Curry Quest: Not another restaurant review!


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There have been a few unhappy chappies about town after a number of unsavoury restaurant reviews had been published via blogs. Whilst I enjoy visiting restaurants and writing about my dining experiences, I do not claim to be a food critic, nor do I pretend I have any clout as an official restaurant reviewer when visiting such establishments. Nor do I slate the establishments and their management to the extent that these critics do. I do however feel that it is necessary to continue to share my dining experiences with my readership, and not simply bail out when the blogging community comes under scrutiny.

I am not one of those people who only dine at fancy 5 star establishments. I enjoy eating a bunny chow on the sidewalk from Rose Cafe in Bo Kaap just as much as the next person. I’ll totally blog about it as well. Which brings us to the reason for this blog post: Curry Quest. A true gem. Not a particularly shiny or fancy gem, but one of those stellar curry houses that will continue to do good business long after the fanciful, trendy establishments with fantastic views have opened and closed. When the beautiful people move onto the next ‘right now’ place, Curry Quest will still be serving consistently good food, at very reasonable prices.

It’s located on Durban road in Mowbray, and serves the best Durban curry this side of Chatsworth. A fitting address, you’ll agree. It’s positioned along a road with other similarly decent restaurants – a great Greek place that’s sadly closing soon, a good Thai cafe, and a Mexican joint at which I can only pass judgement on the frozen margaritas.

I went there for lunch last week, and upon arrival was met with an empty restaurant. I will admit that I felt a tad sceptical, but my lunch companion insisted that this was the place for a good curry, of which I am a big fan, so we sat down and ordered some drinks and starters. The decor is simple; bright orange walls with wooden chairs and tables decorated with intricately hand-stitched table mats. Framed accolades & magazine clippings adorn the walls, highlighting just how proud the owners are that their humble establishment has tickled so many diners.

Our mince samoosas and potato & coriander samoosas (R3 each) arrived within minutes, piping hot and incredibly crispy. They were served with a spicy dipping sauce which I discovered after the second bite was in fact Chippies prego sauce (I am their biggest fan!) that had been transformed with the help of some fragrant Indian spices into an Eastern dipping delight. It went particularly well with the potato & coriander samoosa, and for the grand total of R6 per person, that was our starter.

The menu is basic, and features a handful of vegetarian, chicken-based and lamb-based dishes. Each dish is available in two sizes, so it becomes possible to try a few different dishes, rather than order just one. I am told that the bunny chows make men cry tears of joy. Same goes for the biryani, equally famous for authenticity & delivering on the delicious factor. I’m looking forward to trying one on my next visit.

Our waitress was very helpful & elaborated confidently on the dishes we were considering. We eventually settled on a lamb curry (on the bone, R63 for the large portion), a chicken curry (R48 for the large portion), some basmati rice (R8), a side of raita (R9) and 2 roti (R8 each).


The lamb curry’s heat index was high, yet the flavour was not compromised. Notes of cloves, cinnamon, garam masala came through the flavoursome gravy strongly. The portion was large, with lots of chunky lamb, tender potatoes & tasty sauce. The rice would have been better served with this curry, as the sauce was more liquid than the chicken curry, but my companion endured with the roti, and fared well.


My chicken curry was absolutely mouth-watering. Cardamom, mustard seeds, coriander leaves & loads of fresh, zingy ginger and garlic in a tomato gravy. It took me straight back to Durban, to that dodgy curry shop in Pinetown where I almost sold my shoes for another fix. (Almost being the operative word there.) I had it with basmati rice, and a side of raita. It turned out my sniffling compadre needed the raita more than I did to put out the fire in his mouth, but the little that I did taste was refreshing – very crunchy cucumber & cool Bulgarian-style yoghurt.

Our bill came to R163, and by the time we walked out the restaurant, all the tables were full with equally content customers. If you enjoy a good Durban curry, or just great Indian food, this is the place to visit.

Find Curry Quest at 89 Durban Road, Mowbray. Contact them on 021 686 3157 or email

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