The Oakham Curry Club (OCC) is a well-respected institution with multiple international franchises.
The OCC takes pride in searching out the finest Indian restaurants, and providing an impartial review of curry houses all over the world. More recently we started our 3rd franchise to find the best Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Members vote anonymously on 5 categories, and an average score is given to each restaurant we review.
After a very satisfying meet at Vedas in June which almost saw a new front-runner crowned for the OCC Curry House of the Year (CHOTY), the OCC was excited to travel to Kaveen’s Kitchen in July. Kaveen’s Kitchen is one of Shanghai’s longest-running Indian restaurants, having operated for over 17 years and at one stage even supplied food for Air India flights leaving Shanghai. The OCC’s scores out of 10: Quality: 6.5 Atmosphere: 6.4 Value: 7.7 Service: 8.1 Customer care: 9.3 Total 7.6 As the scoring indicates, the quality of the food was not Kaveen’s Kitchen’s strongest suit. Most members found the food to be relatively on-par with other Indian restaurants throughout the city – good without being exceptional. Some members were appreciative of the spiciness of the curries, a common OCC bugbear at many other Shanghai locations, and others were heard to praise the dough-to-filling ratio of the samosas. Beyond that, however, there were no particular standout dishes. Similarly, the atmosphere was another slight drawback for the venue. Although it has a nice décor, the restaurant itself is quite long and thin, which can make it a bit cramped with a large group. The entrance to the venue is also located via a bar that appears to be of questionable repute – which as one member stated could make it a difficult place to bring a date.
Despite these issues, for the shrewd curry enthusiast, Kaveen’s Kitchen represents good value. Although the dishes were quite small, members were happy with a price of about 250 each for a selection of curries, starters, naan and a number of beers.
The service was where the venue really started to shine. Staff were very attentive to all issues and were quick to not only bring out drinks but also accommodate any requests. The cramped nature of the venue mentioned previously may have seen other restaurants struggle to serve everyone well, but the staff handled this with aplomb. Where Kaveen’s really delivered was the customer care. In Shanghai in particular this is an oft-neglected quality, but Kaveen’s provided this in spades. The owner Vic (Kaveen is his son) is an amateur magician and was more than happy to dazzle us with a variety of impressive tricks at the end of the meal. Vic and other staff members were also very conscious to provide enough space for the OCC to conduct its administrative affairs throughout the evening, while finally providing us with a dessert and digestif at the end of the meal free of charge. The truly outstanding average customer care score of 9.3 out of 10 was very well deserved.
This attention to service and customer care sees Kaveen’s leapfrog Vedas, Masala Art and Lotus Land, and become the leader in the 2017 CHOTY stakes. While it may not provide the best curry in Shanghai, if you’re looking for a great experience and to be well taken care of by staff while enjoying a reasonably-priced Indian meal, the OCC would heartily recommend Kaveen’s Kitchen. www.oakhamcurryclub.com