You could be forgiven for thinking it's an underground poker club as you approach or accidentally walk past The Regency Club in Queensbury. Its unassuming and slightly baffling exterior adds to what is probably the most unexpected and surprising entrance you will ever make into a curry house.
Don't let the doorbell put you off. There is no door policy here and you'll soon be greeted by Pankaj, "the main dude" I am told. You'd again be forgiven for thinking this is your run of the mill pub. Wood panelling, booths, bar stools, slot machine, sky sports and its dome stained glass roof also make it look like the first class quarters of the titanic. Your eyes then turn to the open plan kitchen/grill, further cementing the view, that this is an Indian restaurant like no other.
At peak hours and weekends this place will be full to the rafters, but not to worry, while you wait, just grab a drink at the bar, stocked with the usual suspects on tap as well as home grown Freedom lager and other novelties such as Rothaus lemon bottled beer. The extensive and non-descriptive menu may make decisions a little tricky, but the very helpful staff is at hand to ensure you make the right choice. One thing is for sure, you will definitely want to order the delicious Garlic Mogo, which seems to be on everyone's table. Somewhat of a signature dish here, the vegetable, more commonly known as cassava or yucca, is diced, sautéed with spicy garlic and is dangerously addictive.
Turning curry house decorum on its head, the tapas sharing style encouraged here, makes for a refreshing change and allows you to sample more than one dish. Ignoring anything from the tandoori grill menu would be a crime, serving sumptuous and juicy selections of meats, particularly in the mix grill, which caters for those with a fiery palate. So you have been warned!
But if you prefer to stick to the trusted curry and rice combo, the Karahi fish masala is an absolute treat. Meaty chunks of white fish coated in thick and spicy sauce without a greasy layer in sight. However, the star dish has to be their whole leg of lamb, which has to be ordered 24 hours prior, while it is marinated, served with roasted potatoes and is fit for a king.
Although The Regency has been a local institution for years, it has moved along with the times and not shied away from social media, fully embracing Facebook and Twitter with regular updates on new menu additions and a regular "guess the dish" picture competition where you can win gift vouchers.
Again, due to its popularity and limited reservation policy, you may be waiting a while for a table. As a result, staff can also be a little pushy to ensure quick table turnaround, so not exactly somewhere to while away the hours. But the food and all round experience more than make up for that. This hidden gem is well worth the long stint on the jubilee line.