Hector has been a visitor to the Modern Punjabi (560 Paisley Road West, Glasgow, G511RF) since the mid 1970s. The Curry here has always had its own distinctive flavour, outstanding for a modest restaurant near Ibrox Stadium. It was therefore interesting to hear that the premises next door to the Bon Accord Ale House were being converted into a new Curry House. The famous Café India was once located on North Street a few doors along, there remains a strong tradition of quality Curry in the Charing Cross area around the Mitchell Library.
The Punjabi Charing Cross (157-159 North St, Glasgow G3 7DA) lies opposite what has evolved into Glasgow’s Hotel Zone. Across the motorway from the Hotels lies the church made infamous as being the locus which proved to be the downfall of one Peter Tobin. The World Famous Bon Accord Ale House (& Whisky Bar) is immediately next door to the Punjabi. The architecture of the Charing Cross area is a marvel with the Mitchell Library and the Charing Cross Mansions as standouts.
Hector was introduced to the staff in the days leading up to the opening night. Hari, Hari’s Son and The Other Hari, discussed Curry. Hector was in his element. The Punjabi Charing Cross (157-159 North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DA) opened in April 2011, Hector, Marg and Steve were the first customers.
The Menu covers the mainstream dishes that one has come to expect in a Glasgow Curry House along with the customary Chef’s Specialities. The Menu is available online, however, Hector has only ever looked at it once. Hari has listened to my description of the perfect Curry: Tender Lamb (not Tandoori), a Dry, Bitter Masala, and the magic ingredient that makes a Curry House stand out. The reality is whatever Curry one can dream up, they are prepared to cook it to order.
Hector’s idea, Chef Gurmeet’s Creation…
Karela was only a Hector discovery in the latter part of 2011, this added to Methi is Hector Curry Nirvana. The Lamb Gurmeet was born, named after the Chef. Mr Gurmeet is only the second Chef in Glasgow I can name, Mr Shah at Yadgar being the other culinary genius. I was delighted to be presented on evening with a complementary plate of Karela cooked in the traditional manner – in Hari’s home kitchen. I am reliably informed that this dish never leaves the house; it is not a restaurant dish but classic home cooking.
Goat is now available too, more chewy than Lamb, the texture similarly absorbs the full flavours and is more authentic to the Punjab than eating Lamb anyway.
Venison, Quail, Sea Bass
Always eager to please, Hari has expanded his Menu to include Venison, at Hector’s suggestion, this could well be a first for Glasgow. Batair (Quail) has also been served at my insistence. Sea Bass has been tried at Hari’s insistence, then there is the offer of Mussels in a Punjabi Masala.
The Function Room
The restaurant inherited a basement from the previous incarnation. This now has its own dining room, private bar and dance floor. For larger parties the main ground floor restaurant can also be booked. The premises are fully licensed and again will cater for all requests.