Dr Stan, Jonathan and Hector descended upon The Khyber (221 St. Andrews Road, Glasgow, G41 1PD) at 15.30, exactly one half hour before their official opening time. Such was the confidence gleaned from my last visit: the staff are there setting up, and so they are open.
I had prepared the Chaps for a different experience. To my surprise they both opted for the Dum Pukt over the Karahi – they were indeed prepared for something different. The Dum Pukt is a definitely a ‘stew’ but spicier than anything prepared in a traditional UK household. The recipe hails from Afghanistan and Northwest Frontier. Having been taken by surprise on my last visit by the Lamb Karahi (on-the-bone) I was determined to see if the restaurant could impress me twice in a row – this is how one gains entry to the Recommended list.
The First Starters
The Boti Kebab is a Lamb delight. Dr Stan took the advice, Jonathan selected the Mixed Starter which featured the Boti and the Chicken and Seekh Kebabs. Hector has to confess that he could not face a Starter. The butcher at the end of the street was advertising Stornoway Black pudding, I had to buy some, and then I had to sample it. To have lunch prior to a Saturday Curry-Heute is not the norm. And so I had to watch the Chaps get stuck in.
There was also the opportunity to further engage Mein Host in conversation. I am slow at acquiring names. I was told that an Australian turned up at the Khyber recently brandishing my review (presumably on his mobile device) as his reason for seeking out the place. At the extreme north end of Pollokshields it is a bit off the beaten track, or a less than ten minute walk from Shields Rd Subway station. If my Antipodean reader wishes to identify himself, then tell us what he thought of The Khyber.
We have invented a new unit of time: The Robin. This is the time period at which Robin thinks he has waited long enough for his main course to arrive, as soon as that time has elapsed he walks out. (See the Huddersfield Curry entry.) The main courses were therefore delivered comfortably within one Robin.
The Dum Pukt came as two servings despite the full Kilo being ordered (we were charged the combined price, well done) , the Lamb Karahi looked decidedly different from my last visit. This looked like a Curry. With time to compare photographs I suspect my last experience was half Karahi half Dum Pukt. The Karahi instantly hit the spot, a virtual explosion on the taste buds. There are wonderful tastes in this dish, the herbs, the spices and the salt content was noted. There was clearly more oil than the last meal I had and I would not describe this as ‘stew’ like.
The quantity was perfection. One takes a portion to get started. This is topped up, and just as one would be finishing off a normal sized portion there is the extra which makes the meal truly wonderful. I like half kilos! And when the quality of the food is this stunning, gosh! ‘Shoot me now!’ was my exclamation when I finally put down my fork.
This means that the Chaps were left eating what I described last time as something resembling and Irish Stew. There was Lamb Chops and other Lamb pieces along with Tomatoes and Potatoes in their dish. Jonathan and Dr Stan enjoyed the experience; next time will they have the Karahi?
Motion and Stills
Mein Host was amused by my thorough photographing of every dish presented. He even took a photo of the three of us, something we do not ask for too often. Enter Stephen, a freelance photographer who was on an assignment for The List, I believe. He photographed the restaurant, Mein Host and then us Chaps eating our way through 1.5 Kilo of meat. At his suggestion more food was brought to the table, a pair of Chapli Kebabs along with a round of Mango Lassi – on the house – more photographs. Even more food was brought from the kitchen and Dr Stan became the principal model. We await the publication of next month’s List with interest.
The Second Starters
The Chapli Kebab? Instead of Chicken a red meat had been used. This was a very tasty addition to our feast; I managed no more than a sliver. Jonathan did his best, Dr Stan ‘hoovered.’ The taste took me back to my first ever experience of Polish cooking courtesy of a primary school friend’s grandmother, Mrs Slotwinska. I recall aged six or seven being taken across the Clyde to Gorbals St where a Delicatessen was located. Garlic Sausage, Kosher Gherkins, I wonder if this predates my first Curry?