A Garden without Herbs?
The only way to bring the Orcadian Venture to a conclusion was with Curry-Heute. Kirkwall’s other Curry House, The Indian Garden (37 Junction Rd, Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, KW15 1AG) was the venue by default. Less has been written about this Curry House, so one concludes it is the newer of the two. Dil Se had impressed on Monday evening so there was an air of optimism. The Menu had been perused soon after arrival on Sunday as we passed by, there would be choice.
We entered around 19.30 to find The Lone Diner sitting one booth from the window. So why did the Waiter sit us right behind him, and in the window? I do not enjoy being Window Dressing.
The Menu was presented, Hector had the choice of Saag Wala which promised to contain Fenugreek and Spinach. Too much of this recently. The Balti was almost tempting as was the South Indian Chilli. The Karahi was calling, as long as the fated Capsicum could be excluded. This promised Green Herbs too.
Marg was attracted by the Lamb Tiger Special. The Menu claimed that once tasted it would never be forgotten. It was noted that no attempt had been made to describe The Taste. We agreed once again on sharing a Garlic Nan and Mushroom Rice.
The prices here were a few pence less than their only Curry Competition, there wasn’t much in it. The room sat potentially maybe forty covers. The Booths on our wall gave way to open seating in the main part of the room with a more private corner diagonally opposite where we were seated.
The order was given and accepted, no Capsicum. The Sparkling Water and an Apple Concoction were the Drinks of choice. The place was licensed.
There were audible scraping sounds coming from the Kitchen, Chef was busy. Very warm plates were set before us along with the candle lit dish warmer. Here comes the food.
The Cast Iron Karahi was set before Hector with a warning not to touch, yes it would be hot. Marg’s Tiger Dish and the Mushroom Rice were sat on the warmer. The roundish Nan arrived moments later.
Now just how Red can a Curry be? The Karahi had Lamb in there somewhere, the Meat content was well insufficient. There was an abundance of Roughly Cut Onions, indeed this looked, felt and tasted like an Onion Curry. The Masala was, Red and Oily, as in Really Red. Have I described how Red the Meal was in sufficient detail to describe the colour? If Red has a Taste, I tasted it. All I could taste from the Curry was Onion. Green Herbs? Where?
The Mushrooms from the Rice stood out as it had at Dil Se, good Mushrooms up here. Dipping a piece of Nan brought no more to the Palate, this was a Garlic Nan?
Now Marg’s Curry was basically a Patia with Nuts on top, and it was Red too. I had to taste it to verify the Masala was not the same as the Karahi, the Tiger Masala was much sweeter. This suited Marg, but one day she will crave Karela and put these Sweet Dishes behind her. Marg found the Bight-Sized pieces of Tender Lamb, and it was definitely Lamb, to her liking. She too found the Mushroom Rice to be the stand-out part of the Meal. (I noted that for a Mainstream Curry, Tender Lamb was not an option, only Beef.)
The Waiter Returned
A few weeks ago at The Village, Marg felt she had to speak out, today it was Hector’s turn. When asked the customary question I had to answer honestly. I have a plate of Onions here, and why it it so Red? The Waiter told me it was from The Spices. I challenged this immediately – Spices do not colour Curry like this, only Food Dye does. I stated clearly – I am disappointed. He retreated.
£26.30. This included two Soft Drinks.
The Calling Card was offered and accepted – I will have a look – Hector was assured. The Waiter offered an explanation as to the Redness of the Food – It is from the Tomato Purée, it is not Dye. Aye right! I was asked on departure if I was local. I don’t know if my answer helped.
Marg was somewhat embarrassed with proceedings and was worried that I had not enjoyed my final Orcadian Meal. But this is all part of the Great Experience that is Curry.
I suggest those behind the Indian Garden reconsider what they present as Curry, this does not pass muster.
Update – The Morning After
Hector became reacquainted with his intake from the Indian Garden at 04.00, 06.00 and in multi-formats at 08.00 and 09.30. In the three years of writing Curry-Heute this is a first.
The Indian Garden, Kirkwall now deserves the Accolade of Worst Curry-Heute Experience.