This week Hector did his research.
Marg has a hockey meeting in Perth, she is afraid of falling asleep at the wheel, so Hector is engaged to ride shotgun: a chance to experience a curry in a town where I have not eaten for twenty years. The Tabla, (173 South St, Perth) looked the most interesting and had better reviews online than the other restaurant along the street, or the Indian Buffet.
Hector is standing at the window looking at all of the offers: lunch, pre-theatre, midweek – is this place struggling? The waiter came out to the street and invited me in, a welcome.
The menu was brought and there was a plethora of chicken. The usual, ‘we can prepare any of the above in lamb or king prawn’ was not evident. I was about to select a seafood combination when the waiter made the ultimate offer: ‘…the chef is happy to cook to order..’…so…Lamb, dry sauce, herbs, reasonably hot…was the order. The waiter wrote nothing down. A Vegetable Pilau Rice was to be the accompaniment. Squid Pakora! Hector has never experienced this, so at the risk of being too full, this had to be included.
‘The Squid is off’ and so with the guarantee that ‘Salmon Pakora is fantastic’ a replacement was ordered. Now this could turn out to be very filling.
A very wet curry was then brought: which part of ‘dry’ did I not communicate? Unusually, I tasted the Vegetable Rice first, it is excellent, the vegetables have not been overcooked, there is a hint of clove.
This turned out to be a tasty meal, I suspect it was the rice that gave the curry a boost. I could have eaten more which is unusual having had the starter and also given the filling nature of salmon.
A mature Scots couple came in with a voucher. In discussion with the very attentive waiter they remarked that the place has changed hands frequently. It is also established that the waiter is indeed from India.
Now, the clove ingredient is starting to puzzle me, too much and a dish is killed. Is there a balance with Cloves and Methi? Is this where my fantasy taste originates?
There will be experimentation…