It did not take too much persuasion to talk Marg into her first visit to Akbar’s (573–581 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G3 7PQ) and consequently Hector’s second visit in three days, yes it was that good.
A restaurant of this size, full on a Sunday evening?
The place was stowed, the raised area facing Granville St housed a private party. The main area on Sauchiehall St was full with those who had turned up presumably without a reservation. Tonight’s Maître d’ greeted us with a warm welcome and asked us to have a drink at the bar whilst a table was sorted, yes this is the Sauchiehall St experience.
The Chaps at the bar could not serve us until we had a receipt. Marg paid for the drinks at the cashier’s desk and as soon as our drinks were poured we were taken to a table, with four places. Given how busy the place was this was appreciated. There was still a substantial group waiting at the bar.
One of the waiters who served me on Friday evening recognised me, a smile, Hector is recognised, and all is going well. Our new waiter for the evening sat us down and took the order for the Poppadoms and Dips. When he returned Marg was ready with her order: Akbar’s-e-Balti, a combination of Lamb and Chicken served in a Karahi. Hector could only order the Roshan Lal – this is the Hector Curry Test, can the venue provide the same dish to the same very high standard on consecutive visits? The Village, for example in Glasgow, does not.
Our waiter was from Bradford so we had a good chat rhyming off the famous Bradford Curry Houses. He asked if I was from Glasgow such was my knowledge of his home town. A good guy.
As we were tucking in to our Poppadoms we spotted two familiar faces – Steve and Juliet. They had just eaten and were totally impressed by what they had ordered. Steve has been to Bradford with Hector and knows what to expect, this was Juliet’s first Bradford Curry.
No Salad tonight, but a Chap dressed in a Chef’s outfit appeared with our meals and the accompanying Special Rice and two Chapattis. This is when the bubble burst…
Hector’s dish was like a plate of Soup compared to the wonderfully dry masterpiece set before me two nights before. Still, the distinctive Bradford flavour must be present – I dipped the Chapatti, nothing. This was so average I can only describe it as poor compared to the previous experience.
Tonight’s Roshan Lal is on the left, Fridays’s version on the right. I told our waiter and he said he would inform the Chef. Is it possible I was given somebody else’s meal? Lucky person, if so.
So, Akbar’s has failed the Hector Curry Test.
£29.00. Unfortunately this included the – previously paid for – two soft drinks, so who knows how their bar system is meant to work? This was sorted quickly.
There was such a feeling of disappointment as we drove home. Hector is due to accompany some of The Friends of Hector on Saturday. We shall see.