Hector’s work has taken him into the Heart of Scotland for a few days. The only possible Curry-Heute could be the Lunch Stop in Pitlochry. The Prince of India (5-7, Station Rd, Pitlochry PH16 5AN) was the Venue.
This time last year I had the Meat Bhuna Balti, a Beef Curry because all of the Lamb Dishes are served Tikka-style. This year I decided to discover if their decision to do so was justified.
Entering bang on Noon, I was not surprised to find the premises empty this Monday Lunchtime. It was the very start of the Lunch Period. Who dines out at this time of day? As I took my choice of seat along the window I declined the Lunchtime Special Three Course offer. Time was at a premium, let’s get to the Main Event.
The Balti Achar Lamb Tikka looked the best of all choices for a Hector Curry. On the assumption that a lot of Masala would be served, Vegetable Rice felt appropriate. The Order was given as Mein Host brought the Sparkling Water.
Somewhere between fifteen and twenty minutes later a Young Waiter served Hector with his Curry. My attempt at – Dry – last year fell on deaf ears. The Masala was not Over-The-Top, indeed it looked very Rich and was a decent Brown. The Redness from the Oil had clustered towards the Centre. Some Oil is always welcomed – Big Flavours. I could see immediately from the size of the Karahi that this Portion was not for the Faint of Heart, it was Huge, and it was not all Masala, the Lamb content was definitely Significant.
My preference for Tender Lamb is based on the realisation that Boiled Lamb takes on Flavours from the Masala, and on-the-bone gives something back. Tikka Lamb has its own Flavour which tends to stand alone no matter what one adds it too. Would Lime Pickle hold its own?
Decanting the Vegetable Rice I was struck by the choice of Interesting Vegetables. Cabbage was to the fore, accompanied by Baby Carrots, Peas and the odd bit of Broccoli, very different. Again the Portion was more than Sufficient for a Single Serving.
The Masala had a recognisable, but Faint Tang at the start. The Tikka Lamb behaved exactly as expected. The more I ate, the more impressed I became. The adjacent Photo shows what was left in the Karahi once I had taken a Decent-sized Portion. Here lay the Killer Flavour. What had been carefully avoided thinking it was the Dreaded Green Mushy Vegetable, turned out to be the Rind from the Lime Pickle. A stray piece ended up on Hector’s Palate – Bang! This was a Curry! This was an Outstanding Curry!
There was still plenty of Lamb left, I even had to use a knife to cut one very large piece. The Relative Ratios of Lamb, Masala and Rice was such that one did not have to plan the End Game to avoid Rice and Sauce. Hector was in his element. Apart for the Curry Houses I have visited of late which are on my Recommended List, this must be the Stand-out.
It is possible that I could return here in October 2014 and 2015, ceterus paribus.
£17.55. Yes, this is a couple of Pounds more Expensive than Hector is used to paying, however, given the Portion Size this remains Good Value.
The Calling Card was presented to the Young Waiter. Mein Host was busy, a pity, I did wish to congratulate his Venue for selling such an Outstanding Dish. I will order this again.
Hector had a forty five minute window for lunch. In the end I had five minutes to spare.