It was the best of times; it was the worst of times
Overheard on the foyer before the evening commenced: ‘Tam Cowan is here, he wants to know where he is sitting.’ From that point onwards Hector knew there was only going to be one winner, the royal persona from the media. Hector, Trampy and The Tramp plus guests sat together, our names were not even read out as nominees. The first, the grand prize in the raffle, was also won by…Mr Tam Cowan. This evening was certainly not kosher. Bitter, moi?
On a positive note, the raffle did raise a mass of cash for the nominated charity – Scottish Spina Bifida.
The Scottish Curry Awards sponsored by… this is a non commercial, non profit making site and so no more plugs.
Hector had invited all those he thought would be interested in joining him at The Curry Awards. Only Steve and Juliet accepted the invitation. Yes, Steve and Hector wore the kilt. The ladies looked splendid too (ouch!).
The evening was certainly an enjoyable experience. Dr Charan Gill MBE did a magnificent job as MC for the evening. The highlight for Hector was by far the time spent in the company of last year’s winners ‘Trampy and The Tramp’.
We discovered of course that we have been following similar paths around the Glasgow Curry houses for years. We each have our favourites but it would appear that Café Salma currently is our common ground. Our respective ladies, Marg and the future ‘Mrs Tramp’ have hatched a plan for a night out with the core of the two nominated websites.
The Cosmic Jokers
It has come to my notice that the Edinburgh based 5pm Blog as well as TATTGOC thought Hector was German. Nicht var. However, The Tramp and Hector are both astonishingly knowledgeable on 1970s Krautrock. Manuel Göttsching who has featured previously in Curry-Heute, Can – Hector’s favourite all time band, and other stalwarts from this era were discussed at length. What are the chances of these Chaps from the Borders evolving such identical tastes in food and music years apart? Uncanny!
Hector was on duty of course throughout the meal. There was Curry served and so it has to be reviewed.
London Pink was the caterer this evening. Hector can only speculate how it is possible to cook for 700 plus covers and serve them all to their satisfaction.
The Starters were the poorest part of the meal. This was encouraging because it endorses the Hector philosophy of good Starters, poor Mains. The Chana dish was cold, sweet and wet. If it had been served as a Dessert there could have been few complaints. The Creamy Sauce had formed a skin, so this was not particularly appealing. (If you want to enjoy Chickpeas go to Mr India – Thali at Paisley Rd Toll.)
Three main dishes were served initially. A Dal Curry with Beans, an Aloo Curry and most importantly Lamb on-the-bone. The first two bowls were passed around the table first, so one was not sure how far the quantity would go. The plate was filling up when the Lamb arrived. Unfortunately in Hector’s zeal to extract a decent sized piece of Lamb I ended up with bone and very little meat. Chicken Curry and some Chicken Tikka (?) were also going round the table. A rather flat Nan and a modicum of Rice were the accompaniments.
There was a sense of a whetted appetite. Marg got on the case. A charming waiter asked if we wanted more, minutes later a charming waitress asked the same. Having replied ‘yes’ to both Marg secured a significant quantity of Lamb both on and off the bone, and another bowl of Rice.
Let the party commence. The Masala was of the ‘old fashioned’ variety, thin and oily but it has a flavour we were all brought up on – superb.
The Other Prize-winners
The Ashoka in Johnstone won the Team of the Year – fine if you like the mainstream. Similarly the Restaurants of the Year by region and the overall winner were all big names. Let the little guys get the recognition they deserve please. This Blog insists that Mr Shah at Yadgar makes the best Curry in Scotland! Hector is very interested in the Chef of the Year – Ajmal Mushtaq of Mushtaq’ Restaurant (154 Alamda St, Hamilton). This place must be worth a visit. In the true Bafta style, the winners of the two main awards could not be present, so they will not not even rate a mention. It is my Blog, my standards.
Finally, the DVDs