Karahi Palace, Upstairs/Downstairs


There has been a number of Saturday ritual Curry outings at The Village a few blocks along the road; they have all ended with a procession past the New Karahi Palace (51-53 Nelson street, Tradeston, Glasgow, G5 8DZ).  The venue has been on the radar but it looked pretty much like a dump.  Hector’s head has popped  in on occasion just to verify the authenticity of the menu – they do serve Curry, but also Pizza, Kebabs, even Burgers and the odd customer.

The premises are bright, shiny and spotless – even enticing

The events of last Saturday at The Village prompted a new observation; the Karahi Palace looks as if it has been done over. A fresh facade (?), I grabbed a menu featuring photos of the restaurant? There is an upstairs?  How many Karahi dishes?  Handi?  Curries by the Kilo…  promising, to say the least.

The Visit

There are two doors to the Karahi Palace both of which take the diner straight into the main café area.  However one is clearly intended more as an entry to the upstairs restaurant.  This Hector was determined to see and so with a voice presumably calling me back I went for an inspection and to grab the photo.  Garish is how one might best describe the décor.  Someone has a sense of humour.  For a private function this place could be excellent.

Returning to the ground floor I took my choice of table, from three.  Once more Hector was the only customer for a Curry-Heute.  There were four staff in attendance, already I was wondering how this place survives – or is it possible that the Curry is sensational?

A young waiter approached with the menu which I deliberately ignored.  I prefer to get the staff to tell me what they have to offer and how they might entice me back.  We agreed on a (hot) Karahi Gosht with Mushroom Rice.  There was no Sparkling Water and so a lemonade would suffice.  The eldest member of staff burst into action – there was the sound of scraping and sizzling.  The meal was being prepared, from which stage of near readiness one could not tell.

A Mini Robin

The wait was not a long one.  In the meantime a modest Salad and a Raita was presented. I spotted the Rice first – a huge portion, certainly enough for two.  The Karahi was brought to the table – the sound was exciting – I was nearly in movie clip mode again.  The Curry looked very familiar, I felt I knew the taste before I began – the Clydebank Taste as I have described before.

The Masala was very thick and red suggesting a dominance of Tomato Puree.  There were large Onion pieces as well as the dreaded Capsicum.  (I checked later on, all Karahi come with Capsicum.)  There was plenty of it – two Lamb Chops and other assorted pieces of meat.  This was significantly more than served along the street.  The Lamb was perfection, I kept waiting for a dramatically new taste to emerge but it failed to do so, initially.  There was a hint of the rounded smoothness I associate with Café Salma. The Clydebank Taste was evident but not dominant.  This was thoroughly pleasant – not the best Curry in Glasgow by any means but way better than one might receive in a mainstream Curry House.  And not a single table cloth on the premises.

The Service

The best way to eat Lamb Chops is with ones fingers.  The solitary paper napkin provided was reaching the end of its usefulness.  The young waiter spotted this, caught my eye and confirmed I needed more.  They came immediately.

On completion of the meal I felt I needed to use the facilities.  I thought I had spotted a partially hidden door that could be the locus and stretched my neck to see an ‘out of order’ sign on the door.  Typical, I thought.  Again the waiter clocked my needs and said across the counter that it was ok to use.  Here we go.   Spacious and clean enough was the verdict, everything worked.

The Bill

‘Ten Pounds please.’

‘Fine, thank you, I shall be back.  Next time I shall try the Handi.’

The Desi Revolution

It should be evident to the readers of this Blog that the Café Curry Culture in Glasgow is taking off.  Or is it because in the past year I have gone out of my way to visit them that now makes me so aware?  These places should be visited.  One feels that the very safe 1980s menus serving the same tired Curries in the mainstream outlets must be challenged.  The Desi Revolution is coming.

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