Amontola, Richmond, North Yorkshire (64%)


Saturday 6th August 2016.

Hazel Irvine’s Gorbals granny;  Tower Hamlets Aunty Grotbags; Green lycra Hattie Jacques.

Terry Pratchett’s “Wyrd Sisters”, Richmond’s Georgian Theatre. One of those “riotous romps” you hear about: thin material tortuously plotted, hammy desperation prompting forced guffaws; just missing a Duncan Norvelle cameo… Somebody chase me (…out of the theatre)!  Felt every bone in my buttocks come curtain call, lurching out the stalls like William Wilberforce’s crippled chimney sweep on one of his bad days.

On the whole, we agreed, one often doesn’t find one’s inner prawn. A gastronomic hazard of curry-eating. With basic components drenched in rich, sapid mulch, the prawniness just transmigrates -shedding a prawn zombie on the end of your fork. Skipjack Pa lamented it. My tandoori lamb chop starter, on the other hand, did retain some meaty soul – lean and cooked to the tee. (Onion bhajis and mixed kebabs caught napping though.)

The lime pickle didn’t exactly get out of bed either. Supported by the usual sleepyheads it formed a satisfactory pickle repertoire – sort of Andrews Sisters calibre. But you just can’t rock out to “Underneath The Arches” – I’ve tried.

From the main courses, the big up goes to Skipjack Ma’s Desi Mach – a tangy Bangladeshi fish curry that blasted my bland srilankan chicken out the room. Came with its own boom box. On the ambient stage ’Butter Chicken Skippy’ declared her plateful as profound and trippy as Eno’s “Music For Airports”. (That’s a glowing endorsement, if you’re wondering.)

Speaking of vibe, it’s out with the flock and in with the leopardskin round here. Wallpaper that is. Gauzy drapes, Bollywood TV – it’s happening like Ranbir Kapoor’s film set trailer. Mercifully, the small tea-time crowd couldn’t muster any table-top, fish-net high kicks. But you could see it coming.

amontola new

Judge ‘Gonzo’ Pickles
Fred ‘Skippy’ Pickles
Ma Skipjack
Pa Skipjack



  1. ’twas a very enjoyable visit over to the North Shire, a pleasant setting, good food and company with attentive service. My butter chicken was great, my favourite yet on my trips accompanying Gonzo. Big chunks of meat and a most delicious sauce. I wish they all tasted like this….

    £28 each all in, so not the cheapest by any means, but definitely worth a trip.


  2. Charmaine Fletcher · · Reply

    Very inexperienced in the art of curry-house analysis (once you get past the toilets that is) I have to say I really enjoyed half of my mixed starter and my SUPER main, which Gonzo agreed was on the very good scale. I also thought the sauce on Skippy’s butter chicken was gorgeous and the sauce on Pa’s korma was also good’n thick and tasty. But, as you know, you couldn’t taste the prawns!!! Or the lamb!!! And it was a bit steep!!! And I did spread Desi down my front!!!

    We enjoyed the evening, very much. Can’t wait to do it all again, apart from the Pratchett influence.
    Ma xx


  3. Charmaine Fletcher · · Reply

    I’ve decided the play should have been a panto! If the witches had been men, the king a queen and the other queen had worn a huge dress with musical ducks on, it would have been more fitting. And understandable. And we would have been able to ‘Booo!’


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