I often go to Currify by West Nanjing Station for lunch during the work day. It’s a reliable lunch spot. On this particular day, the staff seated me quickly, and I had my food within 10 minutes. The vegetable curry is RMB 42 and the salt lassi RMB 28. This is a typical quick and friendly service experience. It’s not the kind of place you’d go for a hungover curry as the chairs aren’t something to sink into and the music is a bit loud, but with normal curry needs, they hit the spot. There were plenty of other lunch-goers eating alone, but I could see it being a nice place to grab dinner or even a few drinks after work with friends. I’m sure loads of people do.
They do have those QR codes on the table that I like so that you can just pay and leave, but I’m not sure if I did it wrong because I couldn’t get them to work. Again, though, the service was fast, so this wasn’t a problem. Cell service inside isn’t great, but they have fast wifi for customers anyway. They’ve got curries available from all over Asia, and they give you the option of white rice, brown rice, or naan. What more could you want?
Price per person: RMB 70
It’s good to know about because when the craving hits, they’re fairly priced and fairly quick.
Occupying the space immediately to the left of the Taixing Road Sproutworks, casual Indian dining spot Currify x Taoker landed in the Wujiang Road/Taixing Road dining hub in late July. It was packed when we (party of 2) arrived at 9pm on a Thursday, with a fairly young customer base, about 50/50 Chinese and laowai. We grabbed a number but were seated after just a few minutes' wait.
The restaurant is split into two sections, with high chair bar-style tables near the entrance and standard table seating in the back area. We got a table at the high seats near the door, but I'd recommend going for the seating in the back if you can - there was a lot of movement around the door and the AC was losing the battle. Ambience-wise, the restaurant lighting felt a bit too dark for me - like it was straddling the line between restaurant and bar without quite committing in either direction. Perhaps my awkward choice of dining time had something to do with that. Flat screens on the walls were showing Bollywood movies.
The specialty here is the Southern Indian staple: the dosa - specifically the potato dosa (masala dosa). We ordered a serving of masala dosa, along with palak paneer, butter chicken, and draught beers. The palak paneer and butter chicken both came with plain naan, so we didn't have to order those, which was nice. They were running a BOGO offer on the beers that night, but our server forgot to tell us until we were leaving, so the freebies ended up wasted - tragedy!
The masala dosa arrived first - I was most excited to try this, but I was a bit underwhelmed. The pancake portion of the dosa was nice and crispy but I found the potato filling a little underseasoned and somewhat on the skimpy side to boot. A bit of post-meal research informed me that a classic masala dosa is supposed to be relatively lightly seasoned, so perhaps my evaluation needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but I definitely would like liked a bit more depth of flavor. There are three sauces/chutneys that come with the dosa for dipping and they definitely helped. Not an expert on dosas, but I felt this could have been more. 6/10. The palak paneer and butter chicken arrived at about the same time with their accompanying naans. The palak paneer was tasty enough but I found the texture of the spinach a bit strange -very thick and creamy with almost no textured mouthfeel at all, like it had been blitzed in a food processor for too long. It reminded me of the difference between homemade guacamole and store-bought guacamole - homemade guac usually has uneven chunks of avocado in the mix, while store-bought guac has an uncannily uniform texture throughout. The paneer in the dish was plentiful, although I would have liked it cut into larger chunks. Taste-wise, the dish was okay, but I've definitely had better. 6/10.
The butter chicken on the other hand tasted nothing like any butter chicken I've ever had in my life. The predominant flavor in the butter chicken, as far as I could tell, was pumpkin. Not a little pumpkin - a LOT of pumpkin. I thought I was crazy. I had my girlfriend try it. She agreed...definitely pumpkin...so maybe we are both crazy. It was a rich, sweet + spicy pumpkiny butter chicken. Now my surprise here should not be taken as disapproval. I didn't hate it...in fact I rather liked it. The chicken portion was generous and the flavors aside from the pumpkin was very good. However, this is NOT the dish to order if you've been craving a classic, rich, savory butter chicken. For me, this was an 8/10, but I could definitely see other people giving it a 2/10.
Other stuff: The naan was good - warm, crispy and chewy, just like it's supposed to be. Service was disorganized and made a few mistakes - we initially got someone else's mains, the beers arrived after the food, an extra beer was added onto our tab and had to be removed - can't be sure if this is par for the course or if we got bad luck with our server. The price was very reasonable for the neighborhood: 55-70 for mains and bottle and draught beers from 35-60. Looks like they also had a decently-sized bar with a fair number of whiskeys. Currify x Taoker probably deserves a second chance with different dishes, perhaps in a month or two when they've had a little bit longer to standardize their operation. The attractive location and price point pretty much ensures I'll be back at some point and I didn't get a chance to try anything from the tandoor portion of the menu this time, so I'll withhold final judgment for now.
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