Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Palace of Burton Road

I'm walking down Burton Road, in West Didsbury, and I notice, with happiness, that it's bustling.  It's like Beech Rd but more chilled.  There are some kooky shops but they are not full to the brim with posh accents.  There are a great many restaurants but they are not full to the brim with pooping babies.  I walk past Crazy Wendy's and notice, once again, that it's host to a huge party.  Pink and white balloons hover above the tables; some, which have escaped their noose, flitter hither and thither in the currents of the air conditioning.  But the smell coming from inside is distinctly Thai: One can detect lemongrass, galangal, coconuts and tamarind.  Yeah, like anybody can smell the tamarind.  As much as these smells delight my olfactory glands, they are not enough to tempt me to stop; I don't want Thai tonight.  Across the road I notice Rhubarb.  This has a decent looking crowd, both inside and out.  I've never been.  Maybe I'll change that one day; somebody gave me a bad review though; one bad review outweighs ten good; how unfair is that?
And so I arrive, with great pleasure, at the doors of the Gurkha Grill.  A palace in the world of culinary excellence.  For those of you who doubt this assertion, I suggest you keep your mouths shut.  You can disagree with me about anything.  Not this!  What's that I hear in the wings?  The Great Kathmandu is better?  Off with your heads!
The food at the Gurkha Grill is shockingly good.  The hotter it gets, the better it gets too.  Flavours of ginger, chilli and sesame pour out.  This is the kind of food that will make your tongue tingle.  When you leave it'll sulk until you go back.  You'll eat a chip, "What is this crap you're feeding me?" it'll ask.  You'll tell it to shut up but it'll spit it out; keep spitting till you return to its Nepalese addiction. 
I often wonder at the people who go here and order a korma.  What is that about?  That is the sort of curry that is bought in a jar, off a shelf, from a shop.  A korma, in any guise, is about as interesting as a Kraft cheese slice.  Is there a lack of adventure in people like this?  An unwillingness to venture too far from the familiar?  Why not try a gurkhali or sandheko?  Why not surprise yourself and order something new?  Alu Tereko perhaps or  Chena Khursani.  Once I heard a man say his food was bland.  He was eating rice and chips!  Why must you and I live with such people?
The waiters are wonderful too.  Go back often enough (thrice) and they'll remember you.  They'll remember how hot you like your food; they'll remember what you drink; they'll remember that your girlfriend is a vegetarian; they'll remember that you like a fifteen minute break between starters and mains; with your papadums they'll give you a free salad; it's bloody delicious!
But here I must stop.  It's already too busy at weekends.  Do I really want more people to go?  Well, yes, I wouldn't want to deny you the experience.  Go and be merry.

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