I clearly remember the time when Indioz opened; the grumblings of middle class Boho’s too polite to raise their voice from condescending to snooty. Moseley does not need another curry house, they would say, it needs more places where Columbian coffee workers are paid a fair wage to hand harvest the beans in my mug, because this economic tilt towards the lowest paid in South America will help keep the cost of cocaine down. And that’s the thing about us Moseleyites; we’re as socially reckless as we are conscious.
The reality is that Moseley probably doesn’t need another curry house. We have several on St Mary’s row not fit to grace the B13 postcode, another on the Alcester Rd, the one where the Jug of Ale used to be that may or may not have given me food poisoning, and Kabbabish, the stalwart of Woodbridge Rd. The truth is that another is fine if it raises the bar. Keep the better stuff coming I say, it makes the bad ones dissapear and the good ones try harder. And in that respect, Indioz works because they do the humble curry better than anyone else close by, all from a plush dining room of softened blues and creams. Of arched ornate mirrors and thick carpeting.
I’m not mad on the poppadum’s arriving smashed up in a bowl, but I quickly forget this given the quality of everything else. A tandoori mixed grill is absurd value at £4.45 given that this buys you a sheekh kebab, lamb chop, chicken drumstick and tandoori chicken breast. The tandoori chicken is a revelation; as accurately cooked as anywhere else in the city, the meat of a higher quality than expected given the cost. The rest settles for just merely very good, the pick being the lamb chop that disappeared quickly due to charred outer and tender pink centre. Our other starter was a greaseless fried bread filled with a heavily spiced mixture of potato and chickpea. I love veggie food as relentless as this, it takes me back to India where I never cared for meat at all. Here, in suburban Moseley, this will cost you less than four quid.
The curries we tried set them apart from the local competition by some way. A Gosth Banjar was tender pieces of mutton in a dark gravy littered with chilli. It’s dark and deep with an underlying note of star anise. A Chicken Mirchi has the faint acidity of pickling liquor running through its veins that control the frequent blasts of garlic cloves and chilli. It’s this sauce that makes the dish, though that shouldn’t detract from the large lumps of chicken breast that are evenly cooked and absorbed the best of the bowl. With these we pile in aromatic basmati rice and scoop back out with lightest of naans that shit all over the competition of any within at least four miles.
They are unlicensed, and are happy for folk to bring in their own booze without corkage, so we make light work with a dinner that fails to hit thirty quid for the two of us. It’s almost laughably cheap given just how good it is. I love the food of the sub continent, anyone that reads this regularly will know that, and when its as bold and big on flavour as Indioz I would gladly eat it everyday. Indioz have stolen the march on the local competition for the humble curry and at a price so cheap its nigh on impossible to not try.