Tuesday, 11 September 2012

International with Hector


‘Fancy the International on Saturday at noon say?’ The text read.  I paraphrase.
It was Hector Curry Heute from Glasgow – long time internet friend but, up to now, never a friend of the flesh… if you pardon the expression!  Hector was on a flying visit through Bradford en-route to Rotherham for a rock festival.  He simply couldn’t bypass Bradford without popping in for a curry or two.  Me being a longtime fan of his web page and enthusiasm for everything curry, it was going to be an opportunity not to be missed – and at the International too… I knew he was a gentleman of style and taste.  So, after ironing out a few details, the date was set.
Being a shy and retiring type of guy, meetings such as this would usually make me slightly nervous.  Not with Hector though.  Having read his webpage at length, I sensed a familiarity that set me at ease.  I amassed some family to join us too, but strangely no members of the Curry Club?  They clearly were unaware of whom we were to be dining with.  Or perhaps it was a little short notice?

Twelve noon struck, and the curry mobile pulled up outside the International.  Hector was already seated at a large table in the window, and popadoms and pickles were in place.  Hellos were exchanged.  What, a Scottish accent?  I don’t know why I was so surprised – I knew he was Scottish.  It was just that, in my head at least, from only ever reading Hector’s words, he had a Yorkshire accent.
Talked moved along to Bradford and Glasgow curry – both loves of both of us, and the waiter took our orders and sent them to the kitchen.  Hector baggsed the Lamb Methi, so I opted for Lamb Achari.  I had an excellent Achari on my last visit, so was keen to give it another go.  Nobody had a starter and all, except me, went for chapattis.  I had a naan.  All, of course, are included in the price.
What’s going on Hector?  Taking notes and photos already?  What a pro. I feel I need to up the ante.
My general thoughts of the Achari were that it wasn’t quite up to the International’s usual high standards.  My dish was a little oily, and the meat was a little grisly.  If cooked for longer the meat would probably have cooked out.  The taste was there, but just not quite as lip smackingly sharp as an Achari perhaps should be.  I understand Hector was also of the opinion that his Methi was not quite there.  However, the food served at International is so good, that even with our little moans, the curry is still head and shoulders above many other establishments in town/country/World even, and should not for one minute put you off.  Our views were not representative of the rest of the table either.  Both Big Tone, and the Mrs John the Bradford Curry Blooger Lynda, thought there dishes were excellent.  And indeed Lynda’s was.  The rather theatrical copper bucketed Lamb Balti was as per usual Bradford Curry at the International.  Izzy enjoyed her chips too?  Chips!  I know - don’t get me started!
So there we go – another great trip to the International and it was great to meet Hector.  Next time Glasgow…
But first – Bingley Music Live
Life doesn’t get any better.
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