And so it's back to the Caribbean... Well, when I say 'Caribbean' I really mean Leeds! Well, to be fair, a very rainy autumnal lunch time in Leeds... It simply screams the Caribbean doesn't it? OK - I am being a bit sarcastic - but if a rainy and cold Leeds doesn't feel like the Caribbean Maureen's Caribbean Takeaway, on Roundhay Road, will certainly make you feel half way there!
I can be/have been a tad critical over the years when talking about eating out in Leeds - Even before the creation of the Bradford Curry Blog I would often bemoan Leeds' lack of gastronomical options, and reliance mainly on chains, but at the same time, of course, champion Bradford as THE best place to eat. Yes there were/are exceptions to this rule (more on this in a minute) and, even though I still by and large stand by my tenet, Leeds has improved 100% recently... what with Trinity Kitchen and the Belgrave Music Hall and the like, and all this kind of trendy street food vibe. It's brilliant. Note we are not solely talking curry here, but still, a vast improvement has been noticed by me recently - good stuff.
One enduring decent eating experiences in Leeds for me has always been the West Indian cuisine up Chapeltown/Harehills way. There are quite a few establishments serving up the Curry Goat, Jerk Chicken, and the like, usually in an informal cafe style environment. This is a curry blog though, so I tend to keep to the Curry Goat, if I intend to blog about it.
Maureen's has one of the best reputations in the area, and I've heard her interviewed on the radio, and also here stall at the annual West Indian Carvival, Chapeltown. always has the longest queue on site. Maureen's gaff seats about 16 punteres. Its pretty basic stuff - but is supposed to be - and is clean and presentable. A large menu sits above the counter - here you order. Curry Goat, Rice and Peas was the order - Small - £5. Good value. A larger portion is available for £6. Then Maureen invited me to take a seat. A few others were in chowing down, and more followed, and further takeaway only punters came and went. So a bustling cafe. Nice.
|Curry Goat, Rice and Peas|
The goat was partially on the bone but did not contain too many, with the majority of the meat being good sized tender chunks. Additional carrots and potatoes were present in the dish, and added to the texture and flavour rather than being there simply to bulk the curry out and compensate for lack of meat. Essentially pretty mild in flavour but did eventually develop a bit of a bite on the back of the palate. I helped it along (carefully!!) with the restrained application of West Indian Hot Pepper Sauce, which was on the table along with other condiments, including salt. However, the dish was seasoned perfectly so no need for the salt. It was alround good tasting, fresh, oozed quality and was generally top draw. The accompanying rice and peas were good and fresh also, and as always is a match made in heaven when mated with the Curry Goat.
Excellent all round Curry Goat Rice and Peas - I'm a very happy boy!