We woke early one Saturday morning to Simla’s owner on the radio talking about adapting his business in order to keep trading through the pandemic. Like many restaurants, at-home kits have been a lifeline for Simla. Naturally it’s not the same as running a buzzing restaurant filled with people, but it’s certainly kept the wheels turning.
We tried a curry box for four people and while we’ve hearty appetites at Brum Living Towers we reckon it would’ve fed eight of us comfortably. In the interests of this review, we cooked everything in one go, but realistically you could hold back a few dishes for another day. Cooking is essentially a heat-up and assembly job although we recommend holding off the gin until you’ve nailed the timings. We may have cremated the mini poppadoms.
Butter chicken is our go-to curry and the Simla version was beautifully rich and deep. Mopping up the moreish sauce with warm Malabari paratha was heaven. Tandoori Palak Chicken was a fresh vivid green packed with spinach with a fistful of coriander. Lamb Bhuna hit the spot – a squeeze of lemon to cut through the richness worked a treat, while Paneer Jalfrezi was the punchiest dish of the bunch. There was a flavour-packed Dal finished with chilli oil and a fish curry – Machar-Jhol that was delicious and a bit different. Fish fillets were cooked quickly in a hot oven and served with a traditional Bengali curry sauce. Really good.
We could have fed the whole street with the amount of rice provided. Then there were wholewheat chapatis and paratha, achari aloo gobi, raita and chutney which would have been great with the poppadoms. It was a real feast.
While the instructions were a doddle, we managed to use at least one pan per dish, so there was a bit more clearing up to do than with other boxes we’ve tried. The at-home menu changes every couple of weeks and prices start at £35 for two people.