular menu, so this was a real treat. We did our best, but they'd clearly cooked for a few more than arrived. Where's Will Parkes when you need him?

All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening for those that made it, rewarded with delicious food, beautifully presented and well served. Keep korma and curry on!

Web: http://www.bay-leaf.co.uk
Phone: 01428 608030 for bookings and takeaway

Next month: Spice Lounge, Petersfield

* Here's a clip from YouTube showing a way to prepare Chicken Sadeko: http://youtu.be/f9_OF5TZpLY

Wednesday 29 May 2013


View Petersfield Curry Club restaurants in a larger map
Here's a map of restaurants (and a few takeaways too). Please use a comment to let us know of any corrections or suggested changes.

Monday 27 May 2013

June meeting - Wed 12th - Grayshott - Bay Leaf

The table is booked! The Bay Leaf offers an interesting mix of classic Indian and Nepali food.  Several times recently, deciding to go for a curry after a little liquid refreshment or a Rugby match (or both), I've tried some of their 'street food' dishes - hot, delicious, just the thing to enjoy with another beer.

When we last met in Grayshott, Bay Leaf was still in its original very small premises in Headley Road. They moved at the end of May last year, and the new place, in Crossways Road, very close to the pub, is much more spacious and comfortable; many people will know it as the site of the former Kappadokya grill restaurant. 

Our meeting is on Wednesday 12th, with aperitifs at the Fox and Pelican from about 19:30, and then a very short walk to Bay Leaf for dinner at 20:30. And anyone with the stamina is welcome to visit Grayshott Social Club for an after-dinner pint.

The usual thing - please let us know whether you can make it, either by e-mail in reply to the meeting notice that's sent to all members, or through the feedback page of our web site.

Looking forward to a great evening - see you on the 12th!

Thursday 9 May 2013

Gurkha Chautari, Liphook - 8th May

Richly-sauced lamb curry, sizzling chicken and beautiful spicy potatoes were three of the highlights of our visit to Liphook tonight.  Gurkha Chautari is now under new management, but has lost none of its ability to produce great food with subtle tastes and the occasional kick of chilli.

Address: Station Road, Liphook
Phone: 01428 729355
Web: Has a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/gurkhachautari -  but this page may be under the editorship of the former management, which runs the Gurkha Durbar in Grayshott.

Next dates

Bay Leaf (Grayshott) 12th June
Spice Lounge (Petersfield) 10th July

Monday 29 April 2013

May meeting - Liphook - Gurkha Chautari

The table is booked!  Our May meeting takes place in Liphook, on Wednesday 8th.  Aperitifs will be at the Links Hotel on Portsmouth Road from about 19:30, and then dinner will be at the Gurkha Chautari, Station Road (about five minutes' walk from the Links) at 20:30.

Members are asked please to let us know if they expect to attend by e-mail or through the feedback page on our web site.

Looking forward to a great evening and some fine Nepalese food on Wednesday 8th!

Thursday 11 April 2013

Malabon - Petersfield

It was a wet rather than a cold evening, and despite the fact that the meeting was in Petersfield, we had a smaller turnout than usual. There was a variety of reasons for this, including thespian ones.

Leading local theatre group, The Winton Players, presents its comedy The Farmer's Wife tonight (11th April) until Saturday 13th, and we hear that at least one of our regulars is involved!

After aperitifs at the Old Drum, where we sampled some of its fine selection of real ales, we made our way through the rain down to Dragon Street and a warm welcome.

As usual, we asked the restaurant to select the menu with a set price per head for food.    The menu that Malabon chose for us was a great combination of good flavours, with plenty of variety - very well judged.

After papadums, pickles and a mixed starter, we enjoyed Rajeshwari Chicken Curry (fairly hot dish with tomatoes, garlic and chilli), Gosht Lajawaab (lamb with coriander and cinnamon), Goan Green Chicken Curry, and a King Prawn chef's special.  Side dishes included Muj Mela (a mix of five vegetables in a tasty sauce), Bombay Aloo, pilau rice, plain and peshwari naans.

Chilli was more evident than garlic, but the underlying tastes of the food came through and we really enjoyed the cooking. One comment was "lovely, very flavourful food", and the fact that very little was left at the end was strong evidence that we all agreed.   It all added up to a very convivial evening which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Address: Malabon Restaurant, 14 Dragon Street, Petersfield, GU31 4JJ.
Telephone: 01730 268352 / 01730 265493
E-mail: info@malabonrestaurant.co.uk
Web: www.malabonrestaurant.co.uk

Our plan for future meetings is:
May: Gurkha Chautari, Liphook
June: Bay Leaf, Grayshott

Wednesday 3 April 2013

April meeting - Wed 10th at Malabon

The table is booked - our next meeting will be at Malabon, Dragon Street, Petersfield on Wednesday 10th April.

We visited the Old Drum for a beer before last month's meeting and decided that we'll meet there again this time. They had a very good selection of real ales, and crucially, unlike the Square Brewery, no band running its sound check at the time we were there.

So to summarise: aperitifs at the Old Drum about 19:30, and then a few minutes' walk down to Malabon for dinner at 20:30. Of course, anyone that wants to go direct to the restaurant is welcome to do so. Either way, please let me know for numbers, either by replying to the e-mail or through our feedback page.  Looking forward to a great evening!

Sorry I couldn't produce a report for our March meeting at Paradise Balti. We had a great turnout, a very convivial evening, and my scrawled notes are fairly indecipherable.  Just shows I should write up the meeting the morning after.

Paradise Balti, 23 Lavant St, Petersfield GU32 3EL:  01730 265162

Sunday 3 March 2013

March meeting - Paradise Balti

The table is booked!  The March meeting of Petersfield Curry Club will be at Paradise Balti on Wednesday 13th.  Dinner will be at 20:30. The thirsty amongst us will gather at the (Old) Square Brewery from about 19:30. 

Did you know they'd changed the name of the pub?  I didn't until recently, but maybe the Old was putting off younger potential customers.  Still, they haven't banned over-18s and I'm sure all members of the Curry Club will be welcome there as usual. 

Please use the feedback page of the web site to let us know if you'll be there.  I'll also send out an e-mail to the membership in the next day or so.  Looking forward to a great evening!

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Friday 1 March 2013

Web site changes

The main Petersfield Curry Club web site has just had its spring update.  Here are the main changes:

Amazon Shop: there's now a selection of food and drink guides in the category Eating out 2013.  Sorry but at present the Good Curry Guide 2013 is not available. 

Directory: updated to give better details for restaurants and pubs.  All of restaurants that we currently use should have a link from the directory to the latest reviews in the blog. 

One other change - see if you can spot it and let me know if you approve!

Dhanmondi - meeting report - 13th Feb

Our visit to Whitehill took place on a coolish February evening, but the welcome was warm and the food was hot.  Once again we had a great turnout, with at least one very interesting dish to excite the palate. 

The main dishes included a house special murgh massala, podina gusht (lamb), and a chicken tikka massala to the chef's own recipe; maybe we'd had too many papadums, but the feedback from members on these was neutral rather than brilliant.   For me the highlight of the evening was the 'authentic naga chicken', a chilli dish which had a tremendous kick but no burning mouth after-effect. Quite remarkable, and for the chilli-mad amongst us, there were a couple of takeaway containers at the end of the evening.  It tasted very good for lunch the next day, with a little plain rice.  

We enjoyed a very convivial evening, and decided that in March we'll go to Petersfield.  On 13th March, dinner will be at Paradise Balti and aperitifs will be at the Old Square Brewery.  A notice will be posted when the booking is made.

Dhanmondi details:
1-3 Petersfield Road, Whitehill, Bordon, GU35 9AR
Telephone: 01420 477666
Web: Dhanmondi

Friday 1 February 2013

Dhanmondi - February 13th

The table is booked (actually, it has been for a couple of days). In February, our meeting is at Dhanmondi in Whitehill.  It's well known for a friendly welcome and great food, in the top 100 in the British Curry Awards in 2007, so we can look forward to a very enjoyable evening.  Aperitifs will be at 19:30 at the Woodlark, just a couple of hundred metres down the road, and then dinner will be at 20:30 as usual.

Beware taking your navigation from Google Maps - someone moved the Dhanmondi marker about a quarter of a mile down to a place called Pizza Time.  Maybe they couldn't take the heat.  I've requested it be moved back to the right place but this may take a little while.  

Please respond to the meeting notice e-mail or let us know of your attendance through the feedback page on our web site.  Let's hope we'll have a good turnout again; January's was excellent, and the February meeting doesn't clash with Valentine's Day this year.  

Malcolm's firm, Cargocall, is hosting the pre-match lunch at Petersfield Rugby Club on Saturday 9th Feb, 11:45-12:00 meet for 12:30. The main course: roast beef carved at table with all the trimmings - £20 a head. Followed by the first XV v New Milton at 14:15, then 6 Nations on (hopefully) the big screen.

El Presidente (Trevor) is coordinating numbers - if you want to come to the lunch, please say so on your response to the meeting notice, and if you've already booked, that would be good to know too.

Looking forward to a great February and a fine start to the Six Nations too - see you on the 9th and the 13th. 

Monday 14 January 2013

Madhuban, 9th January

Happy New Year to all our members, and to start really well, what better place could we pick than the Madhuban, recently listed in the Michelin Guide for 2013?

We met at the Spreadeagle for a beer or two by the log fire, before making our way to the restaurant.  Despite the time of year, the weather was dry, so no problem for those of us on foot.  The restaurant was welcoming as ever, and after the first drinks and papadums had been served, came up with a delicious mixed starter that included chicken tikka, stuffed mushrooms, hussaini (chicken) kebab, sheek kebab, and onion bhaji.  I particularly like the fact that Madhuban serves a choice of spicy pickles with it papadums, and the stuffed mushrooms were delicious. 

There were three main meat courses.  The first, chicken korma Mirchwangan includes beetroot and so had a deep red sauce. Chicken tikka Darjeeling is made with a green marinade and is a favourite of many club members.  Finally a lamb with apricot (darjali ?) dish had deep and subtle flavours.  Vegetables included panch mela - five (or more?) mixed vegetables and sag aloo.

We thought the cooking was great.  It would have been good to have at least one hotter dish, but that's my fault.  All in all, it was a fine evening, and enjoyed by a record turnout for January.  

The chosen venue for February is Dhanmondi, in Whitehill.  That's on Wednesday 13th, so at least we don't have a direct clash with Valentine's Day!