In Ashburn, Indian favorites at a seven-day buffet
By Tom Sietsema
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
There's a lot to like about the lunch buffet at the Curry Club in Ashburn.
Consider the cost: $9.95 on weekdays, $2 more on weekends.
Behold the display: at least a dozen dishes.
The spread finds room for goat curry in addition to such crowd-pleasers as butter chicken, spinach with cheese, and lentils in a spectrum of earth tones. The chicken is tender, the sag paneer tastes fresh and that goat comes with a tasty cloak of tomato and vinegar.
"More bread?" an attentive server asks between trips to the buffet. "Another soda?" his colleague inquires just before I realize I'd like a refill.
Madan Mohan, a former hotel food and beverage manager, opened the Curry Club in December, "close to my house," says the Delhi native, "so if anything goes wrong, I can be there in five, 10 minutes."
A hundred seats are spread around the dining room, which is inviting with high ceilings, walls in fruit-bowl colors and twinkling chandeliers. A splashing fountain is easy on the ears.
The man behind the glass wall in the back is chef Diwan Singh, last seen at Minerva in Fairfax. I like his soft lamb kebab, which shows up on a sizzling plate over a bed of onions, as well as his smoked chicken legs, splashed with lemon and vinegar just before serving. Chickpeas shot through with fresh ginger and freckled with cilantro make a satisfying detour from meat.
I've had lesser meals here as well, involving stir-fried calamari that go down like rubber bands, dense and oversalted shrimp, and breads that could use more time in the tandoor. But more frequently, I leave thinking like a companion from the District: As we pulled out of the parking lot not long ago, he said, "It's a shame it's way out here."