Ramadan Buffet @ The Village

 A Buffet at The Village (129 Nelson Street, Tradeston, Glasgow G5 8BA)?

This had to be investigated. With Ramadan now in its second week, this was an enticement to encourage The Faithful to eat out – Late!

A phone-call mid afternoon verified that the Buffet would be set up between 21.00 and 21.30. Jonathan would be Hector’s Co-Diner this evening. We arrived just on 21.30. Andrew, Mein Host, gave us a table as close to The Action as possible. As they were still setting up, Poppadoms and the Spiciest of Onion Chutneys was provided.

Andrew took us through The Starters that would be presented – Fish Pakora, Vegetable Pakora, Chicken Chat and Chapli Kebab would be the Stand-outs. Chicken, Lamb and Vegetable Curry would feature in the Mains plus Daal Makhani. I related my first encounters of this wonderful creation in Berlin and Ceske Budejovice last year. A Village Buffet would surely be significantly better than anything presented in a Mainstream Glasgow Curry House. Their Standard Curry Dishes would be expected to pack more Flavour.

There was a bit of a Scramble to reveal that the Starers were ready. Interestingly, the Pre-Starters caused a Bottleneck, Hector took more of the Spiced Onion and then a Single Sample of each of the Solids. A great variety of Tastes and Textures.

We have all done it – Overloaded on Starters. Now given that everything had just put freshly laid out the array was tempting, but sense prevailed. Andrew and Hector exchanged a comment.

I’m not falling into The Trap.

You’re meant to! – replied Andrew.

Hector was here for The Curry

The Temptation remained strong, everything on the plate was served to perfection. Time for The Mains.

This very day I caught up with Rick Stein’s India episode which featured Chicken Pilao as opposed to Biryani. Whatever the difference, if there really is one, Hector helped himself to some of the Rice and the accompanying Chicken. Lamb Curry followed plus an Unlabelled Offering which was again Chicken. A Ladle-full of Daal Makhani completed Visit #1 along with some very fresh looking Naan.

The Chicken did little impress the Palate of Hector, it rarely does and is why I tend not to go there. The Lamb was on-the-bone, way better. The Daal did not have the Kick I was anticipating but had the Dry, Earthy Taste that I have come to seek in recent times.

There was still a couple of Dishes that had to be explored. With a clean plate I took smaller samples of the Keema Karahi and the Sabsi, the Vegetable offering, plus a little more Daal. Now this is where The Village Curry Experience came to the fore. The Keema was seriously Dry. The Seasoning was exactly on target. That The Chef had included some Capsicum was not a problem, easily picked out, but then I decided to break the habit of a lifetime. The intensity of the Flavours from the Keema was almost overwhelming. Jonathan concluded that (Lamb) Mince absorbs better than any other Meat. The (Vegetable) Sabsi was also Spot-on. Again the Seasoning was such that the full Flavours emerged. This was Aloo and Gobi based, most enjoyable. With the remaining Daal and Naan, this second plate was the more satisfying.

The final engagement with Andrew revealed that they change the Mains each night. We had to congratulate The Village on their fine array of Buffet Dishes. Not the Bog-Standard. But we must complain – Where’s the Chicken Korma?

What train are you getting back from Staveley on Saturday evening? asked Jonathan. A return visit?

Desserts?

Kheer, Gajjat Halva and Dates were on offer to those with a Sweet Tooth and an Appetite. If I had room for Dessert, I would have had more Karahi and Sabsi.

The Bill

£22.80. You have maid a Profit tonight – said The Chap on The Till.

Profit? I asked.

You have had Starters and Mains for well below what you would normally have to pay.

Starters? Us? They’ll be accusing Hector of eating Chicken Curry and Capsicum next.

In a more realistic mode, I did admit that the normal Half-kilo of Karahi would have cost appreciably more than the modest fee charged this evening.

The Aftermath

The Village Waiter who is a regular reader of this Blog, and whose name I should remember, was now more behind the scenes this evening. Promotion – he informed me. And well deserved too.

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