It doesn't happen that often, but when the sun puts his extremely fire-resistant hat on and comes out to play – as he has done in Glasgow this week – what's a curry lover do? Tradition dictates that curry is a warming dish to drive away chills, a decent dollop of spicy cement to gird yourself against the teeth of the Scottish wind. But when it's taps-aff weather, does that mean curry is aff as well? It depends on who you ask. And some enterprising curryhouses – like the ever-enterprising Ignite in Edinburgh – would even go as far to argue that curry is the perfect dish for summer, as getting a sweat on is the key to moderating your body temperature in the sun. And so it was, in a rare respite from his full-court media press, Trampy found himself ambling along Great Western Road with the sun on his brow and a rumble in his belly. And that's when he came across Jalebi & Gelato.
(Click here to read on ...)
While a self-appointed curry expert, Trampy's knowledge of Indian sweets and gelato are minimal. All too often, there's no room left for anything other than brandy after a TATTGOC feast, and the only scrap of info he's retained about Italian ice-cream is "tutti-frutti, what a cutie" from The Gospel According To Gino Ginelli. So in he ambled, to check out what was on offer. And among the ice-creams, sundaes, milkshakes, cakes, waffles and all those little pots of dinky gewgaws you can add to your ice-cream as optional extras, there was a concise but tempting selection of Indian dishes, including sheekh kebabs, aloo tikka and channa chat. While tempted by Gol Guppay, where you spoon spicy chickpeas into pleasingly chunky pastry puffballs, Trampy ended up going for a brace of samosas with accompanying salad.
And he was all set for a lassi to wash it down when his eye alighted on a bottle of Barbican, a non-alcoholic lemon drink apparently unaffiliated with the concrete arts'n'flats institution in Big London. So with his samosas and malty lemon drink, he sat outside, soaking up the atmosphere of Great Western Road from behind a faux hedge that provided a welcome physical and psychological barrier from the always-bustling boulevard. The sun keeked through the gap created by Hillhead Street next to The Belle, casting playful shadows over the uneven pastry shell of the mince samosas.
And it was good.
Nibbling at the tasty samosas, crunching on salad and occasionally glugging a draft of Barbican – this was relaxed dining at its best, something to linger over while watching the world go by in various states of summer dress (or undress, as the case may be). The dip accompanying the samosas had a particularly spicy kick, but not an unpleasant one, and the mince filling was extremely satisfying. But as a steady stream of schoolchildren emerged from the cafe with cones and tubs of ice cream, Trampy's thoughts drifted from savoury to sweet.
|An arty shot, even without all that Instagram pish|
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