The Booking at Jai Ho at The Coppingham Arms (263 Balcombe Road, Horley, Surrey, RH6 9EF) was four 20.30, four hours after our superb Curry at The Downsman. Having been to India earlier this year, Clive and Maggie have no qualms about eating food in from the Indian Subcontinent as the norm. Normally Hector would have no problems in facing a Double Curry Session, alas, the Downsman Curry Experience today was the not the planned Snack.
Jim and Debs would be our Co-Diners this evening, again both have visited India and know what constitutes a Quality Curry.
One is expected to enter the former Coppingham Arms through the front door which takes one into the Bar area the door from the car park takes one into the eating area. There was nothing Bier-wise that Hector found of interest and so Soda Water was the Drink of Choice. The Others managed to find something Palatable, with a Kick.
We were taken through to the Dining Room at the rear, with the table hard against a pillar, five felt an awkward configuration. Poppadoms were offered, one each would suffice. They came quickly. Jim observed the lack of his favourite Dip – Lime Pickle. This is apparently his favourite additive when cooking.
The Poppadoms were long gone and nobody had taken our order. On the last visit the food was ordered on the Bar side where Mein Host had sold us on the need to experience the Lamb Chops. We had long since decided what our order would be, eventually we were permitted to convey this information. Jim and Debs would share Lamb Chops and Vegetable Samosas. Clive ordered Lamb Chops too assuming Maggie would assist. She had other ideas. Maybe Maggie was not that hungry tonight.
Hector had Fish Curry in mind as a way of guaranteeing something Light, and permitting a more diverse culinary report. The Malwani Fish Curry was the only Fish Curry on the Menu. This was described as having a West Coast origin.
Jim felt the Specials did not hold anything of interest and so chose the more traditional Lamb Rogan Josh. Debs and Clive chose Goan Prawns, whilst Maggie opted for Garlic Prawns. Mushroom Rice, Nan, Garlic Nan and a Tandoori Roti (£1.95!) for Hector were the Accompaniments.
The Starters came in a reasonable time. Knifes and forks were abandoned, there is only one way to eat Lamb Chops. Clive enjoyed his Chops despite trying to persuade Maggie and I to take one or two off his hands. Jim felt that the Downsman Chops are signification better, they are more Crispy at the latter venue. The Samosas impressed both Jim and Debs, the Potato revealing itself first, the other Vegetables and Spices joining in to the complete the joy of this Snack Food.
Maggie and I had now sat without food for an hour, this was to our benefit.
The Main courses were brought a full hour after we had sat down, this tactic certainly improves the profits as more Bier was ordered. Assuming we would retire to The Swan, I stuck with the Soda Water.
The Malwani Fish Curry was White Fish in a Yellow Masala. My Islamabad Curryspondent told me that in the Indian Subcontient they do not really go out of their way to identify the various Fish that they encounter. Masala Fish is how Fish is sold in KRK, my Glasgow Grocer/Butcher. The Coconut content was minimal and so the Sweetness level was within tolerable limits. The expected Red Chillis were present and the Black Mustard Seeds. This is the classic South Indian Masala (by my Geographic description), the Masala had more than just a Kick, it was Fiery. I enjoyed this variation from my preferred Karahi-style dishes. The Fish was Light and so did the job, A Curry without the Calories, hopefully.
Maggie tasted Clive’s Goan Masala to compare it to her own. We had deduced that the Masala here was the same as in my Fish Curry. The heat built up slowly on Maggie’s palate and then she felt the assault. In comparison her Masala had the Garlic to the fore. Maggie’s revenge for Clive having something similar in Horley two nights before.
Jim had demolished his Rogan Josh in quick time. Perhaps the Portion was not that large? He was not particularly impressed by what he had eaten. Not the best, not the worst, he felt he could have cooked the same himself. Bog standard, typical Indian Gravy with some Lamb in it.
£123.90. When one adds another £30 for the taxis to and from Crawley this may make Horley a destination too far. Crawley has enough very fine Curry outlets.
The taxi back took three people home and two elsewhere. Hector felt like a Bier finally, and so to The Swan it was.