When Chef Ramsay blasted city curry house’s huge naans
BACK in 2007 Nottingham’s Curry Lounge appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, where the sweary celebrity chef branded the restaurant’s design-your-own curries “plain and boring” and likened the naan bread to “a big pair of knickers”.
The struggling restaurant in Upper Parliament Street was renowned for its incredibly complicated menu which its team of very experienced chefs struggled to actually cook. The business was also losing up to £3,000 a week. Enter Gordon Ramsay to save the day.
Things got off to a bad start the second Gordon clapped eyes on the building.
Proud notices in the window proclaimed the restaurant had “won” numerous awards, with the words “runner-up” in tiny print beneath.
With an eye roll, the celebrity chef stepped inside and sat down to order sea bass, a “DIY Curry”, and a chicken and prawn hot korma.
When it finally arrived, Gordon was horrified to see his enormous naan bread had its own stand.
He then blasted the sea bass as “tasteless with zero seasoning”, slammed the DIY curry as “greasy” and he was unhappy with the chicken being too dry.
A clearly miffed Ramsay then marched owner Arfan ‘Raz’ Razak over to the misleading advertising in the window to scrape it off.
After quizzing the kitchen staff, Gordon was disgusted to learn the only freshly-made food was the massive naan bread. And in a blind taste the only thing the staff could correctly identify were the chips.
After a quick think, Gordon’s bid to save this sorry mess was to launch a tiffin lunch service containing curry, rice and vegetables which he envisaged would help fill the restaurant by giving a sample of the food on offer.
Sure enough, the 40 lunches sold out within five minutes.
The impressed staff set about making more before handing out leaflets advertising the forthcoming relaunch, which would offer a new streamlined menu featuring regional items at reasonable prices.
Gordon told the kitchen to ditch the naan bread stands, and to serve them in a more sensible basket instead. There was then some grumbling about the new menu but an unconcerned Gordon took to the streets with Bollywood dancers and samples to advertise the relaunch.
When the big night itself came round, the customers tried to change the menu items but a much cheerier Raz refused to let them.
So far so good, with the customers loving the new food, noticing it was much less greasy and tasted nice. But before long the kitchen started to crumble and customers were left waiting. Overall, though, the relaunch was a massive success and raked in more than £3,000.
A month later, Gordon revisited The Curry Lounge and was pleased to see the restaurant was so busy he couldn’t even get a table.
Gordon did, however, notice that those naan stands were back, so he swiped them all off to a local scrap metal man.
Following the overhaul, Raz dined out on the TV fame until the business changed hands in 2015.
Razak was later found guilty of tax fraud on August 3, 2017, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years.
Under new management the restaurant closed at the end of 2017 before reopening under new ownership as Tandoor in June 2018, which closed a year later. The premises have been home to Casa Italian since 2020, and there isn’t a naan stand in sight.