Pakeezah, Bradford

Here’s a new one for us: a boozeless lunch.

No appetite-whetting G&T. No conversation-fuelling IPA (double-hopped, naturally). No flavour-enhancing (that’s our excuse, anyway) rust-tinted Rioja.

Sober as judges were we, as a group of us headed to does-what-it-says-on-the-tin ‘Food to Go’; the new-ish Café in Bradford from the Pakeezah Group.

Their take-home chicken and spinach curry and aubergine pakoras from the supermarket cafe have got us through many a Friday evening after one too many post-work refreshments, but this visit was a chance to sample the goods without being three sheets.

And, despite us being booze-free, it was well worth the visit.

It was a grey-skyed pi**ing down kind of day, and Bombay potatoes (£2.95) made the perfect comfort food.  Huge boulders of spud with a thick, long-cooked spiced sauce.

The fist-sized vegetable samosa was packed and punchy, and a steal at 55 whole pence.

It didn’t take long for the meat in the slow cooked lamb handi (£4.50) to ease its way off the bone and into the belly. Both the lamb and sauce tasted to have had plenty of time in the pan to mingle and mature.

Sauce-mopping rotis were 30p each.

One of the group veered off-menu and ordered Samosa Chaat. Pastry, bashed up with its steaming contents then doused in yoghurt and tamarind chutney, is always going to look and taste like the best kind of mess. It was hoovered up.

I was assured by the table’s resident kebab expert that the Shawarma meal deal (a fiver, including chips and a drink) was very good value. I assisted with the chips.

Thanks to the taxman there’s a small charge to get the food heated if you’re eating in, and the only quibble was that one or two of the dishes could have been heated for a bit longer. But that’s clutching at straws.

For a lunchtime bite or to stock the fridge for a weekend of gluttony Pakeezah’s ‘Food to Go’ more than does the trick.

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