19 Ashton Lane,
0141 337 1115
Saturday 26th November 2011 (Late evening)
Juanita, Ben, Big Tone and John
Jinty McGuinty's - slightly
- and was your pretty standard Irish theme bar.
Busy though and good Guinness apparently. Oran Mor was visit again on this occasion
To be honest I had no (or maybe low)
expectations. From visiting
over the years, I have seen the Ashoka name all over the place. I understand them not to be a chain or
franchise but, still, there are loads of ‘em – so, like a TGI Fridays/Frankie n
Bennies/etc. (which are chains admittedly), could they be that good? Also, I understand they come under the
Harlequin umbrella of restaurants??
Quite what that means I don’t know??
I don’t claim to understand at all the politics of the Glasgow Curry
Scene, and don’t want to speak out of turn here, but I think the Harlequin name
owns/runs loads of Glasgow Curry Restaurants so again, I would normally tend to
shy away from such antics. Glasgow
My initial impressions of Ashoka – on a Saturday night at least – were ones of ‘popular’ and ‘bustling’, and there were definite suggestions in the air that a top class dining experience were about to be had.
The restaurant has booth type seating to the edges
of the room, with more traditional seating arrangements through the
center. Not a massive room, but
tastefully decorated in generally dark shades, and resplendent with a large
Indian themed mural on the back wall. This being a wet and blustery night in
, the small
cloakroom area was overflowing with outdoor wear. Glasgow
With Juanita having the forethought to suggest booking
a table in advance – and it was a good job we did as the restaurant was full on
our arrival - we were swiftly seated in a decently positioned booth next to the
window. Not huge the booths – especially
when the amassed girths of
curry eating glitterati are shoe horned into one!!
I can’t remember having poppadoms….. (Oopppss!! Serves me right for leaving too long before blogging – lesson learned), so I’ll move swiftly to the starters. The novelty of Haggis Pakora was was too much to resist so these were ordered on Big Tone’s behalf before he had time to think about it. Fish pakora for me and have now complaints – in fact the fish pakora merits high praise from me for the soft, perfectly cooked fish, coated in the light batter. The Haggis Pakora, on the other hand, did seem to offer little else other than its novelty value. It did taste haggisy though to its credit. The onion bhaji was noted as being rather dry and was not popular.
|Exquisite Kerala Chilli|
Now, I’m not one for creamy curries normally, but one caught my eye on the Ashoka menu. The Kerala Chilli – with your own choice of meat/fish/veg - was billed as comprising a piquant sauce with black pepper and a dash of coconut milk, oh and some chilli. Sounded interesting, and not like curries we get down here in Bradford, so I ordered one… with lamb. I was not disappointed at all, and found it full of flavour and the kind of dish that attacked every taste bud with every mouthful. There was the initial taste of coconut that morphed into a slight sweet n sourness, and then a fair and pleasant wallop of heat from the chilli. This sneaked up at the end… just to let you know that, although a creamy curry, this was actually a proper ‘mans’ curry. Black pepper didn’t exactly jump out at me, but no matter. The meat count was high and I found it all round excellent. Well worth sampling. Garlic naan again (I’m really going to have try and branch out) was perfectly good enough.
|Novel Haggis Pakora|
|Excellent Fish Pakora|
Drinks Policy and range
No worries here – endless pints of lager on tap – Lal Toofan.
|Ben's Curry was also tasty|
The Kerala Chilli with Lamb was, without question,
the highlight for me. Not the kind of
dish this local to
Bradford curry lover
experiences regularly. The dish attacked
every taste bud with its creamy coconuty flavour, some pleasant heat, and
elements of both sweet and sour – it was excellent in my opinion.
I don’t like to discuss lowlights regularly, and rarely encounter anything that causes me to put finger to keypad and type it down. Although on this occasion Ashoka delivered a very enjoyable curry eating night out for us lot – and bear in mind this is the view of a tight fisted Yorkshireman with short arms and deep pockets – it was a bit on the dear side!! £5-£6 for a basic starter and upwards of £10 for the main course’s, was very dear I thought. The fodder was yummy but, for me, it was just on the wrong side of VFM. However, the restaurant was very busy, and we had to book a table, so it is defo popular and people are happy to pay the prices – so who am I to question?
|Me and Fish Pakora|