Biju's Little Curry Shop hums with color and spice, the result of owner and chef Biju Thomas's childhood in the state of Kerala, India. Biju's opened earlier this week, serving curries and other delights from southern India; Thomas says more unique dishes will be available starting next week when his tiny kitchen will start turning out daily specials in addition to the selection rice, biriyani, curries and chapati currently available. Photographer Danielle Lirette popped into the little shop to capture the look and feel of the space, which Thomas says is partially inspired by the street art of Mumbai.
This is Thomas's first solo project in Denver, although he was previously involved in Swimclub32, the Highland restaurant that's now El Camino. Thomas moved to the Highland neighborhood with his family in 1980, but the cuisine of Kerala continued to be part of his upbringing. "This is the stuff me and my brothers grew up eating," he explains. "But I'm really not trying to compete with other Indian restaurants." Instead, his goal is to bring great flavors in a casual environment to customers in the Ballpark and River North neighborhoods.
One of his favorite dishes is yucca -- an everyday staple in Kerala -- with cinnamon braised beef, something he'll be adding as a special in the coming days. "It's so absolutely South India," he notes. Everything on the menu, he adds, is made in house from traditional ingredients.
The central piece of art on the wall is a graphic rendering of photo of a bicycle at a fish market he took while visiting India this summer to research ingredients and recipes. The saffron, turquoise and red tones continue a theme of bold colors, which Thomas wanted to showcase as a contrast to the cooler, minimalist restaurant decor that has dominated recent design.
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Keep reading for more photos of Biju's Little Curry House.