Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Kashmir - Izzy and Me Do t’Kash

"You will learn to like curry Izzy"
Currently I’m struggling to get as much Bradford Curry in as I’d like.  The perfect window of opportunity I have managed to engineer myself over the last few months (Thursday househusband day) has bitten the dust to a certain extent!  My beautiful 2yr old daughter, who I thought was going to carry on in her fathers footsteps, has suddenly started declaring “Izzy no like curry… ‘addy like curry… Izzy no like.”  Aaaarrrgghh!

Anyway, after a couple of Thursday's worth of househusbandry, with nothing but beans on toast for lunch, I’d had enough, and bundled Izzy into the car and sped to Bradford.

After much deliberation en-route, The Kashmir was the opted for establishment.  No fuss, bish bash bosh dinning, and cracking fish pakora for the Iz.  It is also part of my personal ‘Holy Trinity’ of The Kash, International and Karachi, and, in addition, I am trying to monitor the Kashmir’s apparent return to form - so seemed logical.

Fish Pakora
The Kashmir didn’t disappoint.  Initially quiet, we were offered menus, but there was no need, and I ordered straight away.  Within minutes fish pakora were presented, and were indeed as good (the best?) as always.  Chunky, flaky fish, in a light pleasantly spiced batter – a must try I reckon.

Lamb Rogan Josh and Kashmiri Naan
For the main curry, I chose Lamb Rogan Josh.  I’ve been in a Lamb and Spinach rut of late, so it was nice for a change.  The Kashmir’s Rogan Josh has always been a strong dish, and the crispy bell peppers add a real zing.  A high meat quota, diced small and in a thick sauce – it is Bradford personified.  The dish was a touch oily, but nothing excessive.

I’ve nothing to say about the best naan in Bradford - the Kashmiri Naan - except OOooo ERRrrr.

The Kashmir is still maintaining it’s current high standards.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Aagrah Event Catering

Aagrah has about 15 restaurants spread across Yorkshire.  It not only specialises in great cooking but does corporate type stuff, and also has an Events Catering Division.  It was this aspect of the Aagrah empire we were to sample recently.  This opportunity was going to present some interesting questions with respect to the balance between providing quality food, and enough menu choice to the masses.

The Event Catering was sampled at a Bollywood themed fund raising do I was lucky enough to be invited to, at the Clarke Foley Center in Ilkley. The do was organised by the family of an esteemed member of the Bradford Curry Club, and featured Indian dancing demonstrations, raffle, quiz etc, but for me the main attraction to the event was the the food supplied by Aagrah's Event Catering division.

The format was similar to some restaurant buffets with starters - which included chicken tikka, samosa's and pakoras - delivered to your table and main courses presented buffet style in large self service urns.

The fair was pretty good for this kind of mass catering type thing.  All kind of middle of the road, but high quality and tasty non the less.  Ideal really.  The starters had become a little tepid and flaccid, suggesting they had been kept warm for some time, but tasty enough all the same.  For me the Lamb Achari was the stand out dish.  Very meaty with the slightly sour taste from the added pickle was excellent.  It is a dish that I would likely order in the future in the restaurant.

I'm not a big fan of this style of dining to be honest - ie buffets.  I think it's been mentioned on this blog before I'm sure?  However, I thought Aagrah did an alright job.  It's difficult to pitch the food right for everyone I know, and I think ultimately it's this 'middle of the road' aspect that is just a little hum drum and lacking in sparkly that you get from a fresh sizzling spitting curry.  If I was to ever have the opportunity to organise such and event I would consider Aagrah.