Saturday 19 July 2008

Mirchi - Albert Rd, Southsea

Simon felt sick. He stayed off school Monday, sat through Sports Day on Tuesday, was full of woe Wednesday, had far to go Thursday and left his bank card in the Post Office - perhaps he wouldn't be fit for Friday's marathon pub/curry session, a last hurrah in the academic year? And yet he was (though the level of fitness required for such an event is open to debate).

Mirchi provided the venue. It was very good and I wish them every success.

We began with the most delicious Hush Tikka, firm yet tender smokey hunks of duck and onion then progressed to the mains. Impressive, near authentic Lamb Shatkora, warm, medium citrussy undertones of ground coriander, lemon rind sourness from Bangladeshi lime and a creamy, sunset orange Goan Korai that tasted as good as it looked . Light, soft, sweet Peshwari Naan with sultanas, almonds and sugar, diced Bhindi (Okra) in a cool china white recipticle, moist, rich and tangy as well as decent pilau embellished our meal.

I've been twice before and a third visit has convinced me it's second only to Aubergine on a stretch over populated with curry houses. You'd be daft to visit the Balti Express, Monsoon Thali House, the Golden Curry, Goa, the Eastern Eye or the Romance of India (particularly daft as this has now closed) plus the three or four Elm Grove equivalents instead. Mirchi may cost more but YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Coda: Another fine meal one Friday in August. Indian Fish Cakes to start. Delicate but dominant flavours of minced prawns and cod coated in a light eggy batter and shallow fried - pools of tamarind and chilli sauce a welcome condiment. Followed by powerful Green Herb Masala, humming with roast garlic, fresh heady coriander, salt and hot slivers of green chilli. Saag Aloo, mellow and vaguely aromatic like Chinese 5 Spice as well as pilau rice with strong hints of woody cinnamon were also very good and the Jalfrezi is a gorgeous roasted chilli concoction. However, I'd avoid the Sheek Kebabs - gristly and rubbery tough.

FOOD (& DRINK): 3.5

Willp2328 score: 7/10

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