Review: Curry Up Indian Grill
According to the opening press reports, Curry Up is designed to bring Indian food to a wider audience here in Columbus. That particular motivation was attention getting, mostly because, it’s always seemed like Indian Food has had strong representation here in town. Among other things, the cultural cuisine is home of the most popular lunch-time buffets.
But Indian food is not Chipotle-level mainstream, it seems. So Curry Up is bringing Indian food to the Chipotle crowd; the crowd that likes to build meals in a cafeteria styled line. Got it.
Indeed, it’s built in the assembly-line fashion with clean, modern design and the requisite order line that allows customers to create their own Indian-styled meals. As you approach it from outside the building, the distinctive fragrance associated with the cuisine’s signature spices testifies to the authenticity of the joint’s offerings.
The first decision diners must make in the line is whether to choose a foundation in the form of a bowl of rice, a salad or a wrap. After that, you choose from chicken ($8.50), lamb ($13), paneer (a firm cheese, $8.50), and tofu ($8.50). Then there’s the sauce choice, and condiments that include a nice little selection of shredded carrots, marinated onions, diced cucumbers and tomatoes, and spicy roasted cauliflower. There is also a beet paste. It’s much more likable than cafeteria beets, even non-beet fans should give it a try.
First up, a bowl. We did the spicy rice, chicken, and Roghan Josh sauce. By the time the sauce hits the rice and chicken, it’s difficult to separate any particular flavor contributions from the individual elements. The sauce is pleasantly spicy, and infects the entire bowl of goodies, which then become texturally varied vehicles for the delivery of mild heat.
The Korma sauce was milder, delivering a smooth and savory cashew impact on a combo that started with salad and paneer. The sauce wilts the kale and spinach in the salad nicely, and make easier to appreciate the contribution of the aforementioned beet paste, as well as the soft roasted, heat-spiked cauliflower.
For the wrap, we combined the tender house lamb with Tikka Masala. As promised, the tikka masala delivers a pleasantly creamy, tomatoey accent. It ties the contents of the wrap together seamlessly. Much like the aforementioned bowl, the sauce defines the flavors of all the elements.
There are sides and beverages to round out your choices. The Malaysian Paratha ($1.75) is pretty interesting. It’s round like a tortilla, but flaky like a dense croissant, and it’s also grilled in buttery seasoning.
There are also Mini Samosas ($4): and order yields a bounty of very small (bite size, or two-bites perhaps) and very cute stuffed triangle pockets. The little pastries are so small it’s challenging to discern the micro-minced fillings. There are shreds of onion, for sure, the rest is a a pleasantly aromatic mix.
Perhaps some uber creamy Mango Lassi ($3) to wash it down? It’s waiting at the end of the counter in ready-made cups. The yogurt/fruit concoction counters the heat of the spicier dishes and makes for a sweet ending to the meal.
You can find Curry Up at 6181 Sawmill Road. Internet maps seem to get occasionally confused about this address: if you get yourself into the Meier parking lot, you have arrived.
For more information, visit www.curryuprestaurantcolumbus.com.
Photos by Walker Evans.