Nawaabs Tandoori Restaurant (33 Summer St, Aberdeen, AB10 1SB) has been on the recommended list for Aberdeen Curry Houses since the birth of this Blog. Hector and Marg have had some very good Curries here over the years. Tonight’s did not hit the spot.
Xmas Sunday, as Hector’s understanding of how the calendar works (Boxing Day cannot be on a Sunday and this year it should be on December 27, but as usual the British media cannot wait for the official day, the start of a decade, the millennium et al…) at 18.00 proved to be a time when the good people of ‘Furry-Boots City’ did not have Curry on their mind. We were the only customers.
We were shown to a table at the window. Now it is a private joke that every time Marg and Hector have been to Nawaabs we have always been given the same table: in door to right, back table on left. Tonight we were given the adjacent window table, the only other table Marg has ever occupied in this restaurant. Someday I will be invited into the main seating area of the restaurant, but tonight we were certainly to be window dressing.
Complementary Popadoms and Chutneys arrived almost immediately. We were then given an extraordinary amount of time to survey the menu.
Marg nearly fell into the Dopiaza trap once again. I fail to understand why she keeps forgetting that this is the dish she certainly does not want: too many onion chunks. She chose the Lamb Karahi: no challenge then given this was the Yadgar feast on Monday last. Hector found what he was looking for: Green Herb Lamb Curry, a Bhuna variant – dry, spicy hot and copious amounts of Coriander. The waiter could see we no amateurs: ‘We are out for some real food.’ I remarked. A Vegetable Rice and two Chapattis were the accompaniments.
A very charming waitress offered us more Popadoms but these were declined.
The dishes were presented: Marg’s Karahi was distinctly red and had big slices of Onion, exactly what she did not wish. The Green Herb Curry was covered in fresh Coriander leaves – can they not cook them?
Now for the annoying parts of the evening.
The Lamb in both dishes was in strips. This is Tandoori Lamb I reckoned. When the waiter came over to ask the usual polite question, he stated that all the Specials have Tandoori meat. We should have asked for normal Lamb. Now I could be wrong, but the menu did say Lamb and to Hector this does not mean Tandoori. The portions were decidedly on the small side but the most important thing of course is the taste. This is why we have visited this restaurant so often whilst in Aberdeen. Sadly, this evening it was difficult to taste anything remarkable coming from the Masala. The Coriander was much to the fore, the Tikka effect to me spoils a Curry, unless one is having this in the Lal Akash at the Ram Sports and Social Club, Crawley.
Marg left her surplus Onion and so this gave me the opportunity to finish the splendid Rice. Marg’s dish was unremarkable too.
As stated at the outset, I have been impressed by this restaurant in the past. It would be churlish to remove it from my list of recommendations at this time. However, there are better outlets and tomorrow is another day…