Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Recently I was approached (via the Blog) by some friends from out of town who were interested in learning more of the famous Bradford Curry. They asked primarily about the spicy aspect of Bradford Curry... "Is anywhere famous for doing really spicy food", "Where does the spiciest?" They asked.

I had a think, and eventually had to rather sheepishly admit to not knowing?  I couldn't think of anywhere necessarily 'famous' for doing spicy (or hot I guessed was what was being alluded to).  Once I had pondered further, I concluded that Bradford is the best in the country for many reasons, and doesn't need to do the gimmicky/food challenge type of thing at all.  However, I did stress to my friends, that in Bradford most restaurants will tailor their dishes to your tastes.  More often than not one is asked as to preferred spiciness.  You can probably have any dish you prefer as hot as you like!

Having said that, I did reminisce, about the days when me and the Mrs first started going out, and how I used to impressed her with my abilities at eating Vindaloos etc, and how it must have worked because we are still married!  But, more recently, actual taste has taken over as the driving force when it comes to enjoying a curry, rather than the laddy bravado "I can take double anything you can!" Type of thing!

However, I thought I'd best reacquaint myself with the hotter, bog standard, end of the curry scale... And to this end, to the International I went.  I bottled the Vindaloo though!  So instead went for Lamb Madras.  In the early days of my curry eating career, a Madras was my staple, and thought, therefore, a fitting benchmark.

The Lamb Madras was initially hottish, but not too bad. It was, however, a builder, and by end my nose was running and my tongue tender! I was glad of the final mouthful!  It possessed the consistency of loose gravy with chunks of meat swimming about. No determinable elements to the gravy, except for welcomed flecks of herb, and all in all it looked a little bit old fashioned.  The curry sauce did have a sharp peppery taste and the meat was tender, and the two crispy and fresh rotis were ample bread for the dish.  As expected from international it was very good and of high quality.  But is was perhaps a little one dimensional when compared with curries from the Special Menu.

As a post meal treat I sampled an Asian Tea - no 'pink tea' at the International so the recommended Asian Tea would suffice. Visually more like a traditional English tea, it was rich and milky and was gently spiced with cardamon etc.  It was served unsweetened and with a bowl of sugar. A couple of teaspoons of sugar for me made all the difference and the tea really took on a more decadent feel.

So to sum up.  It was good to revisit the Madras, but I feel my taste buds and expectations have moved on somewhat.  The International provided a superb Madras, no question, but I was left feeling like I'd missed out a tad.

International on Urbanspoon

Friday, 16 May 2014

Food Republic

Food Republic on Leeds Road, Bradford, is a bit of an enigma.  Nestled as it is in the epicenter of one of Bradford's curry hot spots, it trades blows closely with Akbars and Zouk to name but two.

Although driven past on numerous occasions, I'd never ventured in for fodder!  Peering through the window had given me the impression (from a muraled rear wall, visible from the car) that Food Republic concentrated more on coffee, paninis, pastries, etc, rather than curry.

However, on this occasion, a sign in the window promised Karahi with Naan or Rotis.  Time to give it a whirl.  Once sat at my table and reading the menu, it became obvious my initial ideas of what Food Republic was all about were a little off the mark.  Here is one of the new fangled cafe bar type eateries.  Although not wall to wall curries (the menu had four I believe and some biryanis), a massive Asian inspired grill menu was the main attraction.  The easy to follow menu utilised colour coding to simplify the ordering process.  You selected your grill of choice which had three prices adjacent in different colours - each colour represented either naan, rice, chips, etc.  Pretty simple really.  However, I've not fully embraced the 'grill' yet, so Meat Karahi it was.

The menu said all the food was freshly prepared and with the trendy decor etc, I was looking forward.  I was not offered any heat options when ordering, but a little later I did overhear the waiter ask the question to a near by table.  An easily done oversight, and I'm by no means criticizing, but merely pointing out, your curry of choice can be tailored to your personal preferences if required.

The Meat Karahi arrived in good time and suggested some care had been taking in its preparation.  It was light in colour, with a looseness good for dunking.  A full, quality, rounded flavour was accented with strong gingery overtones and a fair slap of heat.  It was quality and I enjoyed it very much.

Two massive fresh and tasty rotis were included but were no measure of my massive belly.  Sauces were also provided on the side, along with water.  All top quality service.

Again, Food Republic is yet another high quality Bradford eater, and is well worthy of a visit.  Bradford is the Best in the World!!