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Never judge a book by it’s cover.

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Never judge a book by it’s cover.

Post by g_h » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:22 pm

I was in Glasgow this weekend & have learned to never judge a book by it’s cover. I didn’t want to go too far from the train station, so nipped into a kebab shop for some chicken Pakora. The place looked like a run down old cafe, so i didn’t really have any expectations other than to curb my hunger until i got home. How wrong was i, this was the BEST chicken pakora i’ve ever had. It was long strips, bright red & the batter was crispy & puffy. I can’t wait until i’m back near there again to see if they’ll share their recipe. I might even make the trip, just to try it again.

Has anyone else ever been taken by surprise, by such good food from a small takeaway that you’d usually just walk past in the search for something a bit more pleasing to the eye?

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Re: Never judge a book by it’s cover.

Post by Cory Ander » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:03 am

I've regularly frequented many "suss" Indian restaurants and takeaways (i.e. with respect to heath, hygiene and aesthetics wise). Whilst they may leave a lot to be desired, they often produce the tastiest curries (at an affordable price). Any else have a view?

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Re: Never judge a book by it’s cover.

Post by andrw » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:22 am

I have had a very similar experience to you gh, after a long evening in a pub I was starving, fancied a curry and stumbled across a very dubious looking Indian takeaway. Usually I would have kept walking but due to my usual caution being hindered by hunger and alcohol intoxication I decided to enter where I found the interior to be even more dubious (very run down decoration and a 2 seat sofa next to the till that looked like it was found at a dump). I proceeded to order a chicken vindaloo with pilau rice and a keema naan. Upon arriving home I opened the containers and was shocked at how good the food looked and smelt (I wasn't expecting much). Not only that but the food was delicious! I have ordered a curry from there at least once a month since then (this event took place around 7 years ago) and the food is still delicious (and the takeaway is still aesthetically challenged and still have that same sofa!).

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Re: Never judge a book by it’s cover.

Post by pauly » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:53 pm

I was in England last, nearly six years ago & my brother took us to a little TA near to his house. Steamed up front window, tatty looking little place, I wasn't hopeful. The food was prepared quickly, for four of us & it was all superb. From a Vindaloo, Dhansak, Madras, Pilau Rice, Onion Bhaji, Naan, a good cross section & it was very nice.

It's all down to quality of the chef I imagine.

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Re: Never judge a book by it’s cover.

Post by ScotchBonnet » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:04 am

Were you at Queen Street Station and are you referring to "Best Kebab" in Dundas Street? A very diverse street, that - you can eat a variety of food, cater for all your outdoor adventure needs. get a shave, have a tattoo, have a party in an upstairs function suite, catch up on the latest (and not-so-latest) music and visit the dentist, all within about 100m of each other. Glasgow-style long chicken pakora are yummy - the batter is more chip-shop than BIR - crisp, and detached from the meat which has basically steam-cooked inside. Despite the dated signage that place always looks clean inside and out.

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I'm in town tomorrow night and although I already have dinner arrangements I'm wondering if I can sneak in a quick pakora or kebab, now that you mention it.
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Re: Never judge a book by it’s cover.

Post by Greybeard » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:49 am

One of best ones I ever came across was a really old fashioned little cafe / Chinese restaurant between Leicester square and Chinatown in London. 1950's decor, with battered old Formica tables and peeling lino on the floor. If you think of a cross between a greasy spoon and a Chinese restaurant you'll get the idea. Had one of the best meals I have ever had at a fraction of normal London prices.

It was after a serious night out on the town, if my memory serves me right while it was still open at 4am so it is not surprising I can't remember the exact location. No ill effects whatsoever.

The other one was a really scabby Algerian restaurant in Montrouge, Paris. The mixed meat platter with vegetables, couscous and harissa was food you would ask for on your deathbed as it tasted so good. The clientele and the area it was in was truly rough, you would generally walk past it (and certainly not think of taking your wife or girlfriend in there), I only found out about it from a work colleague. Sadly, last time I went back to eat at the place it had been firebombed by the French National Front.

Was never fortunate enough to come across a similar Indian restaurant on my travels.

Those were the days. Too old for that sort of caper now :whistle:
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Re: Never judge a book by it’s cover.

Post by One Keema Naan » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:15 pm

Greybeard wrote: The other one was a really scabby Algerian restaurant in Montrouge, Paris.
Funny, when I saw this thread I immediately thought of an Algerian 'greasy spoon' in Cherbourg. Found it one Sunday morning while waiting for a ferry, purely by virtue of it being the only place obviously open and serving. Dingy, playing a jazz radio soundtrack and very, very busy but also serving the most amazing cous cous royale you can imagine.

Can also think of a place in Rome which looked like a take-away with a couple of tables but turned out to have a massive subterranean restaurant, very reasonably priced too.

On the Indian food front, the most surprising one I can recall was twenty odd years ago on the Isle of Man, restaurant like sitting in your granny's front room, but brilliant food.

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