Last Updated: January 19, 2016
Samy’s Curry is tucked in a little corner in Dempsey Road and can be quite hard to find. A very inconspicuous place, this restaurant hides behind La Fondue like hidden treasure. Samy’s Curry is a family owned business and have been situated in this exact location for 50 years, way before Dempsey road was even developed into the classy restaurant district it is today, being the very first restaurant in Dempsey road.
Samy’s Curry gives a totally different vibe from the rest of the restaurants in Dempsey. Whereas other Dempsey restaurants exude a classy, fine-dining atmosphere, Samy’s Curry is more like a canteen with a 80s colonial setting. Stepping in here is like stepping back in time.
To order, you can either go to the food display and pick out your dishes like a true local, or order from your table with the menu like a wuss. The hardcore gourmet adventurer only finds out what he’s eating when it is served. I too, like to live dangerously.
The Indian dishes are usually served with rice, and you can pick either white rice ($2.80) or the fragrant biryani ($3.60). The rice at Samy’s Curry comes with 2 side vegetables that change daily, and all the pappadam you could possibly eat. We had vegetable dhal and sambal long beans today, which were firm and not overly soggy in their marination.
The Biryani at Samy’s Curry is a bit more moist and not as dry as how traditional long grained basmati is prepared, which I think suits the local audience better and appeals across all races. If you didn’t order curry, you can drench your rice with Chicken gravy that they serve on the side as well, it’s really good.
I’ll talk about the other sides in a bit, but first…
Curry Fish Head ($20/$27/$32). The first challenge to any decent Curry fish head, is having fresh snapper head and Samy’s gets theirs delivered almost daily. You can taste a clean palate in the flesh. The fish was cooked just nice, firm yet not flaky. The curry spices were also balanced quite well and gives a good thick curry. Not as sweet as Chinese curry which also has tomato and pineapple, this is true blue, heavy Indian Curry.
Fish Cutlet ($2). More like a fish ball, this is minced fish meat that is then fried. Soft with very light crisp, this was interesting.
Fried Cauliflower ($3.50). Coated with Turmeric and curry powder for that red flavour, this gives more a spice flavour to the usually dull cauliflower.
Mysore mutton ($4.50). Mysore is named after a city in India that also sores this signature dish. I find it quite dry but has good curry and spice flavours. From my understanding, the Indian preference is for dryer dishes, so although not to my taste, this is a hit to Indian nationals.
Masala Chicken ($5). Very tender thigh meat and not overly chilli spicy, yet you taste the Garam Masala blended spices. Pretty good chicken that goes well with rice.
From bottom: Ras Malai ($3) and Gulab Jamun ($3.50). Ras Malai is made with balls of cottage cheese, soaking in cream milk pudding. Gulab Jamun are hot rice balls in sugar syrup. Both desserts had interesting textures, but were too sweet for me to appreciate.
Even though the setting of Samy’s Curry is like a coffeeshop, the service here is of fine-dining standard. Extremely attentive staff that asks if you want a refill of your drink, constantly refilling your rice and generally just flying to you if you so much as make eye contact.
Very hospitable people, you will definitely not walk out of Samy’s without feeling as stuffed as a turkey. I have to commend on the service again, which was stellar from this post-experience. After tasting, it was raining at Dempsey and we couldn’t get an operator to book a cab from the influx of calls. The kind folks at Samy’s somehow managed to book one for us and gave us the cab details for the cab that arrived just minutes later behind the restaurant. Whoa.
Be warned, this Indian restaurant is priced a bit above average, but not as extravagant as a fine-dining restaurant of course. Top notch service makes it worth it. Besides, no one travels to Dempsey area expecting to spend on a budget.
Expected Damage: $30-$40/pax