From the first day I met Dr. Alasdair, Curry has featured prominently in our conversation. He and Margie (previously Mags) have featured before in Curry-Heute, a memorable visit to Glasgow’s Yadgar being the highlight. Having extolled the Wonder that is Bradford we met up today for a three night stay, the objective: to eat Bradford Curry. In all six Bradford Curry Houses have been pencilled in, none will have needless tablecloths. In the spirit of keeping – The Best to The End – Marg and Hector stopped off at Sarina’s this Lunchtime to order the Mutton Handi for Saturday at Noon.
After our afternoon at the National Media Museum we crossed over the road to the International (40-42 Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1BA). Ali spotted us as soon as we entered, he and Kahlid gave the warmest of welcomes. Ali’s banter would continue throughout our stay.
Lamb on-the-bone would feature in Dr. Alasdair’s choice of Curry, it was a matter of finding this on the Extensive Menu. Lamb Desi (£10.00) ticked the boxes. Margie chose Lamb and Ginger Balti (£7.90) whilst Marg went for Krahi Lamb (£7.50).
On Hector’s last visit to the International the highly recommended Shahi Kofta (£8.00) was sampled. What came was so Salty it was close to being inedible, a criticism that others have relayed. Tonight the Shahi Kofta would be given another chance.
More Chapattis than we could eat would accompany. Have I ever highlighted that in many Bradford Curry Houses Chapattis/Rice/Naan are inclusive? Why not everywhere? A Jug of Mango Lassi (£3.80) completed the Order.
The Lassi was consumed, the Poppadoms and Dips didn’t last long. It appeared we were hungry, it was a long movie. Androids may dream of electric sheep, Hector still dreams of the Perfect Curry. Six years ago this was served at these very premises – Lamb Karahi Methi. Six years ago.
The Mango Lassi was lovely – remarked Dr. Alasdair later.
Four seriously hot plates were placed on the table. The Ladies decanted, the Chaps ate directly from the Karahi / Pyrex Dish.
This is a Bizarre Curry.
Recipe: take some leftover Lamb Curry, add Kofta, top with Fried Eggs and Chillies. I have yet to attempt recreating this and so do not know if the Egg fries spontaneously on top of the Hot Oily Masala or is precooked. Marg estimated that three Eggs would have been need to create this Mass. Five Flat Kofta Patties were shrouded by a Minimal Masala and more pieces of Lamb. This was a daunting Quantity of Food, one Chapatti accompaniment proved to be sufficient. The Seasoning was – Tame – in comparison to what was presented last time, thankfully. One wonders if the Quality of Curry served can be dependent on the presence of Khalid and/or Ali? Disappointing Curry at the International tends to coincide with their absence.
As the Kofta had only recently been added to the Lamb Curry Base they retained their own Flavours. The Fried Egg offered a strange Diversity, the Chilli was approached with some trepidation even though Large Chillies are usually not a challenge. The Quantity was – The Challenge – this was quite a meal. In the end some Egg had to be left, too cold to eat. This – Curry – is quite a departure from the norm, well worth a try.
This looked Wonderful. Had I not enough on my plate, I would have had a sample. The Meat was Larger than the Bradford norm, the Masala was so inviting, a glorious colour. Marg found the Spice Level to be a shock at the start but eventually was able to take it in her stride.
It had a good kick, very rich in flavour, a tasty dish.
Lamb and Ginger Balti
Served in the classic – Bucket – this Balti did not look dissimilar from the Krahi Lamb. There was little choice but to decant to a hot plate. Ginger Strips were at a premium.
I loved the look of it. It was rich in sauce, very tender meat, good heat. For my liking it could have had more Coriander and Ginger. Very satisfied.
Dr. Alasdair was impressed with his first Bradford Curry though did express a concern about the size of the bones. I saw no splinters, however, one must take care always. Exactly what were the differences between this Curry and the previous two? Dr. Alasdair sampled all three and so was able to make comparisons, careful notes were taken:
I am not used to the stripped back cafe culture, I like the focus on the food.
The Curry was Spicy, pleasant, hot. I tasted all of the Lamb (dishes), not a huge difference, all rich. Of the three, the Balti had a slightly sweeter, rounded flavour.
I love the idea of Chapattis with the meal.
£38.70. That this was for four diners impressed the newcomers. Bradford Curry at Bradford Prices.
Farewells and out into the night. Five more Curry Houses to visit this week.