Continuing the week of Curry Excess, a chance to try a Venue which although not far from Hector’s House, is not in an area where the Paws hit the Pavement. Neelim (1590 Dumbarton Rd, Glasgow, G14 9DB) is One of Three Curry Houses under the Papa Gills Umbrella, situated between Glasgow’s West End and the Boundary. Neelim has the advantage of being the only Curry House in this neck of the woods.
Suffice to say, it is over Ten Years since I last set foot in these premises. A Birthday Treat, a far from impressive one at that. In the interim, Jonathan has taken me to the Partick Branch of Papa Gills on many an occasion, but not since November 2011. Unbelievably, it was November 2010 when I last tried the Yoker Branch.
Entering just after 18.00, Three Groups of Diners were present. The Chap who greeted at the door asked me to wait until the Young Lady behind the counter finished the paperwork for a Takeaway Customer. In the end, another Chap (One of The Brothers?) appeared and took me to a seat at a screened table to the right. There were four such Tables for Four along the walls, in what was otherwise an Open Room. Decorated in Bright Colours and no Tablecloths, this is not how I remembered Neelim, but then, Ten Years and more have past.
I feel I am writing similar words to last night at the Himalaya. As with last night, my Drink order was placed before I had sat down. Tonight the Sparkling Water was available. The Menu was very familiar. The Curry Styles are Listed with a Synopsis, I had read the following words in a well known Curry Blog during this afternoon’s Pre-Curry Salivation Moment – Cooked dry using spring onions, garlic and coriander leaves sprinkled with garam masala, with a real Punjabi taste. Having chosen the Style, One then chooses the Protein. That Methi Gosht is the Complement proved once again irresistible. And so, Methi Gosht Garam Masala it was, – with extra green chillies for that extra bite – same as on my first visit to Yoker. The Brother I spoke to in the Yoker Papa Gills some years ago assured me that although the Menus are the same, each Restaurant has its own Chef and Style. We shall see.
Chapattis were £1.20, Paratha £2.50. I considered asking for an Aloo Paratha when I though to back to Monday evening – A Vegetable Side. The Special Mixed Vegetable Bhoona sounded like a Hector Side, the Paratha would Accompany.
The Young Lady took the order. No Rice? No Starters?
Is it Groundhog Day? Again?
There was time to read other reviews for Neelim and wonder if my memories of the Venue were accurate in terms of Décor. I estimated Neelim can sit maybe more than Fifty. Draught Tennents and Cobra for those who require it.
The Chap brought the Food. The Paratha looked Perfect, the Vegetable Curry, Interesting, and the Methi Gosht Garam Masala was -RED!
Now this can only be down to Food Dye. I refer the Reader to the Homepage of Curry-Heute and the Third Plea of the Curry Campaign – No Red Food Dye. This distortion means I cannot really be sure if the Lamb was Tender or Tikka. The Staining made the Lamb look like the Tikka version, there was a slightly Burnt Flavour, but the Quality of the Lamb was such that I could not be sure. The Lamb was Excellent, Tasty, and there was lots of it. Compared to the Portions I have been served in recent days, this was indeed value for money. At the halfway stage when I decanted more Lamb on to the plate I still had Six Large Pieces. Impressive Quantity.
The Masala was Onion Based, Thick and Very Rich. The Green Chillies gave the whole Dish a Good Kick. There was nothing here not to like assuming One ate with One’s eyes closed. Any Methi was lost in the Mix, however the Richness of the Overall Flavour was Pleasing. The Masala too was Plentiful, some was left. This was not Soup.
The Paratha was as good as a Paratha should be. Girth, Diameter, Flakiness, Fresh, all boxes ticked. (Chefs in Greece and Ireland please note.)
The Vegetable Curry contained Cauliflower, Potatoes and Peas, and maybe more lost in the Mush that was the Thick Masala. Such was the Dominance of the Lamb Curry, this could not compete. The purpose for Hector in ordering the Interesting Vegetable is to provide a Differing Texture. This was achieved. On the day when we are told Five a Day is not enough, Hector may well hit the New Target of Seven Fruit and Veg a Day.
The Young Lady came over soon after I started eating to ask the Customary Question. She was not Smiling, she was Beaming. Hector was totally Disarmed. I only had one thought in my mind as she approached and so told her – The Lamb, it tastes of Lamb. Few Venues manage this.
She may well have wondered.
£17.90. I think, Hector was distracted.
The Young Lady took the Cash and accepted the Calling Card. I asked about the Décor, stating I remembered it to be Darker, more Traditional for a Glasgow Curry House. She confirmed that it is about Ten years since they Brightened the place up.
Did I not write this last night too?
Back to The Red Food Dye
On my First Visit to Papa Gills Yoker, Marg ordered the Karahi which was Horribly Red, whilst Hector had the same as this evening, which was Decidedly Brown.
Strange, or evidence that each Venue does its own thing?
Hector’s Blog – Supplementary
I believe I only have Five Curry Houses West of Charing Cross still to review. Two of these are Ashoka, the Third is also a Chain, the Fourth is Brand New, and the Fifth is One of Glasgow’s longest established. Why am I leaving this to The End?