Roadtrip! by The Tramp
Regular TATTGOC readers may be aware that despite being fiercely loyal to Glasgow both Trampy and The Tramp have east coast sympathies – in fact, we spent all of last August putting a spicy spotlight on the capital. So we do try and keep up with all things foodie and/or curry-related in Scotland's second greatest city. One of the standout happenings of 2012 over there was the pop-up sensation Burgher Burger. The brainchild of Aoife Behan (now co-proprietor of Jelly and Gin dining extravaganzas), the Burgher Burger concept saw a murderer's row of high-end chefs rustle up a gourmet burger-based meal at various pop-up locations. The one that most got our curry senses tingling was the tasty-sounding Bhangra Burger evening with Tony Singh but, alas, the tickets were so hot that it sold out in minutes and we missed out.
So, as you can imagine, we were pretty excited to discover a new guerrilla dining collaboration between Aoife and Tony, this time dubbed “McT Singh’s Roadtrip”. The idea was simple – “street food but different. Scottish, Indian and everywhere in between.” How could the Tramps resist?
The first McT Singh’s Roadtrip took place in the comfortably relaxed atmosphere of Freeman’s Coffee Shop in the upscale Edinburgh suburb of Marchmont. Seating was at tables of six and we were lucky enough to be matched up with a lively bunch of pop-up aficionados who were out celebrating a special suprise birthday. The fixed menu was kept secret until arrival so the Tramps went in blind, knowing only that the price of admission also included a free punch (of the drink, not fist, variety). Of the six courses – all of which were excellent – three were of most interest to us from a TATTGOC perspective. So what did we chow down on?
|Trampy attacks the Sambar|
|Goat patties, hot off the outdoor grill|
The first course was Tony’s take on a traditional South Indian Sambar – with the addition of pork belly being the fusion twist. It was my first experience of Sambar and it got the thumbs up from me, the tamarind giving it a distinctive almost sweet and sour taste. Delicious. BBQ’d goat patties with lime and onion (mmmm) were then followed by spiced meaty salmon bones to gnaw on.
Then we came to the most unusual and distinctive dish of the night – Black Salt Corn. Black salt, aka Kala Namak, is a North Indian/Pakistani condiment best described as highly sulphurous (read “eggy”) salt. This was presented as a powder to coat our corn-on-the-cob with as you traditionally would use butter. Black salt may sound pretty unappetising to some people (Ravi Peshwari – I’m looking at you), and make no mistake, it requires a slightly adventurous palate. But it definitely worked for me and certainly got the table talking about it.
|Black salt corn|
|Crackin' ... Dem bones|
Hot on the heels of the black salt was the dish probably of most interest, and certainly most recognisable, to traditional curry fans. Described on the menu board as mutton and chickpeas, the dish closely resembled a classic biryani with chunks of mutton and whole chickpeas mixed through with rice and coriander, all bound together with rich, tasty cooking juices. It was fantastic and the only quibble is that even after all the preceding courses, us Tramps could’ve done with more! That was a minor quibble, as it left room for a dynamite dessert in the form of vermicelli in a vanilla butter stock with pears.
|Mutton with chickpeas|
|Vermicelli with pears|
All in all, it was a top night with great food from Mr Singh who gets a round of applause from the Tramps for combining lots of Indian influences into a nicely varied fusion menu. Before we headed off into the night – a touch flush around the cheeks after our own fusion of gin punch, cocktails and vino – we managed to have a quick word with Tony, and attempted to cajole him into staging an event in Glasgow. The good news is he’s up for it, and hopefully it might happen sooner rather than later.
Trampy and The Tramp visited McT Singh's Roadtrip in February 2013
Roadtrip 2 takes place March 28-30, but you'll have to be quick ... some days are already booked out. For ticket info and to sign up for information on future events head over to www.mctsingh.com or www.jellyandgin.com