The stats, laughably, tell me that more people are reading these weekly chunterings about scoffing and supping at home than I predicted (lads, I didn’t really predict or plan anything), so until the normal business of transposing “I ate chips in a restaurant” into 700 words is resumed, I’m going to carry on.
(And while we’re on that, one restaurant trip’s been postponed, another’s booked for September and a London visit in October, during which I’d planned on eating Somewhere Nice, is looking unlikely.)
But down to business/writing practice.
I love a beer, me, but it was with some trepidation that I snapped the ring-pull of a 5.7% “Jam Roly Poly” Pale Ale from Yorkshire’s Northern Monk. It doesn’t sound like my usual kitchen table thirst-quencher and, having hit 40 years old, it’s probably my duty to be sniffy about beers with gimmicky names, but this I knock back merrily.
Contrary to what’s possibly going through your head it’s by no means too sweet or too, well, jammy, but is loaded with a mixture of zesty and soft fruit with an oaty, breadcrumby undertone that I can only surmise is down to a yeast alchemist being at the top of their yeasty game. Fair play.
Similarly appealing is this Kveik IPA from North Brewing Co’, a viscous (almost creamy) and fruity 7% thing that, to quote every rubbish drinks review ever, is “dangerously drinkable”. Well, it is.
Though, as a Bradfordian, it cuts a bit to sup from a can so strongly emblazoned in Leeds colours. A reminder that it’s been too long since my last visit to North Bar, too.
But after those beauts it’s back onto the everyman Estrella alongside a curry delivery from Anam’s – a pretty garish restaurant on the same drag as the renowned Mumtaz down the road – which features the best takeaway onion bhaji I’ve ever consumed. Yes, we’re doing food hyperbole now, so if you take nothing else from this – and, really, why would you? – get yourself a portion of Anam’s onion bhajis and tell me I’m wrong.
The curry and red wine combo is a notoriously awkward one; the chilli heat of the cuz gazumping the more subtle fruit flavours in the wine, leaving not much else other than a gobful of harsh tannin and nothingness. Still, in for a penny – this Majestic case won’t drink itself – so after a palate-cleansing lager I make inroads with the Definition Shiraz (£10.99/£8.99 on the mix six deal).
I stopped supping Australian Shiraz after falling out with its weight and heft, for that way is the way of morning-after heavy heads; but, curry consumed and ready for something, for wont of a better word ‘nice’ to see out the evening, tonight that heft works in its favour.
Soft, smoky and – aptly for the summer we’ve had so far – its dark cherries and whiff of leather adding an autumnal vibe, it’s a tasty slow-sipper to get at while watching a BBC4 documentary in which I have very little idea as to what’s happening.
Proper wine folk might employ the word ‘refined’ here, or even, and I’m wincing when I type this, ‘poised’.
Just the one glass does the job, which must say something but I’m not entirely sure what. Another good one, then, from the Definition range.
If you’ve landed on this waffle by accident, I can only apologise and point you in the direction of some restaurant reviews. I’m sorry about those too.
I write stuff for other people as well, so if you need a hand in that department, read on.