Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Omar's


The Bradford Curry Club

Location
Omar’s
46 Great Horton Road
Bradford,
West Yorkshire
BD7 1AL 
Tell:  01274 414 188

Time
3rd March 2012 @ ~17:30 
Attendees
Jaz, Francois, Gill, Rob, Jenny, Pete, Lilly, Dan, Deep, Kam, Manraj, Lynda, Izzy and John (me)
Pre-Curry Watering Holes
No pre curry drinking on this occasion.  Small children in tow, and an early sit down time kind of negated this much enjoyed ritual.  There’s always next month though.  For reference, Omar’s is located just below Bradford Uni, so is ideally located for all the local student bars, and also my favourite Weatherspoon’s - The Sir Titus Salt. 
Expectations
HHmmm...  Now What do I Fancy?
Yorkshire’s Biggest Naan’s’ is the claim, and I was hoping for a decent feed if nothing else.  I was aware that Omar’s had a good reputation, and was generally popular.  However, nagging at the back of my head was the idea that Omar’s might be pushing the ‘Biggest Naan’s’ thingy at the expense of quality.
The Reality
As with a lot of the recent Bradford Curry Club outings, things got off to a shaky start.  The initial plan was for some healthy eating and shisha smoking at Jumerah.  However, upon arrival at Jumerah we were presented with a closed restaurant, with no sign of life and no evidence of opening anytime soon!  I will monitor the situation.  Hopefully it’s not bitten the dust.
So yet again were had to resort to a Plan B.  A few worthy names were banned about, but I wanted somewhere new and proposed Omar’s.  We missed Omar’s last year and a necessary visit had been on the cards for a while.  Our car load of Curry lovers were in agreement, and a few frantic phone calls later ensured the rest of the brigade were redirected Omar’s.
Phew!!  All was going smoothly all things considering.  ‘Most’ arrived at Omar’s without hitch, with only the unfortunate few making there way up at Omar Khan’s by mistake, but ultimately catching up.
Omar’s is quite a nice place really – all lilac and mood lighting.  The petite and bijou restaurant was buoyantly busy when we arrived, and remained so during our stay, but it was not too much trouble for the staff to quickly rearrange a space in the corner for our group numbering fourteen.  Loads of poppadoms and pickles, and the menus were placed on the table before we’d even sorted ourselves out.  So it was nice to simply sit down, open the menu and start munching.
Seekh Kebab
The varied, now more common, cafesque menu offered a full range of curries, including some mouthwatering specials, along with some burger and pasta etc options to boot.  I also spotted the Notorious Naan – a simply ‘must have’ for the table to tear into.  One interesting section of the menu was titled Sizzling Kebabs on Naan!!  I must have died and gone to heaven surely?  However, these monstrous sounding kebabs were deemed too larger sounding to even share as a starter, so they will have to be saved for another day.
All the orders were taken efficiently by the pleasantly mannered member of staff, me opting for my preferred Lamb Seekh Kebab, and then following with a Paneer Karahi Special (Lamb - but could be ordered with chicken, keema, vege, etc.)
Lamb n Paneer
Due to the size of our group the food took a while to prepare – but nothing excessive – probably just me nursing my single designated driver beer!!  But soon enough my kebabs arrived, and some additional sauces were also provided.  The kebabs were very nice.  Nice bit of heat with tasty spices and herbs, with plenty of moisture and an agreeable charcoal/tandoor after taste.
The curries looked spectacular, all being served in large balti dishes.  My Lamb and paneer wasn’t exactly like what I would consider a traditional ‘Bradford Curry’, it was definitely lighter in colour than other lamb curries I’ve experienced around these parts.  In addition the curry was saucier and gloopier than others eaten.  The flavour was nice but was quite mild, both in the heat and other spices stakes, and was more reminiscent to my mind of a Curry Mile or Balti Triangle curry.  This ‘lighter’ aspect to the curry added a much fresher eating experience than some of the heavy stews served in the vicinity.
One Mighty Naan!
The Notorious Naan has to be seen to be believed – it’s massive!!  But not only that, it’s a good fresh and tasty piece of bread too.  It ate very well.  Although we ordered the garlic version, it didn’t blow your head off with garilciness – perhaps a reflection of the general subtlety of herb and spice use noted in the curry also. 
Drinks Policy and range
BYO.  Cost Cutter is just across the road so no problems if you arrive empty handed.  Bottles openers were offered by the staff.  Of course there is a full range of soft drink’s and lassi’s.
Highlights
The Notorious Naan has to be seen to be believed.  Its size isn’t its only note worthy point though - it’s also a very good naan.  The staff and general service is also worth a mention – no quibbles regarding four young children running round causing havoc.
Lowlights
No lowlights to mention.  However, for me, the actual curry wasn’t perhaps what I would consider classically ‘Bradfordian’, and was definitely lighter in flavour and gloopier, than the dark/dry/rich varieties we often see around Bradford.  My curry was maybe more reminiscent of ones I’ve eaten on my travels in Manchester or Birmingham say?  This is a good thing though if it’s what you’re looking for.
Me and Lady Di
The Damage
I was baby herding during the bill paying procedure – I always like to make myself scarce at such moments!!  I think we paid ~£15pp which, considering this included food for the babies is pretty reasonable.
Aftershock
Apart from leaving the restaurant looking like four little Tasmanian Devils had whirlwinded through, there was no problems.  Although an early doors Bradford Curry eating extravaganza, everyone opted to go there separate ways, and not go for further pints in the Sir Titus Salt.
Overall
I really enjoyed my Omar’s experience.  It was a good Club turn out, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and the service was excellent too, so top marks.