Dining Out: The Curry Leaf, Pavilion Terrace: Korm-a-long for some curry with a real twist

The Curry Leaf.
The Curry Leaf.

Curry is brilliant.

What more is there to say about a dish that incorporates spice, loads of meat and sauce so thick you could paste wallpaper with it.

For a food that can be so hellish after consuming it, it’s my food heaven.

So for someone who loves curry as much as a baby loves their dummy, the fact I’d never been to the Curry Leaf was a mystery.

It could have been the Sri Lankan-heavy menu, which sounds a tad too exotic for someone whose standard dish is vindaloo and chips.

It could also be its slightly dumpy surroundings. Tucked under some Pavilion Terrace flats and opposite the rusting steel shutters of the empty Comet unit, its environment hardly screams ‘fun night out’.

However, for fellow curry lovers, it is well and truly worth a trip out.

Now it isn’t the best curry in Scarborough.

Everyone has a different favourite, and while I’ve heard some people almost break out into song talking about their love for the Curry Leaf - especially when it first opened a couple of years back - it isn’t quite that good.

What it is though is different. And tasty. And pretty cheap.

The staff are also pretty lovely. Attentive from the moment we walked in - granted it was almost empty - we were given what I’d call five star treatment from the off.

The owners are clearly proud of the place, and rightfully so, and their staff know exactly how to keep the customer satisfied.

And the food isn’t bad either, albeit a bit inconsistent.

What makes The Curry Leaf unique, certainly in Scarborough anyway, is that it ditches to some extent the rigid starter-main-pudding approach favoured by restaurants everywhere.

The focus is more on sharing platters, such as its signature thali, which while billed as a meal for one could probably feed three.

This isn’t formal eating. There’s real potential for messy fingers afterwards.

But the thali, favoured by many of our party, was sublime.

A fragrant curry with a hefty bowl of fluffy, cloud-white rice is the dish’s centrepiece.

But what makes the dish is all the little extras. Dips. Lentils. More dips. Chutneys. Loads more dips. Bread. And a few more dips for good measure.

You get loads and it is just so, so tasty. The wealth of flavour on display is joyous.

It is effectively a Sri Lankan smorgasbord, and for me - in terms of value, taste, quality - is among the better meals I’ve had in Scarborough.

Not everything meets the thali’s high though, as slightly dizzying as it is.

Some of the starters are really tasty, others a bit flat.

My spiced paneer was a particular low. Paneer isn’t the tastiest cheese to be fair, but the seasoning had no depth at all.

It felt like someone had shook some Schwartz chilli powder over it and then served it.

But some, like the fish cutlets, were just gorgeous and the seasoning spot-on this time.

You can get cheaper curries in Scarborough. You can get tastier curries. But without doubt, at least once, you should give it a chance.

Overall Rating: 7