Glasgow – Sheerin Palace – A Pleasant stroll along Allison Street

Hector finds himself out on a Sunday once again. The Sun is shining, 16°C, and Hector has too many clothes, the temperature will plummet later. The BBC is calling at the Allison Arms, Scotland are playing at Hampden Park later this evening, a good time to visit Sheerin Palace (300 Allison St, Govanhill/Crosshill, Glasgow, G42 8HQ)? The train via Queens Park was half full of Football Fans, some resplendent in Kilts. It was a bit early to be hanging around Mt. Florida, unless they were off for Curry-Heute also. There are still some Southside Venues which Hector has not visited.

Entering Sheerin Palace at 15.00, Mein Host behind the counter was serving a Takeaway Customer, he nodded as I went straight through to the dining area. There was a Lone Diner halfway through what was Curry on top of Coloured Rice. I had to ask. Approaching the counter I could see no Kofta Anda which was my primary reason for coming to Sheerin Palace, however, had there been Quail, well…

The same please, (Chicken) Biryani with Lamb and Potato. I have had variations of this over the years, the Chicken content in the Biryani is relatively Minimal. The Lamb and Potato was sat in an Oily Dark Shorva, I hesitate to use the – Aloo Gosht – nomenclature, keeping that for a Curry with Masala. No prices were on display, no Menu, no money taken. I returned to my seat.

My fellow diner was – Owen – clearly a man out to enjoy his Curry, and prepared to try a Curry Cafe to find the Best available. The sort of Chap I would no doubt have sat beside in The Village some years back when they were mostly just a Cafe too.

Owen used the term – Mainstream – to dismiss the venues serving – The Old Favourites – I wondered if he had read Curry-Heute, apparently not. A Calling Card was handed across the room, Yadgar and Ambala had to be recommended. Kofta Anda at the Desi Curry Palace – Desi Cafe along the street also mentioned. Owen can find Karahi Palace for himself when ready. He mentioned Akbar’s which gave further credence to his search for the – Authentic. The Curry of Bradford, in Glasgow, but only if one asks for it – Asian Style.

Mein Host came through to ask if I needed a Drink. Steady. With no Sparkling Water available, Mango Rubicon was ordered, the glass later. The Massive plate of Food arrived moments later, a quick reheat. Owen did the honours, photos of Hector at Sheerin Palace are few.

The Lamb sat on top of a Huge Portion of Biryani. Salad Components smothered this Melange. This was most certainly not 5* Service, simply Honest Fayre, Desi. The Shorva had disappeared into the Rice adding to the moistness of the Biryani. The Exquisitely Seasoned Flavours from the Shorva had permeated too. Rice? This was way more than Rice.

Two pieces of White Meat on-the-bone sat towards the edge of the plate. The Butcher had made Cuts different from the norm, I had to taste to be convinced it was – Chicken. That dispensed with, it was time to concentrate on the Boneless Lamb. Six Large pieces, Lamb that had taken in the Flavours from the Shorva also. The Spice was coming from who knows where. It was hard to say where the Curry ended and the Biryani started. A half of a Large Potato was in the Mix, enough. Add to this the Diversity of texture provided by the raw Onion Slices, the Tomatoes, this was the – Veritable Feast.

The Debris accumulated, Bay Leaf, Black Cardamoms; Large Green Chillies and Black Peppercorns were unearthed. The Hector was able to eat all but a Soupçon of Rice, hardly a waste, a slight surplus.

Curry-Heute was established in 2010, only in 2011 did I make two visits to Sheerin Palace in one year. It is not a glamorous venue, it simply serves very tasty food. I should be here more often, but there are so many nearby venues. I shall be back in 2017.

The Bill

£6.00. You couldn’t make this up.

The Aftermath

Having seen off another Takeaway Customer, Mein Host asked:

Spicy?

Yes, and the Seasoning was Perfect.

I saw an eyebrow was raised,  explanation required:

The Shorva had soaked into the Rice, the Salt brought out all of the Flavour.

Strange, in early visits to Sheerin Palace I was not familiar with Shorva and was quite dismissive. Every day is still a learning day. I still tend to dismiss – Soupy Curry – but can appreciate that if the Flavours are there, they can be worth it. The translation of – Shorva – is – Soup.  I refer the Reader to my recent visit to Tuk-Tuk.  

I have just received an email from Curryspondent Gordon noting that Giffnock’s – Mount Cafe – does not feature in Curry-Heute. This is a reincarnation of – Maya – which has been visited. Mount Cafe is also primarily a source of Nepalese Cuisine, which I tend to avoid. But, did I not rave about the Ryba (Fish) Balti served at Chmielarnia, Warszawa, a couple of weeks ago? Chmielarnia is essentially a Nepalese Restaurant. Curry ohne Grenzen, Curry Sans Frontieres. Maybes.  Scotland 1 v 0 Slovenia.

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Glasgow – Karahi Palace – Supper’s Ready

After an excellent day at the Hawkshead Brewery in the English Lakes for the – Northern Craft Beer Fest – there had to be Curry-Heute, but in Glasgow. Realising that our arrival back at Glasgow Central would be after 22.00, the Curry order was phoned in to the Karahi Palace (51 – 53 Nelson Street, Glasgow, G5 8DZ) as we were stationary at Motherwell: Lamb Karahi (£7.90) and Aloo Gosht (£6.50). The ETA was 22.15 Mags and Hector arrived bang on time.

Ayaz, Mein Host, was behind the counter, Qaiser busy between serving tables and dealing with Takeaways. Chef #2 was on duty. The best two tables were occupied, a familiar face was there, we sat mid room. I turned round to face Ayaz and confirmed two Chapattis (£0.70). The wait was not a long one, Supper’s Ready. Meanwhile we accepted the Jug of Water and noted the Modest Salad is no longer a guaranteed feature.

Yesterday, Steve from Malta contacted Hector to ask if I had ever eaten Curry there. The simple answer was – Yes – some thirty years ago in Sliema, there was a solitary Curry House. I recall impressive – strong, wooden, double doors, not the Curry. Neil and Hector spent a fortnight there suffering terrible Bier and Kinnie. We were also thirty years too young to be holidaying in Malta. As Marg approaches retiral, so I can plan a return. Marg and Hector have been invited out for Curry in Malta. Google Maps show a half dozen Indian Restaurants around Sliema, we might need two visits to get through all these. It’s a pity the Budget Airlines have abandoned direct flights from Central Scotland presently.

The Karahi Gosht arrived, seriously Hot and Sizzling. Let the Pleasure begin. The Chapattis were as Fine as ever, Strips were dipped into the Oily Residue at the edge of the Karahi, then the Masala-mash was savoured. Finally the Lamb on-the-bone was cool enough to tackle. Eight Bones were assembled on the plate after they had given up their Tender Lamb. The Spice was there, the Seasoning was Perfect, Chef #2 has graduated to be a Master. I should have ordered a Half-Kilo, I was hungry enough. I have not fully indulged for a while.

At Karahi Palace, all the Lamb Dishes are served on-the-bone. Mags’ Aloo Gosht had visibly fewer than the Karahi.

Still the best Aloo Gosht in Weegie-Land – was Mags’ verdict.

She has eaten a few, she should know.

The Bill

£15.80.

The Aftermath

I congratulated Chef #2 on the Quality of the Karahi. Ayaz suggested he was simply – The Chapatti Man.

Oh no he’s not!

I need a name.

Posted in (New) Karahi Palace | 1 Comment

Edinburgh – Tanjore – South Indian Restaurant – From Reformation to Revelation

Amongst the other things that happened on Friday night, there was a first encounter with Tony, – The Duke’s Neighbour. Curry was mentioned, Edinburgh Curry. Who mentioned the – E – word? Admitting that my preference is for Punjabi Cuisine, means that I favour Glasgow and Bradford above all. As a consequence, the Bangladeshi dominance in Scotland’s second largest city, makes Edinburgh less attractive to this Curry Lover. Lazeez Tandoori has been on the radar for some three years , one of Edinburgh’s few Punjabi outlets.

Tanjore (6-8 Clerk St, Edinburgh EH8 9HX) was mentioned by Tony, a South Indian Restaurant, these are not prolific in Scotland. On the infamous No. 2 Bus home I studied the website for Tanjore. There was a Fish Curry, a South Indian Fish Curry. As the Curryspondents know, the Indian Mango in München has set the standard, their Fisch Chettinad being one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Marg had declared herself to be free of hockey commitments on Sunday, but how to get her to Edinburgh? I know!

In the early afternoon, Marg and Hector headed east, negotiating the mess that is currently the M8. All would have been well if a truck had not broken down on the slip road which was part of a diversion. Roslin was the destination, Rosslyn Chapel being on our list of places to visit ever since we saw a certain movie based on a certain book. We arrived at 15.00, just in time for the last lecture of the day. Hector-the- Secular visiting and entering a Chapel? Curry-Heute.

The Guide was excellent, this Fifteenth Century partial construction fully explained. Did Scottish Explorers really set foot in the Americas before Columbus? The musical notes carved into stone, a – Code – of their own. Then the acceptance that visitors to Rosslyn have quadrupled since the book and the movie, financing the restoration and the construction of the visitor’s centre. No photos permitted inside, why?

A Fruit Scone cannot be resisted, not – my only pleasure – but a sporadic one. Eating this after 16.00 meant we had to let our snack digest before dining.

We’re only ten minutes from Musselburgh – I advised the Dear Lady.

It came to pass that Marg and Hector were at the Staggs for an aperitif. Others must suffer.

I took the Opperchancity to phone Tanjore. Having seen the size of the premises and the layout on their website, there was no point risking a queue. A table for two at 18.30, please. Who knows what was actually written down for the name? Hector– might have been easier.

Clerk Street is  one of only three streets in Edinburgh I can navigate my way to, the Queen’s Hall. We managed to park for free across from Tanjore. The Waitress remembered the phone call, but had no decipherable name for the booking. We chose a table well inside, three at the door were vacant, three inside, but not for long.

An A3 double sided Menu acted as a table setting. I knew what I was having, now to lead Marg in the right direction.

Lamb Tanjore (£8.95) would have been my choice in any Mainstream Restaurant. Lamb Karaikudi (£8.95) looked so much better – Chettinad Spices – yes please. Both Dishes had Boneless Lamb only, one cannot have everything. Marg spotted Tanjore, but then changed to Karaikudi, finesse.

Chennai Fish Curry (£8.95), study the description, this could be what I have been looking for.

We agreed to share Jeera Rice (£3.50) and a Parotta (£2.95). Two glasses of Sparkling Water completed the Order.

Tanjore is quite an informal venue. They operate a BYOB policy with no corkage fee. Many fellow diners had brought wine, one Chap nipped out and returned with a couple of cans. Seating around forty, the place filled up. Only the two tables adjacent to us at the rear remained unoccupied. Booking should always be considered. It would have been impolite to take interior photos of my fellow diners, next time I’ll come at a quieter time. Lunchtime?

Two Ladies beside us had their Curry, the Masalas did not appear Excessive, my expectations were rising by the minute. Many had gone down the Thali, Dosa, Uthappam route. Tanjore was clearly far from being Mainstream.

Bring it on!

Two very Hot dinner plates were set before us by the Chap who brought the food.

No Karahis here, the Curry was served in oval shaped crockery. Topped with Cream, Cucumber and Tomato, both Dishes looked very inviting.  The Chennai Fish and the Lamb Karaikudi had more Masala than would be served in a Chettinad at Indian Mango. However, I have to admit that my earliest Chettinad’s at Indian Mango were much – Wetter – affairs, they have toned it down at my request over the years. Their Fish Chettinad, as served to Hector, is currently as much a Stir Fry as a Curry.

One of the Smallest Bowls of Rice ever seen, for £3.50!!, accompanied. There was hardly enough for one, never mind to share. Any sense of disappointment was momentary, the Paratha arrived. Piping Hot, Layered and Flaky, then some. The Ritual Photos complete, I looked for the Strip I had torn off, Marg had already snaffled it. By the time I took some more it was evident we would not have enough. Another – Parotta – was ordered, hopefully it would come before we were finished.

Marg was already commenting on the Rice. In addition to the Cumin Seeds, Nuts were also present, Excellent. Well not Excellent, the Portion was ridiculous, and this the day after I left Rice at Tuk Tuk. My own Curry-Heute Campaign backfiring? In passing I shall mention Tuk Tuk once more, it was the reading of Tanjore’s Menu which put me in the mood for the distinctive South Indian Flavours, hence my indulgence yesterday with Lamb Kohlapuri.

Chennai Fish Curry

The Chennai had more Fish than Masala, crucial to Hector’s enjoyment. Alternating with Rice and Paratha, I had the Best of Both Worlds. Had the Paratha been larger, I would have declared it my – Best Ever.

The anticipated Smoky Flavour was there, and much more. This Masala made me realise how Simplistic the Kolhapuri was yesterday, this Chennai had a Greater Complexity of Flavours. The Spice and Seasoning were well within acceptable parameters.

Tilapia, as everyone knows, is a Freshwater Fish. Sources suggest it is not the healthiest Fish Option, links to Alzheimer’s even being suggested. Let’s forget that and enjoy. The Masala Fish was the Perfect Complement to this Masala, served with the Skin still on, it held together well. The Paratha was gone, a few grains of Rice left, Marg suggested we halt and wait for the second.

Lamb Karaikudi

Tangy, and lots of flavour – was Marg’s proclamation moments after she started.

I sampled some of the Masala, it was possibly even more Complex than the Flavours in the Chennai. I did not dwell, I couldn’t spoil my own Curry. In the final moments a third of her last piece of Lamb came my way, then the remainder. At the start, Marg had counted six pieces of Meat, again, not a Large Portion, but enough for Marg. Hector has Greater Needs. The Lamb was a Standout, too often the Meat can be something to chew on whilst the Flavours come from the Masala alone. This Lamb was – giving – to the Overall Flavour, it was – Succulent – by all definitions, a term I rarely employ.

The second Paratha arrived, again Piping Hot. The Cooling Curry was revitalised.

Marg suggested I would really enjoy the Lamb Karaikudi when I next come back. Only if I were here for two sittings, no way could I pass up on a Fish Curry which I have to describe as one of the Very Best I have ever been served.

Whilst Hector likes to let the savoury linger, Marg likes to end on a sweet note. Vanilla Ice Cream (£2.25) was ordered. I could see three balls, Marg considered it to be nearer two.

The Bill

£32.55. Tanjore only accept Cash. The Sparkling Water was revealed to be £1.50 a glass.

The Aftermath

The Calling Card was given to the Waitress who immediately thought I owned a Glasgow Curry House. She is planing a Trip to the erstwhile Curry Capital soon, welcome to Punjabi Cuisine.

A challenge to Curryspondent Neil: when the M8 works are complete, I shall take the Bus through, we should have Lunch here, then see what happens thereafter.

Dr. Stan, March 29th?

Mr. Snax, why have you not been to Tanjore?

Howard, you wouldn’t like it.

Posted in Tanjore - South Indian Restaurant | 1 Comment

Glasgow – Tuk Tuk – Sometimes a Great Notion

After an epic night in the State Bar, it was obvious The Company would re-assemble there this evening. With the imminent demise of the EGW, we are running out of Pubs in Glasgow that sell the Ale we desire. There had to be Brunch afore, Brunch at 17.00.

Lamb Kolhapuri, a slow cooked Traditional South Indian Flavoured Curry, is what Hector was craving this day. This meant a return to Tuk Tuk (426 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD).

Zaheer was busy dealing with Customers as I entered, a Colleague showed me to the table adjacent to where I sat last time. The Restaurant was much busier, around twenty Diners, it was Saturday.

Presented once more with the A3 Paper Menu, I told the Chap I was here to eat the Lamb Kolhapuri (£5.65) but did not wish just a Tapas portion. He suggested I order two Portions. Pilao Rice (£2.45) would accompany, Sparkling Water (£2.50) completed the Order.

When Zaheer spotted me, he was straight over – Hi, Hector! If he had looked for my review on Curry-Heute, he hadn’t found it. I showed him the drop down menu – The Curry-Heute Blog – and also the listed reference down the right under – Glasgow’s City Centre. Sorted.

On my last visit I had the freedom to roam and photograph the venue, today I had to stay put and mind my own business. The Replacement Samsung kept me in touch with the outside World. How much longer can I put up with this lousy device?

Two Tiffin Tins – Dabbas – and a modest Portion of Pilao Rice we arranged before me. The provided plate was little larger than a side plate. Half of the Rice was spread over the plate, there was way more than I first thought. The Rice would be necessary to soak up the Copious Masala that is a feature of the Kolhapuri.

The Lamb was spooned on top of the Rice, five good sized pieces, one more than last time. I have to classify this Dish as having Masala with Meat, still, I knew what I had signed up for.

Green Cardamoms, Cloves and Curry Leaves were gathered and set aside. Slivers of Dark Red Chillies were spotted, this is quite an Aromatic Dish. The Red Chillies change the dynamics of the Flavour adding a Smokiness which I have come to associate with South Indian Cuisine. This was why I was back so soon.

The Spice Level was towards the – High – end of the Scale, the Seasoning too was generous. Five pieces of Tender Lamb were devoured, knowing I had the same again was most comforting. With a nearly clean plate it was time to repeat the process. Six Large and one Small pieces of Lamb, I had a more than Substantial Curry now. I could not even take all of the remaining Rice, too much, yet it appeared so little on arrival.

Lamb Kolhapuri, note it well

Zaheer passed by – How is it, Hector?

Excellent, I love this Dish.

How different was this from my usual Karahi/Handi? The Joy of Indian Cuisine, every day offers something new to savour.

The Bill

£16.15. Perhaps a couple of Quid more than I am used to paying, but Tuk Tuk is on Sauchiehall Street.

The Aftermath

Curry can repeat, the Kolhapuri most certainly did. For the next six hours I could still taste the distinctive Smoky Flavour that is at the root of this Dish, Superb.

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Glasgow – Mia Sugar & Spice – Evocative Curry

Can it really pour down all day? In Glasgow it can. What a miserable day, there had to be Curry. Mia – Sugar & Spice (523 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow, G3 7PQ) was the venue. Someone planted the thought of Ginger Lime Bhuna (£9.95) in Hector’s mind a couple of weeks ago. As good as the Cafe Salma days – was the description. Lahcen should be pleased. This was one of the Deluxe Curries Hector had yet to try.

Arriving at 16.15, three Young Ladies occupied the window seats, three Young Chaps were mid room. I took one of the two small tables adjacent to the hatch, acknowledging Chef #2 as I took my seat. Akhtar, Mein Host, shook hands, it has been a while.

Desi Hot – said Akhtar as he noted the Order. I had never noticed the Spice Levels on the Menu prior to today. Desi Hot, taking no prisoners then? A Vegetable Rice (£3.95), not on the menu, would accompany. The reminder was given – No Capsicum.

The Sparkling Water arrived in a pint glass, Excellent. Little more than a half litre bottle, there is something more satisfying drinking from a larger glass. What I didn’t know was the price, £3.45, ouch. One helluva markup.

No Poppadoms and Spiced Onions for Hector today. Perhaps there is the realisation that I currently do not really care for these. The Chaps had ordered Pizza, this always amuses. When they left, Akhtar informed me – those are the boys from Mother India. It is seven years since I last set foot in those premises. Akhtar took a seat beside me and enquired about my recent travels. The near Curry War in Madeira was outlined, and the impressive Quality of Curry in Polska also rated a mention.

The Karahi and the Plate of Vegetable Rice visually impressed. What a mass of Rice. With Cauliflower, Peas and Mushrooms, this Biryani in effect, was quite a treat. A plateful was decanted, no way would I be able to eat all this. Half of the Ginger Lime Bhuna was set on top of the Rice, without counting, it was clear that the Meat was well into double figures.

The Lamb was Tender, the chewing was so pleasurable. How I hate Lamb which could be sucked through a straw. This was Perfect. The Masala was Minimal and Thick, exactly the Standard expected. From the first intake of Meat and Masala there was a definite Citrus Blast. This took me back not only to the days of Cafe Salma but also The Village, whose Lamb Desi Korma triggered Hector’s Curry Obsession. Topped with Ginger Strips and who knows how many Chopped Green Chillies, the Spice Level was certainly – Desi Hot – the Seasoning was perhaps 10% under. With the Rice and Vegetables this was turning into a Magnificent Combination. I had nearly ordered a Paratha, what a mistake that would have been. The Variety of Textures was all, a healthier option too.

When the rest of the Bhuna was taken, I calculated that perhaps a third of the Rice would be left over.

What’s the verdict? – asked Akhtar as he passed.

With a full mouth, I simply nodded. This was Curry.

The Bill

£17.00. There is a tendency to round down. I could have played the 10% Discount Joker by checking in.

The Aftermath

Akhtar is off to Pakistan shortly, a holiday. The Sons of Akhtar will be running Mia Sugar & Spice. The Chefs will keep them right. I had to mention – Viceroy’s House – this spurred Akhtar into giving a brief History of Partition. One day Hector will get to Punjab, but on the Indian side.

Posted in Mia - Sugar & Spice | 1 Comment

Glasgow – Ambala Deli Bar – Beware The Tides of March

It was quite a blustery morning when Hector finally awoke from a lengthy slumber. Reports of a lorry being overturned on one of Scotland’s high bridges, and all this the day after the elected First Minister called for another Referendum – Scottish Independence! One feels the unelected Prime Minister may have thrown her toys out of the pram already. Perhaps we need a Referendum to decide if we want another Referendum?

More mundanely, the fortnightly – Shop with Mother – was completed with ease. The Ritual Curry-Heute would be quite different, Mother would have four Chaps for company.

Jonathan, Jim, and a son of Jim would rendezvous at Ambala Deli Bar (11 Forth St., Glasgow, Scotland, G41 2SP), a first visit for the Chaps from Paisley.

Jonathan managed to break away from his usual Keema Something and opted for Seekh Kebab Krahi (£8.99), still Mince, of sorts. Naveed’s Cousin was once again serving us. He served Mother a very successful Desi Karahi Gosht (£8.99) last month but without the customary bones. He would check that this was once again possible. Jim tends to follow Hector’s lead when taken to a new venue. Handi Gosht it had to be, a Large one to share. Gavin jumped on board with this too, complicated. Rather than order a Large (£16.99) and a Regular (£10.99), I asked if we could have the equivalent served in one Karahi. Not a problem, and the Extra Portion would be charged at £8.99. Logical.

Four Garlic and Coriander Naans (£2.75) were ordered for The Chaps. I had advised that the Parathas are variable, depending on which Chef is on. A Pilao Rice (£2.70) is more Rice than Mother could eat in a week. I asked if a half-portion was possible. Noted? Mother, as ever, reminded me of her need for Mango Chutney.

Jim and Jonathan decided to share a Jug of Mango Lassi (£7.99). At that price, I would expect a Gallon. This came quickly, the tallest of receptacles, it would not have gone amiss in a Chemistry Lab. During the wait, the diaries were out. Today’s meeting was about sorting out dates for shifts at Paisley Beer Festival, the Great British Beer Festival, plus flights to/from Wolf Strassenfest, Bamberg Bockbieranstich, and Silvester. Mother was mesmerised. This is how it is done. Four out of five, sorted.

About six other tables were occupied at various stages during our visit. Not bad for a windy Tuesday afternoon. Jim, making his first visit to Ambala, sensed the aroma of Garlic emanating from the kitchen, Jonathan reckoned he could smell his Seekh Kebab (being slaughtered?). What was certain, this was not going to be Curry taken from the Big Pot, with a cursory – here you are. Our Dishes were being prepared, properly. Thirty to forty minutes is the preparation time given on the Menu for the Handi to appear. At this time of day, less is the norm. Eventually, Cousin appeared with a Very Large Handi, let us at it.

Handi Gosht

Mother’s Boneless Desi Karahi Gosht looked just as good. The Rice came as before, an overflowing Mass of Pilao, enough for four of us. The skewer holes were visible in the Seekh Kebab Krahi, or Kofta Karahi as I was served this a few weeks ago at nearby Cafe Serena.

A Mountain of halved Naans were brought. They must have been quite a size to start, we shall never know. The Bread today was not up to Standard. Preparing and serving four at once must have tested. They were not so well fired, too doughy. Had the Tandoor been on long enough?

I’ll be Mother – was a strange thing to say as I took the first mass of Curry from the Large Handi. I was helping myself. Gavin followed and left some for his Dad.

Garlic was very much to the fore today. Goodnight, Ladies. The Lamb was as Tender as only the Best venues can achieve, and full of the distinctive Ambala Flavour. The Thick Masala was bursting with Flavour, Garlic and Clove I suspect being behind the distinctive taste.

There was enough for another half a round each from the Handi. We ate a Sufficiency, not the Excess as when we deal in Kilos. Despite the Naans being less than Wonderful, the bits disappeared.

Mmmmm – said Jim, knowing full well that this is Dr. Stan’s prerogative. When Cousin came to check on us, he was given a resounding – I’ll be back – from Jim.

What was that? – asked Gavin when he was finished. He studied the menu once more:

That was fantastic!

An inspirational choice – was Jim’s concluding remark.

Mother had received the same generous portion of Mango Chutney as before, and was not charged. Once I decanted enough Curry for her Rice, she set about smothering the plate with Mango Chutney. I must order her a Patia. I think this every time. Some of the Rice went Gavin’s way, there was still plenty.

Boneless Desi Karahi Gosht

Busy concentrating on the Handi Gosht, I was astonished to see Mother scrape the last traces of Meat and Masala on to her last grains of Rice. She finished all the Desi Karahi, a rarity.

Seekh Kebab Krahi

The Seekh Kebab Krahi had the same Quality of Masala. How easy had we made things for Chef? It’s a pity Jonathan prefers Boneless Meat, however, this did the job.

Another excellent Curry. The Seekh Kebab added extra spice which made it all the more tasty.

Cousin came to clear up, offering the Excess Rice as a Takeaway. Offer declined.

The Bill

£65.15. Guess who forgot he had a Mango Rubicon (£1.20) during the wait for The Chaps? Oops.

The Aftermath

Mission accomplished. I did spot a Chap having a Hamburger and Chips as I departed, each to their own.

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Clydebank – Hot & Spicy – The Hector Curry Challenge

A Saturday afternoon in Dumbarton? With Johnny now in charge of The Captain James Lang, the Range of Ale has taken on a new dimension. The Company may well find themselves here regularly as long as this maintains.

Curry-Heute was considered for this afternoon in Dumbarton. The long established Delhi Barbar does not open until 16.00, the more recently visited Bollywood Lounge opens later. This may work midweek when we tend to rendezvous later, but not for a Saturday afternoon. Arriving at Dumbarton Central, the mystery remains as to why Haveli has never opened. And so it came to be, a Curry, late evening from outside Clydebank Central.

Hot & Spicy (18 Alexander St., Clydebank, G81 1RZ) is usually Hector’s Kebap Stop when needs must. The association with Cafe Punjab and the latter’s absorption has been well covered in these pages. The Young Chap in charge recognised The Hector as soon as the door opened. I have declined Curry here in recent months, tonight I was early enough to play.

Are you up for The Curry Challenge?

I have actually done this before, two years ago, then the Curry came from a few doors away at Cafe Punjab. That turned out to be my Penultimate Curry cooked there.

My wife thinks I’m sad, I read your Blog – was his reply.

A Senior Staff member was introduced, his venue? My Chap called up Curry-Heute on his phone, meet The Hector, no Photos.

And so the notepad was prepared, the Order given, as always:

Lamb, on-the-bone? (not possible), Thick, Minimal Masala.

Dry – was interjected.

Indeed, with Methi, and Well-seasoned. Vegetable Rice, and no Capsicum in either the Curry or the Rice.

I was immediately asked why – no Capsicum. The wall was pointed to, Capsicum features in so few of their Dishes. Knowing my tendency towards Karahi, this is when it appears. The Curry-Heute Campaign was outlined, the abhorrence of Capsicum explained.

Spicier than Medium, but not Crazy.

Madras – was suggested.

Normally money changes hands at this point, not tonight.

The Order was taken to the Kitchen, I could imagine Chef’s reaction:

Who (***) is ordering this?

My Young Host related that the people of Clydebank are not that fussy about their Curry. Chips and Cheese is amongst their biggest sellers.

As we have done before, my Favourite Glasgow Curry Houses were discussed, places that Mein Host never visits, but would like to. It is about time we went dining together. (Hector@Curry-Heute.com)

Elections from the Punjab were being broadcast on the TV. Given the attire, from the Indian side of the border. Whilst My Chap was busy, I talked to another Staff member. Namkeen Karahi was mentioned, not known here. It originates further West.

Another Customer arrived to order Curry. Everyone else who had been in and out had ordered Kebaps, Pizza, Chips. He assured me that the Curry served here is Excellent. When my Curry arrived there was a Ritual Photo. None of the major players are featured.

The Bill

Pay me on Monday.

A gesture appreciated, and not to be taken literally.

When are we going for Curry together?

Since retirement, a Bus has always taken Hector up the hill. To do the Curry justice, a Taxi was employed. The fixing of the 62m hole at Hardgate has disrupted our Water Mains, the Driver told me. So it goes.

Two Large Trays were filled to the brim. The Rice had Onion, Potato and Cauliflower. Half was decanted, the rest for another day.

Look at the Curry! Absolutely no Excessive Masala. This was the definitive – Dry and Thick. The Herb content was most apparent, this was still Curry with Herbs, not Saag/Palak. Again half was decanted. This was quite a Portion.

Even with half, the Tender Lamb was in double figures, Large Pieces too. The Spice Level was as agreed, the Seasoning was Perfection. The Herb content was a Dream, the telltale Grittiness of Methi was there. The Rice, Potato and Cauliflower provided the required Diversity. Bread would not have suited this Curry. For once, this did not taste like a Clydebank Curry (they really do all the the same no matter you buy them from), this had something else. But still not in the Upper Echelon of Curry as Hector would classify it, that is hardly achievable in twenty minutes.

Next time I shall try their Lamb Karahi, how much Ballast will there be?

The Leftovers

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Glasgow – Karahi Palace – Hector orders: Chicken Karahi !

It cannot only be The Hector who finds the Staff at Edinburgh Airport to be – tacitly aggressive – but then there’s Waverley, the Premier League Champions of mucking about Travellers. Two sets of Glasgow bound passengers on the same platform waiting for different Glasgow Trains? Wtf is Platform 9E? Even J.K.R. would have needed to – magic up – a solution.  An attempt to spoil an Extraordinary Extravaganza at Staggs (Musselburgh) today? We bailed and took the Cross Country, yet another route.

The arrival at Glasgow Central meant only one thing could follow: Curry-Heute at Karahi Palace (51 – 53 Nelson Street, Glasgow, G5 8DZ). The number of cars parked outside this Friday night was commensurate with the number of Diners, nine downstairs. All the ground floor tables were occupied. If upstairs was in use, there would no doubt be large groups. One Chap sat alone at one of the four downstairs tables. I gestured, he nodded, sorted. At two of the other tables, the Large Karahi were mid table, Veritable Feasts, well underway. 21.30 on a Friday night is not The Hector’s normal time at Karahi Palace.

Qaiser came in, he acknowledged me and fetched his note-pad.

Maybe not Lamb, Lamb Chops? No Lamb.

I was almost accepting the compromise when a flash of inspiration made me think of – The alternative.

Chicken, on-the-bone? Chicken Karahi (£7.50) with Extra Everything.

Qaiser went to check, and so it came to be that The Hector knowingly ordered a Chicken Curry. My second this year. Where can I get Fish Curry?

My co-Diner was finishing a mass of Something Green.

Spinach with mustard leaf – he informed me.

Before I knew it, he had torn a piece off his Chapatti, scooped up some of the Spinach and handed it across the table. Manna.

The Lamb Mince, Potatoes and Peas he kept to himself.

Despite my obsession with Herbs in Curry, I am not a huge lover of Spinach per se. Pleasant, a Decent Accompaniment the way it was arranged with the Keema Mutter.  I could not be presumptive, no Photo.

My presence at Karahi Palace was acknowledged on a Social Medium.

Still here – was my reply.

I was about to hand a Calling Card to my new Acquaintance when Qaiser came over. I read your comments about Edinburgh. Is Qaiser now handling the Karahi Palace comments? They have been visibly more active of late. It is about time this Humble Establishment advertised themselves with greater vigour. I can only do so much.

The Chap would soon be gone, my Chicken Karahi and Chapatti arrived, a Photo Opperchancity. It looked liked a Paler version of the consistently outstanding Lamb Karahi.

I posted a photo, the reaction was instant. Hector was having Chicken Karahi?

The Spice and Seasoning were there, the Oil collected.  The Minimal, Thick, Tomato-rich Masala-mash was identical to the Lamb Equivalent. Why shouldn’t it be? Given the Temperature of the Meat, I had to concentrate on the Masala, all the Pleasures coming as expected. The Spice Level was now eye-watering. Regardless of what would follow, this was already being regarded as a Worthy Curry.

The Fresh Coriander Stems and Leaves gave Crunch and Diversity of Flavour. The – Green – was not the Dreaded Vegetable as a Curryspondent had already asked, but a Fiery Chilli. Marg and Hector went to see The Viceroy’s House last night. FYI, not a single Capsicum was harmed in the making of that Movie. In fact, I never saw – Curry, just lots of pots being stirred.

I have learned this year that Chicken Thigh can work in Curry. I had a variety of Cuts. The Meat was Moist, Bland, a Solid in the Sea of Masala. Vegetables may have done just as well, even better. Let’s not be bitchy, as Curry goes, this was still an Outstanding Karahi.

The Bill

£8.20. It was Ayaz, Mein Host, who took the Cash. I asked – Who is operating your Facebook account? He admitted it was him, as it should be.

Let us all be – Friends – with Karahi Palace.

The Aftermath

Qaiser spoke to me once more as I departed. He was keen to know my thoughts.

Rashid is off, it might have tasted a bit different.

I admitted that Chef #2 had cooked my last Lamb Karahi here and it was indistinguishable from Chef Rashid’s. He has clearly learned the ways of the Karahi Palace, a coming of age.

It’s Friday, no Marg to fetch me from The Laurieston. A Train from the comparatively wonderful Glasgow Central was on the regular platform, waiting to take me home.

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Glasgow – Tuk Tuk – Indian Street Food

In recent times, I have been adding [Square Brackets] to convey a disturbing number of Glasgow Curry Houses which are no longer in business. It is therefore a pleasure to visit new premises on Sauchiehall Street, once a focal point of Glasgow Curry.

Tuk Tuk (426 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD) has been opened for some two months, the sister shop to the Edinburgh original. Two does not make a chain in Hector’s book. Entering at 15.00, only two diners were in the large premises. They turned out to be tourists from India and ordered Biryani.

The Waiter who greeted me on entry looked very familiar, it took us a few moments. It was Zaheer whom Hector has encountered at Akbar’s, Glasgow’s Branch of the Bradford chain, located along the road. Hector is overdue a return to Akbar’s. But they are not open mid-afternoon when I prefer to eat.

An A3 Paper Menu was brought, Zaheer talked me through the offer which is available from Noon until 16.00. He realised that all would be photographed and recorded. For £12.00 I could have the Tuk Tuk Tiffin Lunch: a choice of three Starters, two – Street Curries – and a Side. The Pakora Platter (£3.95) was the choice of Starter. Two Lamb Dishes stood out: The Railway Lamb Curry (£5.65) was on-the-bone and contained Spinach, Lamb Kolhapuri (£5.65) was – slow cooked – Lamb. A Garlic Naan (£2.30) completed the Tiffin; a Sparkling Water was the Drink.

Zaheer advised that the Order would take ten to fifteen minutes, an Akbar’s custom transferred.

You are most important for us – said Zaheer. I bet he says that to all the Curry Bloggers who visit Tuk Tuk.

I had time to take in the surroundings. The premises are indeed large, seating perhaps one hundred. A raised area to the rear may be the optimum dining location. The number of small tables at the doorways aids versatility. The décor is certainly original, bright, contemporary. A variety of Music was played at a reasonable volume throughout my visit.

Zaheer brought a four tier Dabba, let the photographic recording commence. He unveiled the Pakora, the two Curry Dishes then the Naan which was quartered and squeezed into the base. Each was then covered up to retain heat.

Four pieces of Vegetable Pakora, one would not expect to pay £3.95 for this. Despite later discussion, I never did establish if the individual prices were the Main Menu prices. Online, I can find no other Menu.

Carrot, Aubergine and two pieces of Potato Pakora looked a bit lonely on the plate, even when the Raita was poured over. The Seasoning was spot on making a Tasty Experience, albeit Modest in Volume.

Lamb Kolhapuri

The Lamb Kolhapuri was tackled next, the logic being to leave the Railway Station Lamb Curry to the end. One expected the Lamb with Bones to be the tastier of the two. Four Large pieces of Lamb sat in a mass of Masala. Given the – Tapas – nature of what was being served, this was on the edge of acceptability. This was Masala with Meat which The Hector has to categorise as – SoupMeat with Masala please.

The Quartered Naan was Soft, wilting, and covered in Green Garlic Paste. Gone was the pleasure of tearing off the doughy point of the Naan, still this Naan was certainly full of flavour.

The Naan was dipped into the Masala, there was almost a – Wow! The Spice was at the – catch the back of the throat – level. The Seasoning was very impressive, and therefore here was an Intensely Flavoured Masala, very much in the Indian style. The Meat was suitably Tender, Soft with the right amount of chewing required. The Meat was consumed intermittently with the abundant Masala. I soon realised that I could eat all of the Naan with what was here. £2.30 for another Naan this size? No way. Rice may have been the better option here. The Biryani served to my fellow diners was overflowing the Dabba when presented. How did they manage this?

Railway Station Lamb Curry

The lid was taken of the Railway Station Lamb Curry. Three pieces of Meat were seen, two on-the-bone. One bone was of the – Sucky – variety, full of Flavour giving Marrow. The Masala, not as Thick as the Kolhapuri, had traces of Spinach. This was thankfully a Masala with Spinach, not a Palak/Saag. The Seasoning and Spice were well down compared to the now Wonderful Kolhapuri which preceded it. Despite the Earthy Flavour, this simply did not compete.

Zaheer confirmed I could return and order two Portions of Lamb Kolhapuri. Again, when I asked if a Full – Main Menu – version was available, this remained unclear. However, I would most certainly return here and eat as much Lamb Kohlapuri as can be acquired.

The Bill

£14.50. This means the Sparkling Water was £2.50, ouch!

The Aftermath

Zaheer went out of his way to tell me that Tuk Tuk operate a BYOB system. Currently this is 50p per table, but is due to double in coming months. With the State Bar across the street, an Opperchancity to utilise Carry-Kegs.

I was able to tour the now empty premises and photograph everything.

I wish Zaheer and his Colleague – Bonne Chance. There are few City centre venues open mid-afternoon. Zaheer assures me they are doing well in the evenings.  This is despite the number of nearby Buffets.

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Warszawa – Chmielarnia – The Best of Both Worlds

Our apartments in Zlota are a two minute walk to Chmielarnia (Twarda 42, 00-831 Warszawa, Polska), how did this happen? What better way to celebrate our arrival in Warszawa than have Curry-Heute writes the Bier-Traveller. To which Blog should this be posted, hopefully both, eventually. Is that three rhetorical questions in succession, oops, four?

Hector and Steve complete the four day Polska Trip with two nights in Warszawa, a city Hector is slowly getting to grips with. Parts are stunning, the bits in between most certainly not. Zlota is handy for the train station, when I eventually bring Marg, will we stay near/in Stare Miasto? Already, Dear Reader, the overlap between Curry-Heute.com and Bier-Traveller.com should become apparent.

Entering Chmielarnia at 14.50, two tables were occupied. Piwa had to be sorted first. The Bier of the week has been Siostra Bozenka (13Zl), a 6.0% Hoppy delight from Bowar Podgorz. With an IBU of 70, it’s right up there with Rowing Jack (Ale Browar), but not such an assault on the palate.

The Waitress offered both the Lunchtime and Main Menus. The Cuisine is notionally Nepalese, not a style I often tolerate – cf Belgium and Huddersfield. However, having dined here in 2015, I knew the Fish Curry was worth having again, if only I could find it on the Menu.

The Waitress pointed out the Fish part of the Balti section, it was not Number 31 as last time. Ryba Balti (30Zl) it was, with Ryz Z Kminem (10Zl), ah Cumin Seeds.

Steve was totally undecided. Eventually he plumped for Kurczak Chilli (30Zl) and Bez Dodatów (7Zl). That’s Chicken Chilli with a Plain Naan to the rest of us.

Today was Steve’s first time in Warszawa. Hector was here briefly in 1992, twenty five years ago, then on Fahren de Polen in 2015. Things have certainly changed since 1992, the Palace of Justice is now thankfully obscured by other tall constructions. Since 2015 there has been explosion of Bars selling Craft Beer. Two days, we’ll only scratch the surface.

The Curry arrived, and so did Steve’s Chilli Chicken. The Creamy Masala looked very European, the Mustard Seeds added an air of Authenticity. The Cumin Rice looked happy where it was, so I decided not to decant to the provided plate. Spooning on the Fish and Masala, the Aroma was most welcoming. The first taste was oh so familiar. This was deutsche Curry! How can a Curry taste German? I know, I’ve had a few.

The Kick was in the face, this was a Spicy Curry. The Seasoning was Perfection, the Masala had a reasonable sense of Thickness. As ever, the Fish was unknown. The Masala Fish was white and soft. I soon realised I was working up a sweat. The Red Chilli that topped the Balti was left untouched, I was not going there. This was a Damn Fine Fish Curry, my third in a week. One has to take the Opperchancity when it presents. Back home in Glasgow where is there Decent Fish Curry?.

Steve’s expression was not a happy one. The Chilli Chicken was a Stir Fry. He recalled his Karahi with Marg and I in Bydgoszcz, this was even less to his liking. With Big Chunks of Onion and Capsicum, this was not a Curry at all, this was a Chinese Stir Fry. Steve hates Black Bean Sauce, this was full of it. Then there was the Naan. A Naan with a Chinese? The Bread was totally inappropriate, little was consumed, I declined the offer to assist. In the end, the Chilli Chicken and Plain Naan were abandoned. Meanwhile The Hector ate on.

The Siostra Bozenko could not be touched whilst the Spicy Curry was being consumed. Once the Bier was finished, that was it.

The Bill

103Zl. (£20.32) One of us had their money’s worth.

The Aftermath

There had been a downpour whilst we dined, the walk to Stare Miasto, the Old Town, was long and dreich.  Then the sun made a brief appearance.

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