The Friends of Hector numbered eight today, ?Stan! has not recovered from our Curry indulgence at Yadgar last evening, poor. Today’s venue The New Karahi Palace (51 – 53 Nelson Street Tradeston, Glasgow G5 8DZ) was chosen due to its proximity to the up and coming Laurieston Bar on Bridge St.
A nominal 13.30 start did not suit Hector who turned up in time for an aperitif before the main event of the afternoon. Neil and Mr Boyd are the star inclusions today. On entering the Karahi Palace our young Host gave a smile of recognition, we ascended the stairs to the upper room where the festive meal would be consumed. Garish, would be one description of the décor. The large family table was eschewed in favour of the large linear set up in the centre of the room.
Mein Host appeared, technically this room is not open at this time of day, somehow one felt this would not be a problem. ‘Is there Karela?’ I asked. ‘One portion.’ was the reply: ‘It’s mine!’
Hector was sorted. The new, rather posh menu was presented to the remaining crew who were left to find their own way. Hector was on the phone to Traben-Trarbach, the accommodation arrangements for the Wolf Weekend are at a crucial stage.
By the time I rejoined the group Starters had been agreed upon, not a wise move in my book, the portions here are generous. Still, they must learn. Mr Boyd who normally eats for Scotland took my advice. Not one morsel would enter the Tempel that is Hector’s body before the Karela Gosht. Sikh Kebab, Lamb Chops (to share) Vegetable Pakora and Mixed Pakora were ordered. These would be eaten with the plates of Complementary Salad and Dips. The Raita here is a standout.
Three Karahi Gosht on-the-bone and one off were requested. Keema Mutter with Paneer, that’s a new one, Lamb Pardesi, Handi Gosht, copious Chapattis, Rice and a Peshwari Nan completed the order. We were told there would be a wait, the Starters would amuse the table whilst the food was prepared, this establishment is not about reheating the sauce pot.
Two staff were employed to bring the Feast up the stairs. The food was brought with reasonable efficiency, the best meal was kept to the end, mine.
The Karela Gosht is a dish I first enjoyed on these premises. I have written much about it in the last few months, as has my Islamabad Correspondent. The culmination was the presentation of a plate of this fine vegetable in the Punjabi Charing Cross in early January. This Bitter Vegetable brings a new dimension of flavour to a Curry, served with Methi too, it is just off the scale. I soon realised that I was enjoying two meals simultaneously. The Lamb was traditional pieces on-the-bone supplemented with Lamb Chops. Tender and chewy in parts this would make any meal perfect. This was the veritable Meat Feast, and not the pile of bones that one or two commentators have described when eating here. For consecutive days Hector has been spoiled. The accompanying Masala was a meal in its own right. Masala does not do this experience justice. Thick pulped Vegetables: one could see the dark Karela and mushy Tomato, there was more. The Spice content was through the roof, the Chef had fun in the kitchen it appears. Hector had alternating moments – the sheer joy of the flavour of the Masala scooped on to the Chapatti, and the cries of anguish, this was a Vindaloo level meal, perhaps beyond. Not since Amsterdam have I eaten anything this Spiced. Heat usually compromises the flavour, not today; this was the creation of a Master Chef.
Craig either chooses very well or underestimates his own ability and orders a disappointing Korma. Today he was bang on, the Lamb Pardesi looked wonderful. Dark and covered in Ghee, this dish looked the part. Next time there is no Karela in the House I shall order this. Craig thoroughly enjoyed his Pardesi even though the Spice content was above his normal tolerance, he never gives up. A jug of Mango Lassi did ease his pain.
Tracey had negotiated Paneer to be added to the menu’s Keema Mutter. Genius was how she described her meal. The additional Cheese she described as both Crisp and Chewy. This was a major success. The Doggy-Bag was called for, well after Lamb Chops (shared) as a Starter…
The three Karahi Gosht on-the-bone eaters were all totally satisfied. Howard remarked that this was the Spiciest dish he had ever consumed on these premises; the Chef was having a good day. Mr Boyd found the meal to be exactly how he likes it and will certainly rejoin us. Mags kept telling me how this was way better than her previous visit; she accepts finally that Lamb on-the-bone adds a different dimension. The Mixed Pakora took its toll, she too required the Doggy-Bag.
Neil’s Handi came in a stone pot, this I had in my earliest visits and is one of the reasons I returned so quickly. The Handi is served with a bit more Masala than the Karahi equivalent but this is by no means a dish of soup. Neil described his meal as: ‘… very pleasant, the right spice, the meat was tasty, tender…’
Yvonne who had the boneless version of the Karahi was the only person in the company to give a negative report. She found the Lamb to be too chewy; five out of ten was her verdict. Nobody’s perfect.
£103 exactly, Curry at an average price of £8. The Lassi and one soft drink totalled £7.
The walk in the descending darkness to the Allison Arms and the chance to finally enjoy a Bier this weekend.