We’re sure that loads of important people read this, so for the TV Location Managers amongst you searching for somewhere to film your next Life On Mars type production, give the Sweet Centre a ring. The place opened in the 1960s and remains seemingly untouched.
We’re back up in that corner of Bradford you’ll either call ‘a bit grubby’ or ‘full of character’, depending on whether your glass of lassi is half full or half empty, and whilst the term ‘institution’ probably gets chucked around a bit too freely when it comes to cities and their restaurants it’s fair to say that here, the Sweet Centre falls firmly into the category.
Being poppadum and pickle’d out, we shared a Samosa Chaat to start. We’ve had brighter, crunchier and zingier versions from upstarts like Bundobust and Manjit’s Kitchen recently but this one, all homely and steamy with an earthy hum of sauce ladled generously over, made for good eating as the skies greyed and the drizzle came.
You might lose a bit of something (credibility?) when you slather a Ginsters in gravy, but you gain some frumpy goodness, as they (never) say. This was that.
Every so often we do something wild and today, as the finger navigated the menu, slowed and then hovered over ‘dopiaza’, was that day. Dopiaza Day, if you will. You’d reasonably expect the extra onions to add some crunch or crisp, but these were a raw dice of nothingness, and we weren’t sure if the paucity of coriander was an authentic touch or clumsy oversight.
Perhaps I just ordered wrongly, given that the Jalfrezi was a cracker, all subtle spice, dense sauce and general stuff of goodness. It mocked me and my dopiaza with its final flourish of fresh coriander.
Since the Bharat Bread Incident confidence has thankfully been restored, first by Mumtaz and now by this place. These weren’t just tandoori roti by name but, having spent some proper time being blasted and blistered in said oven, were tandoori by nature. Not sure that’s the case everywhere. We barely got through two, at 50 whole pence each, and these alone are excuse enough for us to go and give it another go.
The whole shebang came to £18.
Handily, the Sweet Centre is about a 10 minute walk from The Sparrow and the soon-to-land Record Cafe and Bradford Brewery, so you could get utterly wazzed before you go for some spicy scran if you fancy. And why not. Alternatively you can take your own grog.