Craig’s Birthday Bash – A Gathering at The Village

Yvonne invited Marg and Hector to join her in celebrating Craig’s Birthday with a Curry. They have not been to The Village (119 West St., Tradeston, Glasgow, G5 8BA) since the Grand Re-opening. Just the four of us, I thought.

The Table for Eight was booked midweek using a popular social media website, then extended by one more at noon today. Who invited all of them?

Yes, that is Snow trying to land on the streets of Tradeston

Entering very punctually just before the arranged 15.00 meeting time, Kassif asked us to wait a few moments whilst the final touches were applied to the table. I had booked the large round table on the West Street side of the Restaurant. In the end Marg was helping move place settings to ensure space for nine. Marg likes to be involved.

Just on 15.00 Dr. Stan appeared through the doorway of the original Nelson Street entrance. He spotted us in the distance, yes, the room is that long. He retreated and then returned with all but Jonathan who had texted late. Jonathan late? Apparently Craig and Yvonne had been stood outside the other door for twenty minutes, silly. Howard, Tracey and Mags too  making her first visit since the re-build.

Kassif offered us Poppadoms and Spiced Onion, only at the end did we know these were Complementary. (Why are they not always?)  The Onions were indeed Spiced. Hector was in the mood for a Fish Curry having over-loaded on Lamb recently. Alas the Menu had two Fish Dishes, neither of which read as what might entice. Lamb it would, Lamb! On the day the Great Glasgow Curry House Lamb Controversy was featured on the front of the Sunday Mail. Marg is good at taking my queue and decided on the Machlu Taree, a Haddock dish featuring a Masala which might not be Curry.

Dr. Stan and Howard were the only two up for Starters, the Shammi Kebab. Well, that by previous experience would mean that the rest of us would have to wait up to an hour for our Mains. That is how it is.

The Birthday Boy took advice from Kassif as to which Lamb Tikka Dish would be Mild, Lamb Tikka Bhuna was the advice. Howard and Hector both chose from the top of the Menu – the Lamb Lahori Karahi, the new Signature Dish of the New Premises. Howard would be satisfied with the standard Village Portion, after all my Campaigning it had to be the Half Kilo. Tracey, Mags, Dr. Stan and Yvonne chose the established favourite – Lamb Desi Kourma. Dr. Stan secured the Half Kilo despite it not being listed as such. Three Tandoori Roti, three Chapattis, one Mushroom Rice, one Egg Rice and one Vegetable Rice (again not on the New Menu) would be the Accompaniments.

Jonathan arrived and added another Shammi Kebab, Lamb Desi Korma and Keema Nan to the order. It was then Kassif informed us that the Shammi wiz aff, Seekh Kebab was the chosen substitute. I asked if he had seen today’s Sunday Mail, he hadn’t. There will be more on this story, surely? And so three ate.

Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time. Yes it has

It was indeed after 16.00 when the Main Courses started to arrive. All came bar two Desi Kourma, Mags and Jonathan took the last deliveries.

By this time Hector was well ensconced, the Lahori Karahi (no other photo!) is an experience well worth coming for. Howard agreed with my observation that the Masala was similar to that presented at The Khyber, intriguing. The Masala is Thick with a Mush of Vegetables, it is from here that the intensity of the Flavours emerge. The Lamb was cut small and boneless. This increased the volume of what had to be eaten significantly. Marg and I were sharing the Chapattis, as has become my norm, one and a half felt the optimum. Howard was sharing the Egg Rice with Tracey and had one Roti. Perhaps he will comment how this Dish worked with Rice. I suspect with the Half Kilo, Rice would be excessive.

Marg’s Fish Dish featured a rather Anaemic Masala which she found to be Spicier than she would have preferred. Permitted a Dip, the strength of Flavour from the Haddock had made this a very Tasty Dish. Now break up the Haddock and mix it in a Vegetable Rice and this might entertain the Hector. Craig too found his Bhuna a bit on the Spicy side, but being Mr. Vindaloo, suffered in silence.  If one orders Desi-style this is the Spice level served.

The Village Lamb Desi Korma

This was the Dish that one by one brought us all to appreciate the wonder that can be The Village. It is a major departure from what Hector normally eats given the major Masala content, it could be described as Soup, but normally the Masala has some Viscosity. It was also Yellow, well depending on the day of the week hence which Chef was on duty. Yvonne ate hers in silence, Dr. Stan’s silence concurred. He had the full Half Kilo to get through and his plate of Vegetable Rice. Tracey was put off by the now Red Colour, she likes Dark Brown, anything with a visible Tomato content puts her off. Mags counted the lumps of Meat in her Desi Kourma, seven or was it eight? This is the standard Village portion, these days. Some have written to me to inform me of less being served, particularly at Lunchtime. Mags was not happy – £8 for this? As Jonathan remarked – Village Desi Kourma, the Curry you can eat between meals without…

Kassif came over to check all was well…

Hector was more than Happy with what I was now nearly halfway through, superb. I could only be positive. It was Marg who spoke up, she informed Kassif that the last two Desi Dishes felt a bit short on Lamb. He peered at the near empty Dishes and reappeared some ten minutes later with another Portion. This is how it should be. In fact those partaking remarked that the Masala was also closer to the original served in the old days.  Marg likes to be involved.

Two Coffees

Realising that a single order for Coffee would hold everyone back, Marg went off in search of a Milky Coffee, Tracey took the bate. These were delivered whilst we were finishing off and never appeared on The Bill, deliberately one assumes.

The Bill

£127.10. This was clearly itemised. Given the complexity of the individual orders this made life very easy. Dr. Stan and Hector’s Dishes appeared as – 4 Lamb.

The Aftermath

Steve had been waiting in the Laurieston for an hour in the Bar, Kari for half an hour in the Lounge. When Robin arrived the Birthday Cake was served, no Baton? When nine eat at The Village it does take time, but is this not the difference between – Going out to eat, and going out to dine?

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1 Response to Craig’s Birthday Bash – A Gathering at The Village

  1. Howard Young says:

    Superb curry. Before we arrived Tracey and I had a toasted bagel each for breakfast so not to spoil the treat ahead. The egg rice worked well with my dish although it was one portion (of rice) shared with Tracey. Any more, either the rice or the curry, would have been too much for one sitting. I also tasted Tracey’s Desi Kourma but the Lamb Lahori Karahi was better. Perfect portion and good depth of flavour. Excellent meal.

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