For the last few years the venue for Hector’s Birthday Curry was Scotland’s First Afghan Restaurant. Alas, this Highly Recommended Curry House is no more. It was Maureen of Sri Lankan Curry Night Fame who drew my attention to a new venue on the Southside of the City. The Southside – Home of Glasgow Curry!
Curry on the Hill, Restaurant and Lounge (3 Bemersyde Avenue, Thornliebank, Glasgow, G43 1EN) is not in a part of the City that Hector would normally find himself. So far South, but not as far South as Barcelona. Curry on the Hill is also very close to where Dr. Stan, Eleanor, Marg and Hector were so graciously Fed and Entertained by Shahed ‘s Mother back in the day.
This evening, The Friends of Hector were assembled in the State Bar to celebrate a Birthday, Mine! Work commitments meant that Marg was not home until after 18.00, and so the planned early Dinner was given the Kybosh. It was approaching 19.00 when we finally reached Curry on the Hill. Just off the main road it was easy to find. Despite the availability of a Car Park we chose street parking.
This venue is the former Coach House, a Pub. The place is vast. We were taken through the Bar and Reception area where people may sit and have an Aperitif, and beyond a Dining Room to a Conservatory style Dining area where four other groups of Diners were located. We were all the Window Dressing.
Mein Host, whom I would later discover was Sonny, the owner, gave us the Pre-theatre Menu as well as the A la Carte. He told us we had made the 19.00 deadline, just. A la Carte is what we were after, this was Hector’s Birthday Treat after all.
Hector had already studied The Menu online. Garam Masala was the most Hector-like Curry on offer – Our Master Chef’s secret fusion of fifteen exotic Punjabi spices creates this gorgeous garam masala…simply bursting with flavours of the Subcontinent! I would however ask about the Special Karahi Bhuna – Sonny’s favourite and a must for die-hard curry lover with its fusion of capsicum and onions simmered karahi-style in a rich and spicy tarka…superb! Sonny recommended the latter. He described the Garam Masala as being – More Spicy, but just the One Taste, whereas the Karahi Bhuna had a greater variety of Spices. A Plain Paratha (£2.25) would accompany.
Marg was taken by the description of the Nawabi – Karahi cooked lamb, chicken, fish or vegetables sautéed in a flavoursome tarka of fried onions, mushrooms, capsicums and tomatoes. This would have been Hector’s Third Choice. A Single Chapatti (£1.00) was enough Bread for Marg. As ever our Dishes were ordered in Tender Lamb and with the Capsicum withheld.
As we were here – To Dine, a Starter to share was in order. I knew Marg could not refuse Tandoori Lamb Chops. To ensure we attained the required number of Vegetables per day, a Side order of Gobi and Aloo Curry completed the Birthday Feast.
Lovely Lamb Chops
The Portion was Four, ideal. Not the Spiciest of Lamb Chops but certainly Very Tasty and cooked through. Some venues serve them a bit too bloody for Hector’s comfort. Marg was impressed too.
Sonny brought The Mains with the Breads following. By now he had no doubt spotted the excessive photography. Marg asked if he would take our Photo. Having established it was a Special Day he shook the Hand of Hector. Most Welcoming!
I could smell the Lime Pickle wafting from my Karahi Bhuna before I started the eating. Indeed, this was as much Achari as Bhuna. Achari was my Fourth choice and so this was not a problem. The Curry looked better than Mainstream with a Thick Masala. There was more Masala than I would consider my ideal. At least this was in no way – Soup. The Lamb Content was not the most generous ever provided, however, I am aware that in My Favourite Places I am spoiled.
I had to sample Marg’s Nawabi who was delighted to find Mushrooms embedded in the Nawabi Masala. She was not short of Vegetables. In neither Dish had the Chef overloaded the Onions to make up for the ‘missing’ Capsicum. Good Flavour, I just can’t pinpoint what it was – Marg related afterwards. Two Fine Portions of Curry.
The Aloo Gobi was a Winner from the moment it arrived. The Portion was as Large as the Mains. With Minimal Masala this looked the business. The Seasoning was to the fore, the Flavours Intense. This is what Hector looks for in Curry. This was the most memorable part of the meal.
How many Parathas has Hector been served this year which were not up to scratch? Here we go again. This Paratha was Dry, Thin, Peely Wally, it looked like a Big Tattie Scone and was not as good as this Scottish Delicacy, a Disappointment.
Time was passing. The Chelsea Match had started, The Chaps were letting Hector know that he should be at his own Party.
£36.75. A Fair Price. The Mains are around the £9.00 mark.
On asking for The Bill, Mein Host asked the Courteous Question. I pointed to the empty Vegetable Curry Plate. This was the most impressive part. Sonny acknowledged that he could tell I knew what I was looking for when I was ordering. There is a new Desi Menu Supplement currently being prepared. It was at this point that Introductions were made. The Calling Card did the trick. And so Sonny, Marg and Hector discussed Curry and this New Venue.
Curry on the Hill has been open for Five Months. It is a Husband and Wife operation. We were taken on a Tour of the venue. The Focal Point in the Main Room is the Fire Bowl, very impressive. Marg had spotted an Exotic Creature on the way in and was off to see the Iguana. Two Water Features line the walls.
To the right as one enters is a large Lounge where Tapas can be ordered. Murphy’s Pakora Bar was mentioned. To replicate that much-missed concept is their aim. The walls had Five large TVs each showing the European Cup Semi Final. Chelsea were not out of Europe yet. Sadly the room was empty. Maybe the Locals don’t appreciate yet what they have on their doorstep? The Bar sells an array of Drinks on Draught, nothing though for us CAMRA Chaps. And let’s not overlook the fact the Dining Rooms are also substantial in size. This is a Very Spacious Venue.
Sonny has promised that when the Desi Menu is up and running he will invite me back to sample the Home-cooking. I look forward to this.
In the drive down the M77 Marg remarked on how welcoming Sonny had been. With the Desi Menu, this Venue could become a Gem. Sonny appears to know what he is doing. I wish him well.
Now, let’s appreciate the Birthday Card from Marg, who would have thought?