It was a fine summer's evening as the OCC travelled from far and wide to St Neots, once again in search of curry perfection. On Friday 18th May, it was Ury’s Restaurant that would become the latest UK curry house to be reviewed. St Neots is highly regarded by the OCC for other curry houses it has to offer (Nawaab Lounge to be specific) so there was an excitement in the air. Ury’s descend from the Keralite region in India which has proved to be a spice hub of the world so the OCC were expecting to have their taste buds tantalised……but the expectations were never met!
A poppadom spread that can only be related to a packet of walkers mix ups (google them and you’ll see what I mean) accompanied by what some might describe as the weirdest selection of sauces ever seen in a curry house! There was not your usual lime pickle or onion salad that we have come accustomed to as accompaniments to poppadoms but your rather more obscure lemon, garlic and chicken dips. It was safe to say the best part of the meet so far had been the Cobra’s!
With a disappointing start to the meet the OCC hoped it would get better. The Mixed grill (or Ury Non Veg Platter on the menu) seemed to be the general want from the OCC members and they soon arrived round the table to a pleasant surprise. The presentation would have received an A* had it been in food tech at school, with a variety of saucy swirls and meats the starters got the meet back on track.
A wide and varied agenda ranging from the impact of Brexit on curry houses to matters closer to the core of the OCC filled the time in between starters and mains before what we’d all really been interested to taste were delivered to the table. ‘Masala’, ‘Madras’, ‘Saag Paneer’, Garlic Naan’, ‘Mushroom Rice’ were a few of the many cries round the table as a variety of mains, sides and rice’s were ready for the OCC’s review.
As that saying goes…..’Looks can be deceiving’
The standards of presentation had continued but the quality hadn’t. Chicken that tasted rubbery and pink chicken on the bone were just a few comments that murmured round the table. The plethora of spices that we were expecting to be hit by never came… it was as if the chef had mixed together these spices and missed the pan when actually adding them.
The meet had been like riding the big dipper at Alton Towers, it had gradually climbed to a satisfactory point before a huge drop just brings the reality back down to earth and the OCC left Ury’s disappointed. The restaurant itself lacked atmosphere with only a small number of tables filled there seemed to be no buzz inside, no background noise for an atmosphere to feed off. The service wasn’t poor but it wasn’t outstanding to what the OCC have experienced and there was no nice little touches or extra knowledge provided by the staff. I’m not saying it’s a must to have these extra little touches but it’s these little extras that show the passion of the staff and the standards a restaurant sets. These little extras can make a good curry house a great curry house.
Ury’s Restaurant is way behind the Nawaab Lounge when it comes to an overall curry experience. I’ve been lucky enough to eat at both with the OCC and every time I think of St Neots I just see The Nawaab Lounge. They might be within a stones throwing distance of each other but they fall at opposite ends of the spectrum in the search for curry perfection.
Customer Care – 6.47
Atmosphere – 6.86
Service – 5.64
Quality – 5.18
Value – 5.55
Overall – 5.94
There’s a lot of room for improvement at Ury’s, quality over presentation is essential and whilst it might be an opportunity to produce unique dishes, time and time again people just love traditional curry dishes. Do these well and you’re on to a winner!
May your poppadoms be crispy, sauces tasty and curry spicy... and may also be yours.