Grey Lady Down were worth the drive to Maltby, now for the drive home, well as far as Bradford for the moment. Scotland was phoned to say goodnight to Marg, Ricky was already asleep back in Bradford, so no Late Night Curry for him. The signs on the M1 said that the M62 was closed between Junctions 26 and 27. Was that east or west of the Junction with the M1? As a solo driver I could not pull over on to the hard shoulder to consult a map – why not give better information? Instead I took the M1 all the way to Leeds and came into Bradford passing Pudsey, scene of a previous life.
It was Half-Midnight when I walked in to the remarkably quiet Sheesh Mahal (6 St. Thomas’s Road, Bradford, BD1 2RW). This is only my third visit to the refurbished Sheesh, what have I been doing since February? Omar was nowhere to be seen as I took my table. Mein Host, Taj was sitting in his usual spot in the corner. I had to read the Menu for the first time ever and try and find My Dish. The Menu did not mention The Omar Special by name, an oversight. Mutton Methie it would have to be. As I gave the order Taj got up and passed my seat. There was an air of recognition but as I was not there with Ricky he could not place me – but then obviously he did. Taj went into the kitchen and within seconds Omar presented – Mr Hector! All was well, my order was changed – Lamb on-the-bone was on its way.
My table had by now been covered in Salad, Dips and a Poppadom, all Complementary as they should be everywhere. Taj sat with me as I nibbled my way through the array. The Restaurant had just gone quiet after a steady flow of customers all evening. Taj knows Glasgow quite well, in an early career he used to drive up weekly. He mentioned The Allison (Arms) and knows Pollokshaws Road. It is possible he knows the Khan Family of Shaheed’s fame.
Moments like these are usually included in The Aftermath of a meal, we discussed Curry and various other Bradford Curry outlets. Taj knows that he operates a very special venue. Westgate through the wall are currently renovating, after the Sheesh rebuild they had little choice, we shall see what develops. However, how could anyone eat there knowing what is next door?
The Best Curry of This Weekend, By Far!
A waiter brought my Curry, moments later Taj brought a basket with a single Chapatti – he assured me more would come. This way they would retain their heat. The Lamb Karahi was Lamb Chops in the indescribably wonderful Sheesh Mahal Masala. A couple of pieces of the Lamb were tough, the majority perfect. The portion was so large who could make a negative comment? The Masala complemented the superb Chops, only the Chef knows what combination of Leaves were the basis of this magnificent creation. Dry and Thick, bursting with Flavour. Dear Reader, this was again one of these Bradford Moments when one knows one is eating something that simply is not served elsewhere.
Hector now ate alone and watched the new arrivals take their seats. A group of four munched their way through a plate piled high with Lamb Chops. Who knows when this place closes but I am delighted to announce that there is a large poster on the upstairs window stating that the premises are open daily from 11.30. I had congratulated Raj on this decision, Sunday lunchtimes may never be the same again.
£8.50. I would happily have paid twice as much, more even.
It was time for Hector and Omar to engage in conversation. He was amused to see me here by car and also without Ricky. Ricky has not been to the Sheesh Mahal since the time he ordered (singular) Quail.