Saturday, 24 August 2013

Breakfast - a Study

Enjoying Mughals
I'm a big fan of the traditional breakfast or desi breakfast or, I think, properly called Halwa Poori.  Therefore, I've decided to do a study.

I was first exposed to this delicacy during a trip to Manchester, many moons ago.  At the time it was a completely alien concept to me... "What?  Curry for for breakfast?"  At the time, it seemed certainly a rarity in Bradford - unless, it was just for people in the know?  In fact I need to stop banging on about this!

Anyway, thankfully it is far more easily available now, with many establishments advertising breakfasts.

Mughals Chana and poori

So, from where I've sampled up to know, it seems The Sweet Center is the bench mark.  Always pretty busy, quick and good.  Perfect for a quick bob in and out.  Chickpeas (chana) in a cauldron behind the counter and dished up simply like Oliver Twist or something!  Greasy bread (poori), and the option of halwa (a bowl of sweet stuff??) are also good, and you can also indulge in the legendary kebabs too.  Original 50yr+ old recipe.  Very nice.  It is just great.  Sweet Center exploits - including breakfasts - can be seen here.  The Sweet Center will be visited again soon as part of this study.

However, the last couple of breakfasts I have enjoyed have been at Mughals.  First time was a birthday treat to me - here.  And then most recently just the other day.  Different to the Sweet Center, the Mughals breakie is made fresh in the little open kitchen.  On this visit, the chana was rather loose and a little oily.  Very sour with lime pickle (seems to be Mughals thing), and very tasty.  The poori's were greasy as usual but I love them.  It was a great breakfast.

The study could go on for a while but I will update as regularly as possible.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Bundobust - Now This Looks Interesting...

Bundobust - a new collaboration bar between The Sparrow Bier Cafe and Prashad.

It's a little bit of a shame that the love child of The Sparrow and Prashad is to be a Loiner but never mind. There aren't many details at the moment, but this place sounds like it is going to be great.  And if they can serve good beer, and simple and tasty food quickly, it is going to go down a storm in Leeds.

Watch this space.

Friday, 9 August 2013

A Cheeky Kashmir

Eid and Bradford is like a ghost town!

Plan A - The International - shut!

Plan B - The Kashmir... Rest assure it's open. It's always open!  And remember the old saying... "If in doubt go to t'kash."

Onion bhajis are excellent. Love them from here. All twisted shards of crispy battery oniony goodness.  Still my favorite to this day.

Meat Rogan Josh soon follows - this is t'Kash after all - and again is very good. A little bit oily, resulting in a slightly looser curry than I've been seeking out recently, but peppery and meaty. A perfect balance of zing too.

Still good - one of the best - and I will always keep returning to the legendary Kashmir.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Omar's - Another Birthday Treat!

Omar's - home of the Notorious Naan.... oh and darn good curry too?

This trip to drink beer in Bradford's finest drinking establishments, and to eat Bradford Curry, was actually a belated Birthday night out with work friends.  I know it's getting on for a month after my actual Birthday, but you know me, I'm not the kind of guy to grumble at a day out however spurious the reason.  

However, before we get the the nitty gritty of Omar's itself the there is the small matter of a few pubs...

The Sparrow
The plan was to meet around 16:30 at the Shoulder of Mutton on Kirkgate - as I strode in Ngoc Phan and Martin, the evenings drinking buddies (Mary was to join us later), were already sat in the corner enjoying there first drinks. Good start.  T'shoulder is a spit and sawdust Sam Smiths place - pretty traditional with the faint whiff of wet dogs!  However, it possess a good atmos and, of course, there is the value for money Sam Smiths booze on offer.  It is always a good place to start due to it's proximity to the train stations, and is the only place in the absolute city centre I can think of with anything about it?

So, from t'Shoulder, we wandered to the Sparrow Bier Cafe.  Among my Leeds dwelling, and rare visitors to Bradford what so ever drinking buddies, the Sparrow struck a more familiar and happy chord.  It's trendy, vibrant and has a good selection of quality beverages.  I could tell Ngoc Phan and Martin were happy here.  Indeed, it is one of my favorite pubs in Bradford too.  I was tret to a Kwak so was a happy bunny.

Next was The New Bee Hive.  Here didn't go down well at all!  I've always liked t'Hive but statements such as "I think this is the worst pub I have ever been in" suggested to me issues?  The good quality of the beer was commented on, but we didn't dwell and swiftly moved on.  By now, the fourth Bradford Curry eating team member - Mary - had arrived, and was wondering around Centenary Square, so we jogged on down up to Sir Titus Salt for one last pre curry pint.  The Sir Titus Salt is in a spectacular building - a former swimming pool I understand - and is by far the best Wetherspoons I've ever been in.  Sucking of teeth did ensue on the mention of Wethersppons, but this soon diminished once in awe of the premises!  Phew, done. Now just a quick trip to the offy (Omar's is BYO) for some beer and wine and then CCcccuuuuuuuuuuurrrrryyyyyyy!


Omar's was a touch quiet on arrival at about 19:30.  But it was the middle of Ramadan, and the restaurant did fill during our stay.  We munched on popadoms and pickles whilst perusing the menu - much of which was unbelievably tempting - and soon a waiter was at our table ready for orders.  I plumped for Samosa Chaat (lamb) and, after a certain amount of umming and ahhing, lamb Jaipuri Punjabi Special.  Others ordered fish, chops, Acharis etc.  A Notorious Naan was ordered for us all too.  I was very excited.

The starters arrived and we dived in.  All seemed happy, but I found my Samosa Chaat very salty.  Apart from a slight sour tamarind flavour, salt was all I could taste!  A little deflated I hoped my Jaipuri Punjabi Special would be top draw...
The Starters
IT WAS...  Straight from the off, the curry nestling in the bottom of the massive and ace looking balti dish hit me with a wollop of outstanding full bodied flavour, and pretty garlicy - which is good in my book.  A little red in colour but thick and umptious and meaty.  I must admit I enjoyed every single mouthful and was soon mopping around the dish with chunks of Notorious Naan.

Jaipuri Punjabi Special
Ah yes, what of the Notorious Naan.  Well it is truly massive.  Four of us only ate about half of it!  However, it is far from just a gimmick.  It is a fantastic piece of bread.  It was fluffy in the middle, with the trade mark crispy charred bits on the edges.  And was nicely garlicy which, as we know, is brill.  It has to be seen to be believed but rest assured you will be getting a quality product.  I'd love to know how they cook it?

The Notorious Naan
So, Omar's was an excellent experience from start to finish - only the slightly over seasoned Samosa Chaat ever so slightly marred my meal.  Absolutely 10/10.