Archive for October 2011
Videos made by the cast and crew of Doctor Who for the wrap party when the Russell T Davies era ended surfaced over the weekend.
There’s a cheeky wee Proclaimers video, including Timothy Dalton and John Simm:
And an adaptation of Victoria Wood’s ‘Let’s Do It (The Ballad of Barry and Freda)’, starring John Barrowman/Catherine Tate/David Tennant:
Last night, thanks to The Culture Vulture, I headed to Menston for a curry “masterclass” and meal at the 1875 Anglo-Indian restaurant at Menston railway station. Yes, that is a deliberate Raj-era reference.
We split into two groups, as the kitchen is tiny, and after the first lot had a go, my set donned hairnets and a mixture of chef jackets and aprons and headed into the cockpit to meet Delhi-born chef Baljit Singh. We were treated to exciting glimpses of spice boxes, the tandoor and secret masala mixes, before engaging with demonstrations on making pakora, chapati and chicken tikka. I was also able to chat to the beautifully-dressed boss – Bradford entrepreneur Majinder Singh Sarai.
That’s where it got interesting for me. He has some plans for storytelling through food that, if done right, could be very exciting. I don’t know yet. The stories could just end up as titles or basic themes for a night of food, which would thrill me less. Majinder was very focused on his brand, and the historical period that inspired it. I’m just not sure I got any of that from the experience we had in the restaurant itself. Perhaps that was the artificial conditions of the large group and private “bloggers event”.
Due to dietary requirements, I didn’t try the beef masala, which split the diners between love and hate, or pork vindaloo, which was more universally admired and tended towards the original style of the dish over the uber-hot lads’ night out version. None of the curry sauces were too oily. I enjoyed the samosas and naan breads and the rice was pleasant. The Murg Tikka had a decent taste, if a little too much heat for me, but I wasn’t keen on the texture (the menu says chicken breast, my mouth says not). Out of the two vegetarian dishes sampled, several of us agreed that if the sauce of the cauliflower-based Thaji Masala Shabzi had replaced the hot but rather bland sauce given to the paneer dish, that would have been very tasty indeed.
The prices aren’t bad, although diners must order a minimum of two courses each, and the decor is pleasant. The restaurant is aimed at an older and more discerning clientele so there are no lager louts to put you off your meal. I enjoyed myself, because the company was excellent and the host made us feel welcome. The food was fine, though there are more enticing things on their menu than we were given to sample, especially the Christmas choices. I don’t know – I like the idea of a historical journey through India, even though I’m not sure how I feel about the colonial theme. But my experience didn’t tally with the talk, and I’m not sure how much of that was the circumstances and how much was a failure to do more than think about the “brand”. Maybe next year, if 1875 do something really special with the ideas that have potential…
(Photographs throughout via the lovely Mike Wallis)