Restaurant Reviews

First Bite: Curry Pizza Company Cypress

A half and half pizza lets customers try different flavors.
A half and half pizza lets customers try different flavors. Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

Houstonians love to eat and our multi-cultural population means there is a plethora of dining options from the ubiquitous Tex-Mex and barbecue joints to the just as numerous pho and Viet-Cajun eateries. While the city has had pockets of ethnic restaurants and markets such as Houston's Chinatown in Bellaire and the Mahatma Ghandi District along Hillcroft for decades, the city's sprawl has created suburban enclaves made up of different cultures and religions, resulting in more adventurous dining choices than suburbanites ever thought they would see.

And of course, there are the foodie trends. Each week in the Houston Press, we list a number of new restaurants and eateries opening across the city and the food fads from the past few years have included Nashville Hot Chicken (and its many iterations), crazy corndogs, A5 Wagyu burgers, sushi burritos and decadent seafood towers.

Many of our culinary crazes come from fusions of two different food cultures. The results can be mind-blowing or disastrous. As more and more Americans consider themselves "foodies", chefs and restaurateurs look for ways to ignite and delight their customers' palates.

One such restaurateur, Dalvider Multani, created his form of Indian pizza at Zante Pizza and Indian Cuisine in San Francisco in 1986.  Most food historians credit Multani with the creation of the curry pizza.
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Curry pizza finds a home in Cypress.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
Houston, with its large population of South Asian Americans, has seen some of that ingenuity here with such businesses as Bombay Pizza which opened in the city in 2009. Unfortunately, it closed its final location in 2020 during the pandemic. Over the past decade, there have been a number of places for curry pizza including Ashay's, Naan Pizza and Twisted Pizza and Curries. Most of them are located in Houston's diverse suburbs.

Recently, two new curry pizza restaurants, both out of California, opened in the Cypress area, north of Houston. Curry Pizza House opened in April while The Curry Pizza Company opened March 13 and had its grand opening May 26.
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The interior offers comfortable booths and a few televisions.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
The Curry Pizza Company Cypress is owned by Chani Singh Chamdal and Vijay Chamdal and is the first Texas store for the California-based company which originated in Fresno in 2017. We decided to check out The Curry Pizza Company for a take away order and see what this California transplant is offering.

Located in a strip center off FM 529, The Curry Pizza Company is a fast-casual spot with six comfortable booths which can seat 6-8 guests each. I had ordered online for pick-up and arrived about 10 minutes too early. There was one booth sat with two couples finishing up their meal, leaving me alone to wait for my order.

It was taking just a wee bit longer than the pick-up time which was fine by me except for the fact that it was rather warm in the dining area. I noticed the beer taps behind the counter. A cold beer sounded pretty good on the 95 degree day. However, it was barely 1 p.m. and I had other things to accomplish the rest of the afternoon, so I resisted temptation. Finally, the restaurant's A/C kicked in and a cold draft of air hit my skin.
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Cold beer is a friend of both pizza and curry.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
The pizzas soon came out piping hot and just as I ordered. Customers can order half and half flavors on large pizzas and that's what I did for both because I wanted to get a variety. The first pizza was half Chicken Tikka and half Butter Chicken. It was loaded with chicken, the tikka side covered in chili-red chunks of meat. The other pie was half cheese-only and half pepperoni, with the cheese on top glistening with perfectly browned spots.

I decided to grab a couple of bites before the 28-minute drive home and opted for the Chicken Tikka side. At first bite, I could taste the tang of the yogurt marinade and there was a gentle kick of heat. The cheese was melting into all the other ingredients and it was a heavenly first taste of curry pizza.  I had ordered a side of curry sauce and was asked if I wanted it heated. I replied that I could just heat it at home. I was also offered some ranch dressing, so I accepted that as well.

I had to get home as quickly as possible, so I loaded up my two pizzas and a dessert of Butter Toffee Cake and headed back to the east side of Cypress with the scents of garlic, chili and cumin filling the Kia Rio I had borrowed from my kids.

Once home, I dug in to both the Chicken Tikka and the Butter Chicken. I ate one slice at a time, trying to distinguish between the two. The Butter Chicken was sweeter and less spicy. The Tikka had more of a tomato flavor and definitely more spice, giving it the edge as my favorite. While I can always do with a little extra heat, it was enough to satisfy my chili desires. Both toppings had a few diced fresh tomatoes, red onions and a garnish of cilantro, all done with a nice balance. I would have liked a bit more sauce on the Butter Chicken half because I am a sucker for sauce. 
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The traditional pizzas are just as crave-worthy.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
My college-aged son strolled by and grabbed a cheese slice out of the box. He proclaimed it to taste like "restaurant pizza", adding that the mozzarella cheese actually had some flavor. He was right. The cheese on the traditional pizza tasted like pizza cheese should. The sauce-to-cheese ratio was good and there wasn't an overwhelming bite of oregano and garlic like many fast-food pizza sauces.

As for the crust, I ordered the regular version for both pies, though the restaurant does offer a thin option. My New Haven-born husband might disagree but sometimes thin crust pizza can be, well, too thin.  Personally, I like a bit of chew in the dough and this crust delivered the right amount of crispness and yeasty flavor.
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The staff were generous with the condiments.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
The prices at The Curry Pizza Company run on the high side. The large specialty pizzas are $27.99 while the Create-Your-Own start at $24.99 for cheese only. That may be steep for a young family and it's probably not the type of place to draw in post-game tee ball teams.

I used online ordering and there was a promotion for take-out that offered a $5 discount for two large pizzas. There are small, medium, large and family sizes.

The large pizzas were cut into 12 slices rather than 8 which makes sense with the amount of chicken on top. These pizzas can fill you up quickly. Actually,  I could enjoy one of these pies with a little less chicken and a little more sauce. But then again, I've been known to make an alone-time meal out of store-bought naan and jarred tikka masala sauce, no chicken required.

The restaurant offers curry sauce for 75 cents and I was given two little ramekins of the tomato-ey condiment which had a gentle heat that shouldn't wipe out most Houstonians. The ranch dressing was delicious and I couldn't tell if the zing was from buttermilk or yogurt but it's a nice counterbalance to spice for those who need it, similar to the oft-used raita in Indian cuisine.
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The Butter Toffee Cake is rich and filling.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
Wings are also a popular item here as well as Desi Garlic Bread and Butter Paneer Waffle Fries. There are salads, soft drinks and beer, too. The Butter Toffee Cake ($6.99) was extremely moist with a rich toffee glaze that lived up to its buttery name.

Fans of curry pizza, stay tuned. We'll be checking out more places, soon.

The Curry Pizza Company
18420 FM 529
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.