Ashoka at the Quay, Springfield Quay, Glasgow
A lunchtime curry is one one of those things that I just can't quite get my head round, like the Jamaican Bobsleigh team or Katie Hopkins continued TV career. However when my now retired colleague decided that is what he wanted to do for his farewell lunch, who was I to argue.
It would appear that this view was supported by many of Glasgow's finest Curry houses, who did not bother opening for a mid week lunch. Luckily my third call was to Ashoka at the Quay and the rest as they say is history. My lunch out with my work colleagues, of The Flintstones, as I shall call them, was organised.
We arrived into Springfield Quay, which is just a gathering of eateries and entertainment venues around a car park, next to the Clyde. I am not really selling this am I. But lets be fair, whilst it is isn’t Ashton Lane or Merchant City, the parking is free outside where you want to go and what you loose in character (think the architectural equivalent of Eamon Holmes, dull and grey) you get back in convenience.
You can stroll across the car park and straight in the double doors, accessibility is not a problem. Inside there has been some attempts to liven the place up, but it is pretty bleak and soulless. And cold, oh so cold, but more on that later…
The welcome however could not have been warmer, the staff looked genuinely pleased for us to be there and they were pleasant and friendly throughout.
We ordered drinks at the bar, waiting for latecomers and then we were shown to our table. The view of a grey winter afternoon over the river did little to help the despondency that was setting in. But again the boundless enthusiasm of the staff shone through.
Poppadoms? One each please. Two, you want two, No? How about one and a half?
A couple of plates of warm poppadoms and the usual accompaniments arrived a minute later and they crunched beautifully as we all tucked in. The onion, in a rich mint and tomato sauce were a dream.
Barney took charge of the starter order, simply ordering one of every Pakora on the menu, an inspired choice.
The batter was crisp and light and there was a good sized portion on each plate. Five plates were more than enough for eight of us. The Haggis Pakora was especially good, the pepperyness of the haggis seems to combine very well with the Indian spices in the Pakora and makes this a stand out dish. Presentation wise, there isn’t much more you can go than pile the Pakora on the plate and garnish with onion and salad, which they did, but the garnish was fresh, the lettuce crisp.
Our main course order was taken, again with some aplomb. The manager keen to impress didn’t write down anything, which for a table of eight can go spectacularly wrong. Betty & Fred were quite impressed by this feat of mental prowess. I pointed out that until we got the right food in front of us it was too early to tell, but I’m a pessimist like that.
I ordered the Chicken Tikka Perdesi and got…
The Chiken Tikka Perdesi, damn it, everything spot on.
Even the Naan breads, which were huge, yes one between two will be plenty!
Whilst my Perdesi smelt and looked amazing, I couldn’t help but be envious of Wilma’s Tandoori Chicken Tikka, an excellent choice.
The Perdesi was great, great big lumps of succulent chicken and plenty of it, all enveloped in a beautiful spinach sauce with a smooth but heavy hit of spinach and garlic.
The service remained excellent, with drinks replenished, water delivered and plenty of checks that we were happy, which we were…very.
The only thing they couldn’t resolve was the cold. Probably not so much of an issue now we are emerging into spring, but definitely an issue in January. The staff member I spoke to said when they built the restaurant the heating wasn’t powerful enough to heat the building. Now whilst we weren’t at the turning blue, teeth chattering stage it was noticeably chilly and that does spoil your enjoyment of an otherwise great lunch. So for god sake please, get it fixed before next winter.
The whole shooting match, poppadoms, starter main and Naan with drinks came in at under £20 which is great value.
But then I am stuck with that niggling doubt that something is a bit skewed with the world. We leave the curry house in daylight, which surely isn’t right. Instead of looking forward to the pub, a trip on the subway and the last train from Queen Street, I am getting in my car. No No No, Curry for lunch is fundamentally wrong, but if you must, then a trip to Ashoka at the Quay is certainly a good option.