Thursday 26th April – Yesterday evening, my spouse treat me to a splendid birthday curry in a Leeds city centre eatery. Joined by my son Jonny and his fiancée Jenny, we were in good company, enhancing the overall ambience of the meal.
A Chicken Tikka & Garlic Balti was the aforementioned curry that spent around twenty minutes pleasuring my taste buds. An Indian dish of such wonderful piquancy I genuinely felt saddened when mopping up the sauce remnants with the last of my naan bread.
The dish incorporated enough garlic to sink a battleship……. Well there would have been if battleships could be rendered unfit for sea by colliding with a few gloves of chopped garlic in an iron karahi. The sauce truly wonderful, plentiful of flavour but not excessively spicy, with the result of scorching the taste buds into submission.
The naan bread that the four of us shared was approximately the dimensions of an elephants ear. We may have been consuming good quality Asian food, but the naan was more African elephant lug size – Not the more diminutive proportions of it’s Indian cousins.
On arrival at the table, I gave kudos to the waiter for delivering the giant bread without damage. He smiled sheepishly at the quip, although admitted manoeuvring around dining tables with a fork lift truck had been a challenge……… A well-meaning woman on the adjacent table commented to our party that the naan bread was massive and she was right!……. I’d no idea Miss Marple also dined there.
As a starter I thought I be adventurous and have onion bhaji. Thankfully it wasn’t the proportions of the later delivered naan bread, otherwise it would have been the size of a wrecking ball.
The conversation as we dined on splendid Indian cuisine was erudite, enlightening and thought-provoking. Morphing into an Oxbridge debating society, we became fully paid up members of the chattering classes for the evening.
We debated high brow subjects like whether breakfast TV’s Lorraine Kelly would choose Lamb Rogan Josh if she was amongst our dining party. Jonny thought the broadcaster/journalist would go for the more fiery dish of Chicken Madras, whereas Jenny opined Ms Kelly’s curry of choice would be a Lamb Biryani with low fat yoghurt.
My wife Karen, who was eating Rogan Josh at the time, deemed the Dundee-born lassie would love the tomato based sauce, which she enthused perfectly complimented the tender lamb meat.
In the end, we couldn’t agree on which cuisine the Scottish TV presenter would order if she’d have been sitting at the Strachan family table. Consequently we brought the conversation to a close by agreeing to disagree…… With the exception of my son who felt moved to exclaim:-
“There’s no way Lorraine Kelly would select something as bland as Lamb Rogan Josh, dad…… Mum and you are talking out of your arses!”
Determined to win the argument, he sent a tweet to the Scot’s Twitter account asking for confirmation of her favourite curry…… As I bring this narrative to it’s conclusion, Jonny is still awaiting a response from Ms Kelly.
I’m unaware if Lorraine Kelly likes Indian food, or has ever had a curry at Akbars on Eastgate, Leeds…….. Regardless, I’ll definitely be returning to sample more of their great cuisine, fine ambience and attentive service.