Chatni – Methven, a Worthwhile Detour

Methven is a Village some 10km west of Perth, easily found on the A85 one junction north of the Broxden Roundabout.  After two days of eating what passes as Food during the Festive Season, a decent Curry was required. The Chatni (15 Main Street, Methven, Perth, Perth and Kinross, PH1 3PU) was a tip-off by a resident of Deepest Perthshire, the drive south from Aberdeen saw us arrive just on 21.00. The Populaiton of Methven is 1162, the Waiter at the Chatni knew we were not the two. I admitted that we were halfway between Aberdeen and Glasgow and had deliberately deviated to make this visit – we were not just passing by. We were sat briefly at the entrance whilst they did – actually I don’t know what they did, there were a few free tables and two tables for two in the corner. I established that the Chatni has been in operation for two years, it is fifteen months since it was recommended to Hector. The premises are fresh in décor, everything is spotless, a very attractive venue. The name Chatni translates as Condiment, Relish, Seasoning, even Sauce. Oh, and they are closed on Tuesdays.

Our Waiter for the evening had charmed us from the start, this would continue throughout our visit. Attentive without being in our faces, perfect. Interested without being inquisitive.

Having enjoyed Cheese and Biscuits and an excellent discussion about Curry with friends in Carnoustie en route, Starters were out of the question. The Chefs Special Dishes attracted both Marg and I. How could Hector resist Methi Gosht? I did turn down the Karahi. Now if only someone would combine the best of both…oh at The Punjabi Charing Cross (Glasgow) they have – it is called Lamb Gurmeet! The Waiter confirmed no Capsicum in the Methi Gosht, I asked for it as Dry as the Chef could manage.

Marg chose the Mugal-E-Azam (The Greatest of the Moghals) in Lamb also, the Menu suggested this would be Lamb Tikka, a feature that put me off. The Menu described the dish as – Nice. Hopefully this Humble Blog will do better.

Three Chapattis (£1.20) were the modest Accompaniments.

Our Waiter remarked that he was surprised how busy they were this evening. The entire nation must be tired of Turkey. Did I mention I cooked xmas dinner for sixteen (16) and that the Soup and Gravy were  outstanding? All this achieved on an electric cooker.

A table of about ten immediately behind us made their leave, our Meals arrived soon after.

The Methi Gosht was presented in a covered Dish. Removing the lid revealed a good Thick and Dry Masala, the Lamb was in there somewhere. This looked the part. The Mugal-E-Azam looked Stunning, served on a large Soup Plate. This was no Soup, it was remarkably Thick, a very rich Masala with Thin Strips of Lamb, obviously Marinated, Tikka-style. There was a lot of it. I remarked that it looked Patia-like given the colour. Marg thoroughly enjoyed this new creation and fortunately did not manage to finish it.

Very Rich Tasty Sauce, Interesting Strips of Lamb, Sweet and Sour Flavours – were Marg’s fulsome words. When it was the turn of Hector to try this impressive looking Dish, it was more of an Achari-Pickle Flavour that came to mind. I was getting the Sour more than the Sweet. This was certainly a Dish to be admired.

The Chapattis were Hot, Light and Fluffy. They were superb, and three was the perfect number to share.

Whilst Marg revelled in the dish apparently named after an Indian Movie, Hector set about the Methi Gosht. Once again I have to marvel at Restaurants who are able to serve a Dish of this Texture, there are so few. There was an immediate sensation of Grittiness, the occasional Stem of the Leaf was still present, Quality Ingredients. Onion was also to the fore in the Masala which could have down with just a bit more Chatni!

The expected Methi Blast did not occur immediately, this Curry would turn out to be in the Very Good category, not The Stunning. Bradford on Sunday, the Sheesh Mahal will not let me down. The Flavours from this Curry emerged slowly, indeed an hour later they were still present on the Palate, this Curry did linger. The Lamb was Very Tender and cut quite Small for a Scottish Restaurant. There was not as much Lamb in this Dish as served in the Mugal-E-Azam. An Elegant Sufficiency had been presented, enough to permit the Hector to enjoy Marg’s Surplus.

Marg ordered Tea, this came in a Pot, enough for three or four. The Wafer Thin Mints were Accompaniments. The Sparkling Water from a Factory just a few kilometres south kept the Hector Palate Moist.

The Bill

£31.90. More Wafer Thin Mints, declined graciously. With the white Table Cloths and the Pristine Décor a couple of Quid above the norm was anticipated. People still charge for Tea?

The Aftermath

The Calling Card was accepted, it went a long way to explain why two non-Methvenites had mysteriously arrived in The Village.

The drive back to Glasgow saw the Thermometer rise as we approached the Sub-Tropical West. The Flavours from the Methi Gosht lingered long. I would certainly consider a return visit. Can Perth do better than this?

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