Is the best Indian restaurant in the Twin Cities to be found in downtown Hopkins? A recent visit to the generically, unpromisingly named Curry ’N’ Noodles left me convinced it is.
The samosas were obviously handmade, full of rustically cut potatoes and other vegetables united by a nutty and fragrant base infused with the roasty taste of toasted mustard seeds. The angaray naan, a well-charred bread filled with little bits of bright red spicy chicken and fresh cilantro, was so good my husband and I kept showing it to one another in disbelief: Was it really as spicy, fresh, and surprising as all that? It was, it really was. The mutton biryani was so subtly seasoned you tasted a whole spice cupboard within it, while the chicken vindaloo was so fiery it brought tears of happiness to my eyes. The fish poached in coconut with fresh curry leaves was unlike any other dish I’ve had in the Twin Cities: creamy, funky, haunting.
When I go back, I hope to try more exotic dishes, like the eggplant cooked with Javanese long pepper. Until then, though, I’m happy to report that my longstanding sense that there was nothing surprising in Twin Cities Indian food has been reversed. I just needed to look in downtown Hopkins and not judge a restaurant by its name.