Friday, 10 February 2012

International #2

Snowy scene from The City Vaults
And two days later I am back again!!  Eating Bradford Curry in the International – it’s a hard life.
This time, however, the visit was on official duty as self appointed Chairperson of the Bradford Curry Club.  No relaxed dinner time curry eating with my baby daughter this time.  Networking, hard drinking, socializing, hard drinking, hard curry eating, oh and hard drinking were required.  It really is a hard life.




However, the original plan wasn't to visit the International at all, on this chilliest of snowy evenings.  No, the original plan was to visit the newly refurbished Sheesh Mahal.   However, on the said evening, the birthday celebrations of an esteemed member were also occurring, and a few drinky poos were on the cards to be consumed.  It became apparent, following an earlier phone call to the Sheesh, that this wasn’t going to happen - not there anyway - due to the confirmed strictly no alcohol policy!  Not wanting to be a party pooper, I proposed a Plan B, which entailed the Markaz in Centenary Square.  It was snowing quite heavily by now, resulting in no one wanting to walk too far, and I was sure Markaz sold booze – and sheesha, and it was also timetabled for a visit later on in the year – Top Draw.
Bum – closed… What now?
We’re stuck in the middle of Bradford, on official Bradford Curry Club duties, and Plan A and Plan B are both out of the window…  What shall we do?  Under such trying circumstances, the normal plan of attack would be… “Let’s just go to the Kash’.”  But no, the first name mentioned was International.  Everyone agreed, so we trotted up the hill, and picked up some wine in t’Witherspoons en route.  That was a bit of an ordeal - and a tale for another day…
We’re finally here… Sitting down with poppadoms, pickles, water and menus was met with some relief.  It seems like every blog at the moment is banging on about the International.  This is for good reason though – it is very good.  And even though I had visited only a couple days earlier, I could not withhold my excitement.
For starter I opted for Tikka Paneer.  Lovely it was too, displaying all the hall marks of quality tandoor cooking.  It was bob on and tasked wonderful.  However, if the paneer was good, it was nothing compared to the lamb chops, one of which I managed to steal from the Mrs.  It was about the best tasting lamb chop I ever encountered.  As with the paneer, the seasoning, quality, flavor, texture, smell, everything was verging on perfection.  I could have eaten them forever.
Curry Heaven - Near perfection.  Lamb Methi
To the main course, and with my heightened elated feelings of general well being, it was with tingling waves of goose bumps I savoured the first few mouthfuls of my Lamb Methi…  Yes, I was in the throws of having a ‘moment’.  I'm not sure I have ever had a curry ‘moment’ before?  But I must admit I quite liked it!  The Methi was Bradford Curry personified and I'm going all goo goo again just thinking about it.  The dark, dry, rich stew, with abundant, slightly disintegrating, meat and the underlying fenugreek flavor - giving the now understood slightly ‘dusty’ (for want of a better word) taste - melted in the mouth and was persuaded into my mouth with gusto utilizing the included garlic naan. 
Curry Heaven.  No other words do it justice.  Curry Heaven
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