Hey, Foodwala’s….you may well know, Glasgow is the undisputed curry capital of Great Britain.
It has beaten such curry heavyweights as Bradford, Rusholme Manchester, and the Balti triangle Birmingham, at industry awards events the other contenders lament why Glasgow walks away with the awards year in year out, they bandied out figures that they had more restaurants, more customers, etc, but could not understand why a city in Scotland won the award every year.
The simple fact of the matter is that in the restaurant business they call it the “common denominator” factor, what this means is that a restaurant’s standards are actually set by the customers rather than the restaurant.
If the customers are happy with basic food and low standards, then the restaurant will happily oblige, however, if the restaurant’s patrons demand a high quality of cuisine then the restaurants have to up their game so to speak.
The customers in Glasgow are very decerning and won’t settle for anything mediocre, hence the high standards and the accolades, however, the customers in Bradford and locales are happy to eat basic food, in basic eateries and this reflects in the dearth of awards.
The restaurant quality ecosystem can further be broken down in Glasgow, The West End of Glasgow has a far more decerning clientele than the south side and east end and again this explains why awards winning restaurants are located in the West End, industry bigwigs such as Mother India, Shish Mahal, and Balbirs and lately a newcomer like Swadish.
So my food journey this week takes me way south to Rouken Glen Park in Giffnock, and the newly opened by the ex-chief of the New Turban restaurant.
We kicked off the proceedings with a trio of starters, however before we had the starters the waiter brought out some popadoms, however, the popadoms were stale and soggy!!
that is a rookie mistake and not something an experienced restauranteur would ever put out.
The chicken pakora was adequate and the chicken was fresh and moist.
The chicken pepper was an unusual starter it was basically stir-fried chicken and peppers, it was neither a starter or a main course, possibly then chef was trying to be creative.
The samosas were nice and felt homemade with a crispy pastry, however, the starters came without a dipping sauce, which was odd or maybe they forgot.
The mixed grill was served on a sizzling skillet, however unusually it was not sizzling, the mixed grill must have been under a hot lamp before serving and was allowed to cool down, the tandoori chicken was over spiced with ajwain (carom) seeds and must have been half cooked beforehand rendering it dry.
The lamb tikka was the best item in the mixed grill roulette (their words) and was tender and minty.
The single piece of King Prawn was again over spiced.
The Desi lamb was yet again adequate, the lamb was dry meaning the lamb had been stewed previously and reheated when the order came in, the lamb had not absorbed any of the gravy jus and the onions and green peppers were also cooked beforehand in a big batch.
The resulting dish was devoid of the desi flavour… more of a stewed casserole.
The South Indian Garlic Chicken was the biggest letdown, the Mixed grill was served with the house gravy, the SIGC tasted of chicken cooked in the house gravy, it was neither spicy or garlicky, it was mediocre, to say the least.
In conclusion, I can only speculate that the chef had a day off and the understudy was holding the fort…The food was adequate, however, it was boring in its execution, there were cutting of corners starting with the stale poppadoms.
The service was prompt and friendly, our 17-year waiter looked after us like a veteran. Could not fault their enthusiasm and hard work.
The decor was smart and elegant, obviously a lot of effort had been invested in the restaurant, however, the kitchen was letting the team down.