Currying Favor

Posted on May 11, 2017

Natomas isn’t too far to go for excellent Pakistani food.

Chef Sajjadd Amhmed
Chef Sajjadd Amhmed Photography by Suyen Torres

They say if you want good food from a culture other than yours, turn to a cultural insider for guidance. When my mom told me her Uber driver, who hailed from Pakistan, had sung the praises of a Pakistani/Indian restaurant in Natomas, I was skeptical. When downtown Sacramento has multiple options for tandoori chicken and hot garlic naan, it doesn’t seem practical to schlep out to Natomas for the same thing. Not to mention I generally don’t ask my Uber drivers for restaurant recommendations.

But seeing as how I love turmeric, cardamom and fenugreek, and considering the fact that, unlike this Uber driver, I’ve never even been to Pakistan, I decided to give Natomas a chance. And that’s how I found myself whiling away two leisurely hours with a friend at CURRY CORNER’s buffet, stuffing myself to a stomachache on creamy stews, curries and, oddly, spiced spaghetti.

At first glance, the food looked pretty standard: There was butter chicken and tandoori and saag, pakoras and samosas and basmati rice. Once I bit into the aloo ghobi, though, it was game over. I’ve had some unfortunately sludgy, overcooked aloo in my life, but this one was bright and acidic, with vegetables that were still toothsome without a hint of limpness or muddiness. The chicken and paneer tikka masalas were similarly robust and binge-able.

My girlfriend and I were particularly charmed by the more unusual items at the buffet, like the thick spaghetti noodle dish, analogous to a very good Bolognese but with mirepoix swapped out for garam masala. There was a little dessert section, too, with a shredded, sugared carrot mash called gajar halwa and an exquisite citrus-honey gulab jamun—curdled milk solids that are deep-fried and soaked in a fragrant syrup until squishy.

Half a week later, I drove past three Indian restaurants in my neighborhood to return to Curry Corner. I’d called in an order for the mixed vegetables, extra spice, and the fish vindaloo, extra spice again.

Maybe I should start asking all my Uber drivers for their restaurant recommendations.

4680 Natomas Blvd.; (916) 515-2002;


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