Years ago we proclaimed that Ryde was the international cuisine capital of the Isle of Wight, with at that time Tex Mex, Italian, Caribbean, Thai, Indian, pub grub, American-style steak plus full English on the menu somewhere in the town’s leisure strip.
Amazingly, the pandemic has not damped the motivation of enterprising food vendors. Despite the obvious challenges, over the last year we’ve seen cafes change hands, including So Yummy… and Kevar’s becoming Kookies; street food purveyors The Vegan Boys open their own restaurant with ‘Craft‘. No 64 and Fumo33 have embraced the takeaway vibe. Pickle and Dill deli arrived in Union Street selling artisanal bread from Ventnor’s Cantina bakery among other local delicacies. Pudding and Pie delivered some pudding and pie to our door, and only a few days ago a wagon appeared in Monkton Village from which emanated the delightful aroma of Deep South fried chicken. We had some and it was cutlery-lickin’ good™.
To be honest, we are spoilt for choice. A friend in Rookley shed a virtual tear of envy as we tweeted about our curry from another fresh contender: Courtside at Home. “All the new takeaways seem to be only in Ryde.” she complained. And, when we peeled the lids from our steaming foil cartons we could sympathise with her.
Our Thai meal from Courtside at Home was astonishingly good, and excellent value. Delivered to our doorstep for no extra charge we were soon delving into the paper bags to see what had arrived. The curry is designed to be reheated at home, and simple instructions were provided.
Our feast began with (Tesco’s own) Thai spicy crackers; pleasingly peppery and crispy, plus chicken satay. The home-made satay sticks were far superior to the leathery version that has occasionally been our experience of these coqsicles™ at other venues. Courtside’s own version was more like a chicken kebab with cubes of soft marinated chicken threaded on skewers, which we dunked eagerly in the nutty satay sauce.
We had one of each of this week’s curries. The Thai green chicken was an incredibly generous portion; mild yet tasty. With a coconut and lemongrass infusion, minicorns and coriander, the sauce soaked beautifully into the sticky jasmine rice. It was delicious.
Matt’s beef massaman was on the hotter end of the chilli spectrum for this traditionally rich and creamy curry. And boy was it beefy! Satisfying chunks of meat jostled with potatoes and chickpeas in that characteristically sweet, warming, massaman sauce.
Thai curry meal x 2 @ £10 per person
There was plenty of the Thai butternut and sugar snap pea curry side dish to share, in fact this was almost a meal to itself. With a different spice note to all three curries, its sweetness was a great addition to the meal.
For a tenner each we had such a feast – and delivered to our doorstep as well. This Saturday curry club is one that we will revisit, but if you can’t wait for the weekend they do have an extensive pie and stew-style menu, including hearty favourites moussaka, hotpot and even coq au vin.
We are delighted to see the return of Courtside Cafe, if only in a takeaway form. Back in the Before Times, when it was an actual venue, we enjoyed a superlative breakfast in a rather salubrious location. What was reassuring about the Courtside at Home incarnation was exactly what we concluded when we reviewed our eat-in meal – it is incredible value and competently-created delicious food.
This is the full-length version of the review first published in the Isle of Wight County Press.
- Generous portions
- Free delivery in East Wight
- Different curry every week
- Big menu of comfort classics
- Not open every day