Thursday, 26 July 2012

Kerala Café

Please make sure you try Kerala Café – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.  I hope you won’t be disappointed rather?

Kerala café is a proper little gem on the edge of Bradford – probably Shipley really.  They are succeeding in carving out a nice little niche, and properly deserve a visit.

It’s a nice friendly environment, and an opportunity for the Bradfordian to sample an alternative to the norm of thick, dark, rich, often heavy, ghee’d up to the max, Kashmiri curries… oh and naans on sticks, let’s not forget the naans on sticks...  Ok, ok, ok… Kerala Café, by their own admission, appreciate that for many dyed in the wool Bradford Curry eating folks, the likes of dosa’s, vada’s, fish fry’s, etc. will mean nothing, and sometimes these dinners leave ultimately a little disappointed.  More fool them - just open your eyes please Bradford Curry lovers.

On our recent visit, banners hung in the café window declaring the offer of £5 lunch.  As intrigued as I was, I’d already set my heart on a dosa, but, luckily, having an easily bullied Grandpa’ with us, meant the lunch special wasn’t going to go un-sampled.

Grandpa’ is the ‘dye in the wool Bradford ‘type’ (he’s from Accrington really)’ that I alluded to above, and struggles with the prospect of something new, but did eventually relish the challenge and I think he was happy.  The £5 lunch special comprised a totally vegetarian meal with a big bowl of rice, chapatti and poppadum, with a small chickpea dish, and pickles of onion, carrot and something sour and pretty hot.  There was also a side dish of samba (like a staple vege curry), and also a sweet vermicelli dish.  There were loads of different flavours going on basically.  It was the kind of meal you see on the Travel Channel, served on a pressed steel tray.

All elements worked in harmony, and gave a full on flavour hit.  I will be tempted for next time.  

I thoroughly enjoyed my dosa – a rarely seen dish in Bradford.  It is one of my favourite dishes.  I went vege also, and my beautiful crispy on one side and soft of the other, slightly sour tasting dosa, was stuffed to the gills with potato masala.  The potato was well flavoured and seasoned but was not blow your head off hot.  

Izzy tried the Parippu Vada this time and loved them.  To my palate they were far tastier that the Uzhunnu vada sampled last time.  I’m now a vada convert and would order again.

The front of house guy was helpful and was happy to share appropriate dosa eating etiquete on request.  We were chatting, and he was about to tell us about the different types of Indian food, when the café suddenly started to fill.  He had to curtail his story, but we will look forward to hearing the full tale on our return.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Pakeezah Supermarket and Café

Samosa Chaat in the fore ground

A pending trip north to Glasgow, to visit Bradford Curry loving family, offered the perfect opportunity to revisit the recently discovered Pakeezah Supermarket and Cafe, not only to pick some Food2Go, but also have a spot of dinner.

Our usual early eating time normally results in us being the first dinners in whatever establishment we are visiting on that day.  Today was no different, and we had the pick of the booths.  However, it didn’t take long for the other booths to fill – one with about eight people crammed in – and other tables were filling too.  Café Pakeezah is, rightly so, very popular.

Izzy enjoying her Chicken Pakora
The friendly and enthusiastic waiter did a few chips for Izzy – although not on the menu I don’t think (??) – and paired them with chicken pakora, and Heinz red sauce!  She loved it - much to my snobby displeasure.  She should be taking after her Dad and eating curry?  Surely by 2yrs, a Vindaloo and a family garlic naan should be on her menu?  But one happy toddler equals one happy Dad, so hats off to Pakeezah for understanding her needs and taking pity on her.   I have been feeling a little sorry for her over recent weeks to be honest - and wondering about my own Fathering techniques when purposely ignoring “Izzy no like curry” whimpering’s from the back seat, as we race into Bradford!  She’ll learn… She has to!

I chose the simply wonderful Samosa Chaat again – I couldn’t resist - and it was just as good as the other week.  It has warm and cold elements, and also the quite spicy temperament, which is partially cooled by the yoghurt, but then finished with the sour tamarind.  It leaves no taste bud unturned.  Excellent.

We also tried the Lamb Seek, which were ace too.  The two meaty kebabs were formed with more coarsely ground onions and had plenty of texture.  They were flavorsome too, and fresh.  The onion bhaji were also good but, for my tastes, were a little off the pace compared to my favored bhaji haunts.  Grampa' loved them though.

Prepped for the trip north
Following our successful café trip, we visited the Food2Go counter to collect the weekends curry.  It's difficult to shop once tummies are full, but I managed… Somehow… I don’t know how… but I did… It was hard.  Four mains:  Potato and Spinach, Lamb and Spinach, Chicken Balti and Chicken Tikka Garlic, along with some chapatis, and some kheer (rice pudding), and a very generous freebie of Vermicelli Pudding (official name unknown?).  The curries travelled well to Glasgow, and were consumed at various times over the weekend, and were very good.  They were perhaps a little oily in places, and there was a little bit of a burnt garlic taste from the Chicken Tikka Garlic dish, but otherwise all were brill.  They had proper Bradford taste, which was very welcoming after ~4hrs of driving and were devoured with much endeavour.  The rice and Vermicelli puddings were excellent too.  Not too sweet, and subtly spiced with cardamom.

Regular readers will know I love Glasgow curry, and curries where ever I go, but I consider Bradford to be the best, and the option to easily take some with me – where ever I go – is quite appealing.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The 3 Singhs

The Gold at the end of the Rainbow


The 3 Singhs Restaurant

254 Sticker Lane,



Tel: 01274 68 8799

The 3 Singhs on Urbanspoon


30th June 2012 @ ~20:00


Deep, Kam, Rob, Gill, Jenny, Pete, Francois, Jaz, Lynda and John (me)

Flat bottomed Kwak glass

Pre Curry Watering Holes

A flying trip straight the Sparrow Bier Café, on North Parade, was all that was mustered on our latest Bradford Curry eating trip to The 3 Singhs.  A quick bottle of wine was downed, followed by a taxi up to The 3 Singhs.  A tip off, from a fellow member, had suggested we book a table at the 3 Singhs, as it can get quite busy, so we were limited somewhat on town centre time.  Besides, it was understood from the web site, that The 3 Singhs had an extensive bar area, so was not as crucial as on other trips.



I’d heard lots of good things about The 3 Singhs, including: ‘best place in Bradford’ and ‘it’s the only place I go’.  Therefore, it looked promising and I had high spirits.  Besides, it was my Birthday eve, and it was going to take a lot to dampen my enthusiasm.  However, to be honest, in my heart of hearts, I was expecting without doubt top quality food but, with a perhaps slightly middle of the road aspect.

The Reality

A Clockwork Curry

A quality, large and comfy bar area, with large sofa’s greeted us upon arrival.  The bar, and restaurant for that matter, where tastefully decorated with light cream coloured walls, with dark wood and brown leather, and large windows.  It all gave a pleasing environment to sit and eat and drink.  Also, although very busy, the diners were not crammed in either.

Mixed Grill

Due to having the foresight to book, our table was all ready to go and, after a quick drink in the bar, we were escorted to our table.  We were not harried or rushed to take our seat, and this aided in the relaxing feeling to the restaurant.

With it being my Birthday eve I fancied pushing the boat out and experiencing something new and interesting.  A peruse of the menu however, suggested otherwise, when my expectations of the suspected user friendly menu came to fruition.  However, the smells and sounds permeating the restaurant were enough to get me excited and, in addition to the mixed grill, the Fish Karahi jumped out at me.  These were preceded by group popadons and pickles, which offered a standard but perfectly acceptable selection, and were crisp, fresh and tangy – perfect for whetting the appetite.

The mixed grill offered a thoroughly high standard of spicy chicken tikka, BBQy kebabs and verging on perfect lamb chops.  It was a fantastic but very meaty selection.  The addition of a bahji or some fish - although may ultimately cheapen the dish - might add some lighter morsels.  Having said that, it was all certainly top draw and my above observations are not meant as criticisms.  The mixed grill was ultimately as good as you’ll get.

Fish Karahi

Moving on to my main – the fish karahi – it was also very good.  A rather lighter option in both taste and heat was presented compared to what I would normally select.  An ample quantity of fish fillet was offered in a tomato rich sauce.  Now, it was an excellent dish but I’m not sure it was quite for me.  The curry was pretty mild in manor with the fish not giving the full bodied favour I would normally go for.  I did try the Mrs’s lamb and spinach and that ticked more of my Bradfordian taste bud boxes.  So although my fish karahi was an excellent dish, if you like that sort of thing, I think I would choose something else next time – just personal taste.

My stuffed naan was different story.  Well yummy.  It was very very filling though, what with a healthy filling of mash, and then buttered and sprinkled with coriander, it made for a hearty side.

Drinks Policy and range

Well stocked and large bar area was a welcomed addition.  I guess because The 3 Singhs is quite a way out of town then the bar area is a good idea.  It gives you somewhere to sit and meet etc.  Perhaps strangely, but only continental beers were on draught, with Indian beers available in bottles only. 

Birthday Boy


The 3 Singhs was a great evening out.  Food wise it had to be the mixed grill for me.  Spicy chicken and bbqy kebabs were brill.


None – as mentioned above we had a fab night out.  Thanks.  If I was to be critical though, for me, a seasoned Bradford Curry eater, the menu was a little ‘Radio Friendly Unit Shifter’, but it clearly works, and the packed restaurant is testament to that.


The Damage

It was my Birthday… Birthday boys don’t need to worry about such things.  I understand it came to about £25pp inc beer.  So The 3 Singhs was similarly priced to other restaurants in the area of a similar ilk.


A full evening at The 3 Singhs was all that occurred.  The very full tummies I think would’ve put paid to any further partying!  I’m in my forties now, so always aiming for my bed post curry.


I think I speak for all when I say The 3 Singhs was very good from start to finish.  The bar, the staff, the service, the ambience and the food were all excellent.  However, a hidden gem, the Holy Grail, it is perhaps not – not in my eyes any road.  We will definitely return on our travels - I need the mixed grill and stuffed naan again, and need to explore the mains further.