Wednesday, 29 August 2012

K2 getting a refurb.

The mighty K2, next to the Sweet Centre on Lumb Lane, seems to be in the throws of a re fit. Watch this space for more news.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Sheesh Mahal

Refurbished Exterior

Sheesh Mahal
6 St. Thomass Road,
Tel: 01274 723 999
11th August 2012 @ ~21:00
Lynda and John (me)
Pre-Curry Watering Holes
Tonight, apart from the odd boy racer parked on a side street… banging out distorted happy hardcore from a cheap car stereo… Bradford was a ghost town, and, therefore, the Sparrow Bier CafĂ© was a welcome oasis of civilization.  Chapeau to the Sparrow boys, who have pounced on the gap in the Bradford market, and are now providing a sophisticated watering hole to the more discerning Bradford punter. Having said that, although in an Aladdin’s Cave of artisan beers, we still opted for a bottle of the cheapest plonk?  No matter, I’m no connoisseur of alcohol – just like to get tipsy! 
Moving on, we went to the adjacent to the Sheesh Mahal New Beehive.  I’ve never wondered what ever happened to the Old Beehive… perhaps I should?  It’s the kind of place I kind of love, but only from a kind of few visits! It’s been mentioned in the past that it seems a little like a brothel!  Now, I’m not about to go down that road, but I see a fantastic old Yorkshire pub with an actual drinking corridor.  A rarely found these days Yorkshire tradition, so I understand. 

My expectations couldn’t be higher.  My Glaswegian friend – Hector Curry Heute – is the man whose opinion I value greatly, and a man to look to when considering curry… literally anywhere… and he is a massive champion of Bradford Curry.  Basically, Sheesh Mahal is his fave – and has been for some time.  So, if Hector Curry Heute says it’s good… it’s good.
The Reality
Lynda considers the mixed grill
When we arrived, the restaurant was pretty busy, and was generally bustling.  Poppadom’s, mint sauce, and an excellently fiery lime pickle were plonked on our table with the menus.  Always a nice touch – something to nibble on whilst selecting ones curry.
Mixed grill – obviously, and the Lamb Methi were my choices.  Lynda went for the Lamb (on the bone) Balti.
In no time at all, our mountainous, sizzling, virtually frothing at the mouth starter arrived.  It had a good selection, which included lamb chops, chicken drumsticks, kebabs, tikka and fish masala.  The sizzler was excellent, with some seriously full flavours.
My Lamb Methi was quite literally Bradford on a Plate.  The thick curry was more or less solid meat, cubed small, with the thick masala clinging to it.  The curry did not ooze or move about on the plate.  No, it sat there in the middle of and white bowl, and left nothing but a brown streak as it steadily maneuvered into my mouth.  It was great.
The Lamb on the bone Balti also tasted great – perhaps slightly better - and again was heavy on the meat, and this time was laced with ginger.
The new face lifted restaurant is now very swish, with dark wood and leatherette.  The staff were also friendly and efficient.  All in all a very good meal.
Drinks Policy and range
Sheesh Mahal is totally dry.  But the New Beehive is adjacent, and there is no place better to enjoy a few pints.
Lamb Methi
Although the mixed sizzler was very good, it was the Lamb Methi that was the highlight for me.  Typically Bradfordian in every way – dark, rich and dry, more like meat with a clinging smear of sauce!  If you looked up Bradford Curry in the dictionary, a picture of the Sheesh’s Lamb Methi would be the only description needed.  I also really liked Lynda’s Lamb Balti (on the bone).  Both dishes were top draw to me.
Lynda found her Lamb on the Bone Balti a touch oily, but I thought it was just an aspect of the dish, and did not detract from its wonderfulness in any way for me.  Basically it was a man’s curry!  But apart from that everything was amazing.

The Damage
About £12:50pp.  As with most places in Bradford, the Sheesh offered fantastic value for money.
With full tummies after the meal, we became rather lethargic, and jumped on a slightly earlier train home, and relieved the babysitter.
Well I can’t believe I have never visited the Sheesh Mahal before.  It is the kind of place I set my stall out to discover.   I wished I’d visited before the facelift, in order to be able to compare and contrast but never mind.  I will certainly be visiting the Sheesh more often from now on.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Doing the Rounds

Just a couple of quickies to a couple of my faves.  The International and the Karachi.


Bradford Curry lunches are becoming more and more regular in my curry eating calendar.  The International offers the perfect curry lunch.  The fantastic curry goes without saying, but choice of chapatis or naan, and included poppadon and pickles, make a meal from a single dish.  Today I thought I'd try something new, and opted for the Lamb Achari.  Achari is not a dish I select often, but here I'm so glad I did.  The addition of lime pickle in to one of Bradford's finest curry's added real zing to the proceedings.  I'll be going down the Achari route again soon.


Back to old faithful - Karachi's Lamb and spinach.  The Karachi again was quietly buzzing with a few tables taken by midday.  Just went straight for curry today due to just popping in for a quick lunch.  Soon arrived and was the usual verging on perfection quality, with no evidence of skimping on the early diners.  It soon disappeared and I was on my way.  Until next time...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Omar Khan’s Wine Bar and Indian Restaurant - Skipton

Omar Khan’s,
Keighley Road
West Yorkshire
BD23 2TA
Tel: 01756 460080
29th July 2012 @ ~17:00
Jenny, Lilly, Dan Dan, Ian, Lara, Lynda, Izzy and John (me)
I was very excited about visiting the new Omar Khan’s in Skipton.  The ‘other’ Omar Khan’s (in Bradford) was the first restaurant we visited as the Bradford Curry Club – so is where it all started really.  That inaugural Curry Club meet seems a very very long time ago, and much curry has flowed beneath the bridge since then.  I recall an excellent night out – so, the question is, will the new Skipton branch live up to the memories?  Different to Bradford, Skipton also offered the option of al fresco dining and a children’s adventure playground.  But wait, there’s yet more - I’d spotted a special offer of Free Mixed Sizzler starter, for dinners who book tables, through the month August – I was straight on the phone.  Everything was all stacking up nicely.
The Reality
The weather was sunny, but a little changeable, and breezy, so the joy of outside dining was pretty much out of the question.  The sun would, however, play havoc as it streamed through the large glass windows to the front of the very trendy restaurant – we baked!  It didn’t stop us enjoying the wonderful hospitality and brilliant food served up by Omar Khan’s.
After the initial poppadom’s and pickle’s – which were, as is so often the case, good and fresh – the special offer complimentary Mixed Sizzler’s arrived.  Now, in my experience, as seems to be quite often the case, ‘special offer’ fare can, sometimes, be found to be, somewhat lacking in both quality and/or volume – not so with an Omar Khan’s special offer.  No Sirrreee!
What arrived was what I assume to the full blown Mixed Sizzler as per the menu – and for 6 people!  It was huge and split between three sizzling platters – the full Monty basically!  There were onion bhajee, lamb and chicken kebabs and stacks of chicken tikka.  All super. The tikka was wonderfully tasty and moist, and the having both lamb and chicken kebabs offered a contrast I’ve not come across often.  Both kebabs were excellently seasoned, but the lamb had the edge for me.  The onion bhajee were also good, but I didn’t think they were quite up the standard of my Bradford faves.
Now stuffed, we had the prospect of shoe horning our mains in.  The waiter must have seen our concern, and did ask if we’d like to wait a few minutes before the mains.  We took him up on his offer.  If nothing else it gave time for the little ones to run off steam for five minutes in the adventure playground.  I didn’t hear any complaints from the tiny ones, and from what I could gather it was a triumph.
And now to the mains - in short Tava Gosht Lahori.  Yes yes yes!  From menu - ‘Tender morsels of lean Lamb Tikka tossed over an iron skillet with exotic Herbs and Spices. Crushed Garlic, Juliennes of Ginger masked in a light Sauce of Fresh Tomatoes, Spring Onion & Peppers’.  It was a brill dish.  The abundant chunks of lamb were beautifully tender – melt in the mouth – and had been tikka’ed and charred.  The minimal sauce had great flavor, and included a slight sweet element, which was most welcome - maybe from the bell peppers?  Around the table, it appeared the Butter chicken was well received too – especially by the young ‘uns
All the mains were offered in mild/medium/hot – including the Butter Chicken, so plenty of scope to personalise ones dish.  I stuck middle of the road, and my dish was bob on for me.
My Garlic Naan was getting just on the wrong side of crispy for me, but was daubed with a good smear of sliced garlic, and satisfied my – what seem like constant these days - garlic cravings.
Drinks Policy and range
It’s called Omar Khan’s Wine Bar and Indian Restaurant… You do the Math!
There were plenty.  The special offer of a huge free sizzler – for a Yorkshire man - is difficult to see beyond… well, it was free!  However, the real star was the Tava Gosht Lahori.  Meaty and tasty, it was an excellent dish.  Also, the midday opening times, the option of al fresco dining, and adventure playground, were all real bonuses for families.
There was nothing moan about.
The Damage
Well… with the ~£30s worth of special offer complimentary sizzler, it was a super reasonable ~£12.50pp.  In reality, all our mains – which were chosen generally off the Specials sections, were all around £9, so Omar Khans is up there cost wise.  However, value for money it certainly was – excellent.
Absolutely stuffed to the gills, it was just a case of nodding off on the settee once home.
It was a truly excellent dining experience.  Very swish environs, family friendly, and excellent food, makes Omar Khan’s top draw.  Omar Khan’s in Skipton may offer THE best family Bradford Curry eating opportunity I have come across.