though there is a worrying draught at the doorway…
As reported in August last year, the Curry Leaf has changed to become the Masala Twist (192-194 Byres Rd, Glasgow, G12 8SN). This is not a simple re-branding but a brand new operation. Hector was in no hurry to return to these premises after a disappointing experience under the previous Moniker. However, when one gets a Tip-Off… John contacted me midweek to inform me that he and his Curry Group had a good experience here and that he in particular had enjoyed the Lamb Desi. If John recommends a dish it must be worthy of investigation.
I cannot recall the last time Marg and I had a Saturday lunch during term time. We were shown to the same table as on our last visit to these premises. With eight tables seating some twenty eight covers in the fore-room, one felt we were all squeezed in. The Buffet was at the rear of the narrow room opposite the Bar. Every time the double doors opened there was a blast of cold air. I pitied those who had to sit at the table immediately in front of the door. (They need the German Door-Blanket.)
Meanwhile the larger upstairs room was evidently closed. The attraction for the majority was the good value Lunchtime Buffet at £6.95. This suited Marg, however the Waitress appeared to be taken off guard when I asked for the Main Menu. This was brought and then she offered me a Lunchtime Menu. I assured her I wished to try a Proper Curry.
A Wee Bit Confused…
A Large Bottle of Sparkling Water was not available. Marg was asked if she desired a Large or Small Soda and Lime. How big was Large? This turned out to be a Pint and so a Small was ordered. This gave me the opportunity of asking for a Pint of Soda instead. In the end Two Pints came at least we were charged less for the one with Lime. At £2.50 for a Pint of Soda I think they are certainly making a profit, of em £2.50!
The Tandoori Roti were £1.65 each and so the Vegetable Paratha felt better value. This would turn out to be a good choice. However we had to go through some more confusion in placing the order. The Karahi Bhoona (without Capsicum) is what I would have ordered had John not planted the Desi seed. The Karahi was advertised as coming with an Abundance of Onion and Capsicum, why? My Pakistan Curryspondent assures me this Mushy Vegetable is NOT part of their Cuisine.
And so I had to ask if there was Capsicum in the Lamb Desi. She appeared not to understand that I desired none, perhaps I was going to get some added? The Vegetable Paratha was recorded as a Fish Dish. Now I was confused. The Vegetable Paratha was finally confirmed by a Chap, Raman made First Contact and came over to confirm No Capsicum. I did suggest they could add anything else in its place but this fell on deaf ears.
One Buffet, Two Diners
Morally when not having the Buffet one cannot sample anything the Fellow Diner has before them. And so I sat and watched Marg enjoy her Starters. Chicken Chat without the unnecessary Red Food Dye, Pakora, Onion Chutney… she thoroughly enjoyed what was on offer.
When my Meal came, Marg got up to fetch her Mains. There was nothing in the Buffet that I would have been impressed by, too many Chicken dishes and no doubt all at the Bland End of the Spectrum. As I tasted none of them I can only take Marg’s word that the dishes were fine.
The Main Event
The Lamb Desi was presented, a good sized portion. The Very Tender Lamb was cut Large, there would be more than enough to satisfy Hector this Saturday Lunchtime. The Masala was up to the level of expectation. Delightfully Thick and with a Fresh Herb visible throughout. The Salt content was perfection – Karrah! The Flavours of the Melange were able to emerge, a very pleasing dish, perhaps on the verge of Wow. Marg took a sample and was shocked by The Kick! The Lamb Desi was way Spicier than what was served in the Buffet, I rest my case. More Fresh Methi or Karela might have put it up there with the very best, but this was well above the average. One would hope that with greater familiarity they could tweak this dish to the tastes of the individual.
The Vegetable Paratha was not there just to be dipped, this was a treat, perhaps the best Paratha I have ever tasted. Normally a Stuffed Paratha features Potato only, this was Aloo and Mutter, Potatoes and Peas. The thickness of the Bread was significant and the too hot to touch factor made the start a tentative one. I nearly managed to eat all of it which is unheard of. The Vegetable content satisfied the Hector requirement for an Interesting Vegetable. At £3.50 this was a better way of including Vegetables than the £4.95 Sides.
The combination of Lamb Desi and Vegetable Paratha is one I would certainly recommend.
£25.75. The Buffet was good value as my Fellow Diners would all agree.
The Waitress had previously been given the thumbs up when she asked if I was enjoying my meal. She took time to share the celebration of the Vegetable Paratha, she is aware of how good this. The Calling Card was presented and the Website shown on the trusty HTC. Mein Host, Raman then came over and took time to tell us the saga of their arrival on Byres Rd from a previous business on Sauchiehall St. They have two other premises: The Punjabi Tadka in East Kilbride and also a Spanish Tapas restaurant in the same town. There are plans to open another Masala Twist on Glasgow’s Hope St.
Raman showed an interest in the Curry-Heute Website and my Favourite Places in particular. He then presented me with a Loyalty Card which is valid here and at the Punjabi Tadka. Having had time to look at the Punjabi Tadka Website I have spotted enough interesting dishes to tempt me south. Punjabi cooking is what I have come to seek out most. With a 20% discount guaranteed (except December) this will cover the cost of Diesel and another Superb Vegetable Paratha.
The Masala Twist is staffed by lovely people, the Menu has a few Interesting Variants. Hector will be back!