Go to Curry Craft

Ever since I first heard that Mel Oza was opening a new place in Carytown I was excited. He's the man behind the food at Lehja - one of the few good reasons to drive out to Short Pump - and I've talked about his vittles before. Now he's opened Curry Craft at 2915 W. Cary Street and, having eaten there last night, I think I can save time and fuel when I want Oza's take on Indian cuisine.

I don't know their hours (not posted on the door or the website yet). I don't think they're open for lunch. And they won't have their ABC license until this Thursday (4/25), but just do yourself a favor and go try some stuff out. I know this week is Richmond Restaurant Week, but spare a night for a new joint if you can.

Oh yeah, of course I'm going to tell you about what I ate. Valerie and I did two appetizers, a couple orders of garlic naan, and a shared entrée, and we took some leftovers home. Valerie started with their soup of the day which was a creamy tomato and coconut soup. It was a little on the spicy side for her, but she still loved the flavor (and so did I). I think there was something sweet in there other than coconut, but I couldn't place it. I just wanted to soak it up with some naan all night, or pour it over almost any other food as a sauce. Really, it was fantastic soup. I started with Tellicherry Chicken Rotti, a well-spiced collection of chicken pieces with cherry tomatoes and diced mango. The chicken was juicy and tender, and the blend of spices was strong but not overpowering. Really good stuff.

The main course we shared was called Chicken Ananas "Udaigiri". Along with the same spiced rice I've enjoyed at Lehja, the dish was delicious chunks of poultry in a coconut curry sauce with sweet pieces of pineapple. Val and I both loved the heck out of this dish and were happy to take home what was left. I look forward to checking out more of their menu in the future. Next time I'll get an entrée of my own so I can eat something a bit hotter (like the duck vin d'alho).

It's a new place, so I'm sure folks will find things that need improvement (though everything was fine, service included, when Valerie and I were there). Just cut them some slack while they settle in, and help give this place a good start. It's delicious, and I want it to stick around.