Yadgar just over a week ago, The Sheesh Mahal (Bradford) at the start of the week, and the Punjabi Charing Cross last night, not a bad series of Curry Experiences. Such is the way of life when a German Trip has the potential to deprive the Hector of access to quality food. No more (Wiener) Schnitzel!
Entering the new premises of The Village Curry House (119 West St., Tradeston, Glasgow, G5 8BA) for the first time, Marg was immediately impressed by the spaciousness of the interior. Around forty Co-Diners were already in situ, there was plenty of room for more.
We were shown to a table for two almost underneath the new balcony, the large black menu sheet sat on top of the black table cloth. Black.
There was a lack of logic in ordering a Soda and Lime and a large Bottle of Sparkling Water. The prices of each were not dissimilar.
Having visited in the first week of the new premises, I knew that the Half Kilo option was open for the Specials. A Half Kilo of the classic Village Desi Kourma was in the mind of Hector. When Marg announced that this is what she fancied I was a bit taken aback, new strategy required. I resolved to still ask for the Half Kilo and order a Vegetable Side too. The Bombay Aloo should suffice. The young waiter was having none of it. His hand-held electronic device had one presumes only been programmed to cope with Half Kilos of the first three items on the Specials list. He offered two portions – I have had issues with the portions at the Village for some time, this did not sound like a good option. I changed my dish to the Tawa, the sister Curry to the Desi Korma as was. On-the-bone was offered and so I took the opportunity. Did I wish my dish to be Desi-style? How else?
Poppadoms were ordered with Onion and also Mango Chutney for the wait. These clearly would not be Complementary.
Mein Host came over to welcome us. He revealed his upbringing in Sri Lanka having read of the visit Marg and Hector made there some years ago. He also assured me that a staff member at the Village reads this Blog every day – what an intelligent Chap!
I had to mention the lack of Half Kilo of Desi Kourma. He was all set to over-ride the order and supply it. However we felt that by this time the order had been placed a bit since. No need to panic the Chef. In future I have to insist. Perhaps. My details were noted electronically, Hector may merit an invitation to the Grand Opening in a few weeks time.
A couple were sat at the adjacent table and did not last long, there was no wine for them to order. We speculated as to how far one would have to travel from Tradeston to a licensed restaurant. But then again, I have not been in the new venue across the street. By this time there were now about sixty Diners.
Having become used to the appearance of the Desi Korma and Tawa over the years, it was difficult to distinguish them this evening. The Tawa would be on-the-bone. Marg realised quickly that both the Kourma and the Tawa were on-the-bone. Now here the Menu had misled us. It stated a recommendation for on-the-bone with the Tawa but no such statement was inferred for the Kourma. I would suggest that the Menu already needs a re-print – and get the Lal Lahori back on too! Once again there was no point changing the order.
The Meat in both dishes was based on Lamb Chops, there was not a lot of Meat. This is why I keep going back to the Half Kilo issue, then one knows what one is due to receive. Without a Side Dish or even a Starter, I have been known to leave the Village unsated. The Bombay Aloo put paid to any thoughts of not being fed. This was Potato served in its own thick Masala. Although a bit on the Sweet side, this was a pleasant accompaniment.
The Masala in the Tawa and the Kourma are now different colours. The Tawa has more Black Pepper, though Marg was admitting to the Kick in her dish being on the limit of what she likes. As ever I was able to sample both, they remain similar though far more Oily than they were served in the previous Village Incarnations. The classic Village Desi flavours were all there. These dishes remain a treat. If only I could have ordered the Half Kilo…
The Sundries require a separate mention. The Special Rice, I felt, was a bit towards Stodgy. Marg disagreed. With Peas and Mushrooms, the Rice was hardly Special. Where is the wonderful Vegetable Rice I have been eating for the last five years or so? The Chapattis escaped my notice at first now being served in their own long Basket. These remain impressive, fresh and a decent size.
£35.35. £2.75 of this was the Poppadoms and Mango Chutney, then there is the issue of the Chapattis in Glasgow Curry Houses. Marg had Ice-Cream too and informed me that the price here was less than at the Cinema.
I remind the Reader of the first visit to The Village by Marg and Hector when we found thirty plus people queuing on the stairs waiting to gain access to the original restaurant. Much has been invested in this redevelopment, Mr Baig deserves to do well.