Ayr India, by Invitation

Gagandeep, from Ayr India (1A Alloway Place, Ayr, KA7 2AA) contacted Hector at the start of this month and said good things about the Curry-Heute Website. He extended an invitation to visit his Restaurant in Ayr. As this is one of the main purposes of running this Labour of Curry Love, the invitation was willingly accepted.

There are two Ayr India Restaurants, the Seafront premises serves Traditional Indian food, by this I interpret as what the Scottish expect to find in a Curry House. Alloway Place is the newer outlet and has the addition of more contemporary cooking – or more Traditional Desi style dishes. Confused?

Marg and Hector drove down the M77/A77 for the first time in over a year. Mr O’Leary does not fly anywhere from Prestwick that entices us there any more, this used to be at least a once a month. Alloway Place turned out to be at the main square up from the Pavillion, familiar and easy to locate. On entering Gagandeep approached: ‘Hi, Hector!’. Gosh, people read this Website…

Dismissing the Lunchtime Menu we went straight for the Real Deal. Such is the harmony, we both narrowed the search down to the page with the section on Home-Style Cuisine. Marg selected Chicken Masaledar which was described as sweet’n’spicy. As Marg declared, this style of dish works better with Chicken, true. Hector has decided to ignore the tempting Karahi option in favour of Lamb Dal Palak – lentil laced wit spinach. Now Daal is not something Hector would normally consider, but the combination of Lentil and Spinach struck a chord. Two trusty Chapattis (£1.60 each – ouch) were included along with Vegetable Rice. This should guarantee the Interesting Vegetable.

The Soft Drinks were ordered and the Waiter suggested Poppadoms, fine.

The only other diners were a family who were nearing the end of their session. They left making positive comments to the Waiter. The Music was Ambient, Prog Ambient? This made a pleasant change from the norm.

The Poppadoms and an array of Dips arrived smartly. The Pakora Sauce as it was described was Brown and different, very tasty. The Onion Chutney was not covered in the customary Red Food Dye, good. Marg took care of the Mango Chutney.

We had not ordered a Starter in case we could not do the Mains justice, however the Waiter appeared again with a plate of Spicy Chicken Puri – a Complementary offering which could not be refused. This was a thick, dry creation whose flavour immediately took me to the unique Chicken Chat served at Helensburgh’s Akash. Regular readers will know that this is one Starter I must order – the Chicken Puri at Ayr India is in this League – it was superb.

The Main Dishes were brought after a decent break. The Dal Palak looked just the job. The Masala was thick and looked mean. Marg’s Masaledar was the antithesis of what I look for in a Curry these days, but then I was not eating it. The Vegetable Rice was presented as two portions when one had been ordered, – it looked complex, this indeed was a Vegetable Rice. Peas, Mushroom, Chickpeas and slivers of em, Red Capsicum. This was a perfect accompaniment, Marg remarked that there was a pleasing gritty texture in parts – the Chickpeas one assumes. This was an excellent Accompaniment. Such was the volume of the Rice the Chapattis were relegated to second place.

The first Dip of Chapatti into the Dal Palak revealed a new set of flavours for Hector to experience. Normally, any dish with Spinach becomes dominated by this Aggressive Vegetable, not here. The dry-tasting Lentil gave a balance and somehow this was a true melange of both players. The Lamb was plentiful and cooked such that it was so tender. How do Chefs achieve this? This was a very good Curry, a bit more seasoning and it would most certainly have hit the Wow-Factor level.

Marg found her Masaledar to be more Spicy than she anticipated. It was indeed Sweet, I had a taste. Those who like that sort of thing… Still, Marg thoroughly enjoyed her meal.

A single white Coffee was ordered, Marg found this to be remarkably enjoyable, hot and milky – just how she likes it..

 The Bill

 £26.75. Hector suspects one Main Meal was scored off The Bill, if so, thank you.

The Aftermath

 We had a good chat with Gagandeep. His Cousin has the New Cafe Punjab in Clydebank, my local. He remarked how British Curry influences are now heading back to the Homeland whilst at the same time people such as myself seek out the authentic home-cooked food.

Marg and I had a pleasant stroll along the Promenade, Ice Cream had to procured. Signs said people should not enter the water as the quality was not assured. The sand on the beach had been scraped clean, whilst a strange scum washed up along the shoreline. Is there something we have not been told?

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