Here's something that made several veteran Curry Clubbers feel even older – this week saw the launch of The List's 20th edition of their invaluable Eating and Drinking Guide. Since 1994, this standalone supplement has been providing detailed info on the best bars and restaurants in Edinburgh and Glasgow, steadily growing in size and content. The 2013/2014 edition features detailed reviews of over 950 (!) places to eat across the two cities, with Hitlists for different types of cuisine and additional curated selections if there's something in particular you're after, such as "Best For BYOB" or "Best For Taking The Dog". And God bless the hard-working team for taking pity on those establishments suffering during the capital's disruptive snail-crawl toward an integrated transport system – this new edition includes a list of "
But if there's one thing we love more than transport infrastructure here at TATTGOC Towers, it's curry, and the latest guide is brimming over with the stuff. We asked Jay Thundercliffe, the man responsible for overseeing the Glasgow half of the guide, if he could drop us a few hints about the spicier content of the 2013/2014 edition and he kindly obliged. If you imagine the much-coveted Hitlist in the Indian Restaurant section as being like the pop charts, there are a couple of notable new entries, quite a few non-movers (as you would expect in a city with such an established curry tradition) and a couple of big-name curryhouses that have – perhaps surprisingly – dropped out of the top flight. We could spoil it all for you here, but you should really go out and pick up a copy of the guide yourself, especially as it comes packaged free with this month's issue of The List.
Some of the places that didn't quite make the Hitlist but that still impressed the Glasgow team of reviewers include Yadgar, recent TATTGOC destination Kebabish Grill, the Persian/Indian Koolba (a great beer selection, apparently), The Dakhin and the Banana Leaf on Old Dumbarton Rd. So we asked Thundercliffe: had he spotted any emerging curry trends while collating the various reviews?
There's a common move towards more authentic desi-style, home-cooked dishes, seemingly to appeal to a more affluent and younger Asian diner. Though it's hardly a death knell for the traditional westernised favourites, which aren't disappearing fast from menus
Curry has also started to invade even more sections in the Guide, as more restaurants move toward buffets that pay no heed to international borders or boundaries – think of it as filling up a tectonic plate. Thundercliffe reckons the trend may continue.
Glaswegians still love an Indian buffet and we think we may see a future rise in the "global buffet" style set-ups such as the very popular Cook And Indi's World Buffet (which features in our Round The World section), whose Indian food is particularly strong
The Glasgow outpost of the chain Cook And Indi's World Buffet is on Sauchiehall Street, on the former site of Slumdog. It got us wondering ... would it qualify for an official TATTGOC outing under the (admittedly flexible) Curry Club bylaws? Worth a debate at the next official outing, at least.
Thundercliffe also pointed out the new Guide includes a couple of curry-related Table Talks, including an interview with restaurateur Nasreen Aksi, who oversees various west end Ashokas and the Italian Bistro on Great Western Road. And at the other end of the M8, there's also an interview with Hermann Rodrigues of Suruchi in Edinburgh. Thanks to Jay for taking the time out to give us the skinny.
It's also worth marking the fact that the Guide has reached the milestone of the 20th edition. Editor Donald Reid has written a piece covering notable openings, closings and other events in the Guide's two-decade history. And thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can even travel back in time to read the first Guide from 1994. There are a few Glasgow curryhouses who have achieved the distinction of being featured in both the first and 20th Guides: the Koh-i-Noor and Ashoka West End, as well a couple – Cafe India and Balbir's – that have endured but relocated.
|A spotlight on "Scotland's only Balti Bar" from the 1994 Guide|
You've got a month to pick it up the Eating And Drinking Guide 2013/2014 alongside the new issue of the List – you'll get both for a very reasonable £3.50 from newsagents, bookshops and supermarkets. If you live outside Scotland and want to pick up one for a friend, or relative you can also get a copy for the RRP of £5.95 from the List's website by clicking HERE.
(You can also read Trampy's List review of the recent Red Dawn remake HERE. Synergy!)