What is this that stands before me?
?Stan! had called it a day. The famous Todmorden Black Pudding Pork Pie was deemed sufficient for his dinner. The International (40-42 Morley Road, Bradford, BD7 1BE) was calling, the very venue where last November Hector had three Curries in the same day. Yes, The International is that good. Mein Host #1 appeared to have had a long day, there was little air of recognition, but polite as ever he arranged a table for one.
He took my order: Lamb Desi. This is served on-the-bone and is the only dish that always comes this way. Sometimes, when it is quiet they will do other dishes this way, it varies I have found. The place was full of people who may have been to the pub. At 23.30 my working thesis was proved correct when the chap beside me fell asleep. These youngsters have no stamina. The topography of the Dales I believe had prevented me from making any Facebook posts today. Liz I now discovered was in Leeds and claimed to have had her best Curry ever. There is no Curry in Leeds. It is written.
Mein Host #2 brought my meal and his face lit up when he saw it was Hector. Always a busy man and one who insists that every meal at the International is brought by him, there was only the briefest of chat. I looked at my Curry – I did not recognise it. Yes, there was Lamb on-the-bone, but what was this Masala? Firstly it was excessive, secondly it might never have met an Onion.
I had asked for my Curry to be Hot, medium is the norm, I felt like a challenge. I was given one, this was OTT. Only once in fifteen years of visiting the International have I ever witnessed a poor Curry. This was Marg’s Chicken Korma away back at the start of the Current Era. Yes, Marg used to order this. Hector makes it better – with a kick! Tonight I have to declare that this meal was poor. By definition a Desi can be anything the House wishes to serve, but this bore no resemblance to the last time I had this dish. The Lamb on-the-bone was perfect, cooked exactly how I like it. I had a decent pile of debris at the end. The Masala was simply shocking. It was approaching Soup, and had virtually no taste, just intense heat. Surely the request for a hot Curry at 23.30 does not necessitate their standards being dropped? This was a late night Lads Curry, not a Hector Curry.
£9.00. I went up to the counter to pay. A new Chap knew exactly what I had eaten, impressive. I paid the modest fee and said goodnight.
I did not have a meal with wine in the Hilton Bar as I found I had been charged for when I returned to the hotel.