First up, hearty applause to this curry-fancier whose musings have kept us entertained, and ravenous, over the last few days. His commitment to the cause is impressive to say the least. Makes our curry odyssey look a bit half-arsed, does the man. He’s called Hector, too, which is pretty cool.
Still, he hasn’t been to Shimla’s yet by the looks of things, so let’s crack on.
We’re up by the University for this one, which means that although its glory days may well be a distant, Aftershock-soaked memory, a trip to Delius can be factored in for pre- or post- scran swilling.
For those who like to do a bit of online menu-perusing before making one in, a little rest might be in order after you’ve had a squiz over Shimla’s website, which manages to chuck bits of history, philosophy and, impressively, Feng Shui into the mix: “The welcoming warm colours strike the perfect balance with highly stylized furnishing, which also address ergonomic needs.”
Happy to report that whilst some of the Institutions we’ve visited recently are a tad lacking in the decor department, Shimla’s was nicely spruced up and our ergonomic needs were indeed addressed. There’s a good bustle about the place, merried along by the comings and goings of local students.
Everyone bangs on about the stuff you can get from the grill – the hallowed chicken donner gets a mention in t’Guardian, – but, as per, we stubbornly ignored all good advice and stuck to the usuals which, on this occasion, kicked off with punchy, peppery pakoras of the fish variety.
Lessons have been learnt since getting caught out with a Dopiaza on our last excursion, so this time we got back onto safe ground and into the loving, chicken-y embrace of a Karahi. (£7.90, chappatis included.)
Hector informs that when the meat’s cut up small and the sauce is thick and dry, as was the case here, it’s “in the Bradford style.” Hector knows his onions. The chicken was noticeably moist, the sauce fresh and vibrant, and the heat levels a matey wink and playful slap around the chops.
The lads fetching, serving and making sure I got a good seat from which to view the football on the plasma, were on hand with constant water refills before needing to be asked. Nice touch. It’s the little things.
In terms of “ace-ness of food” our research so far (yep; research,) has us plonking Mumtaz and Akbar’s at the top of Bradford’s curry tree. Predictable perhaps but, in our case, true. After this visit, we’re sticking Shimla’s in that same esteemed bracket. It’s more understated and informal than t’other two, but if the rest of the menu stacks up with what we had, the food’s just as good. And cheaper.