Saturday 17th December 2016.
Chutney was one of the ten Indian restaurants shortlisted for this year’s Sheffield Star Curry House of The Year Award. City centre big names like Akbar’s glaring omissions on a list of parochial independents. A shot in the arm for local businesses I’m guessing.
Speaking of strung-out junkies, watched “Man With The Golden Arm” only this week. Now there was a man who enjoyed a curry, Ol’ Blue Eyes. Remember that argie-bhaji down Rajdoot, Droitwich? Smashed the place up in a corybantic hissy fit over a monkey. Elvis though is another kettle of fish, amiable as a Bombay duck nuzzling a sun-spangled swathe of South China Sea. Down Zest again in Sandbach on Wednesday: pre-set three course meal, Elvis himself, plus karaoke – £17.95.
“Well, it’s one for the makhani
Two for the shukto
Three to get chingri
Now, go chatt, go
But don’t you step on my lamb saag aloos
You can do anything but lay off of my lamb saag aloos…”
No passing celebrity gracing Chutney on Saturday night, unless you count that Dave Bassett lookalike. But then he’s always in, apart from when he’s doing the burger van circuit, first Saturday of the month. Plenty of less celebrated diners – including the potty-mouthed vulgarians at our neighbouring table – but not so many to justify the sluggish service. Even the poppadoms turned stale tiring of the wait. A toothsome five dip pickle tray deserved better.
The starters disappointed. Big, bold boulders of onion shreds flattered to deceive: stiff, chewy, over-cooked. The chicken klijee chatt somehow managed to smother all its chicken liver zing in a bland slop of gravy. The main dishes made some amends. Though Skippy’s ‘mango delight’ might have been more accurately named ‘mango so-so’ by any passing sloganeering zealot; my lamb tikka naga’s naga chillies came with air miles – freshly freighted from Chittagong. The journey, happily, didn’t jet-lag the Scoville rating; the lamb tikka soared. Calls for embrocating lassi balm met with a Moody shrug. Chutney don’t serve lassi.
Another blog mention to Violet Beauregarde, surprisingly – joining me, briefly, while Skippy conducted her lavatory inspection. “You got to kick those ever-lasting gobstoppers,” I said, observing her electric blue luminescence. “That blueberry pie gets you every time.” I berated Wonka for dealing tainted stash. Wonka knows nothing. Turns out the oompa-loompas are peddling them at the bend in the chocolate river.
Judge ‘Gonzo’ Pickles
Fred ‘Skippy’ Pickles