Monday 31 December 2012

December meeting - Spice Lounge!

Petersfield Curry Club's December meeting took place at the Spice Lounge, on Wednesday 12th. We had our best turnout of the year for the occasion.  The group enjoyed several beers or glasses of wine at The Old Square Brewery, before taking the short walk to the restaurant, just as the pub's evening enterntainment was doing its sound check and conversation became difficult.

Spice Lounge is clearly doing well at the moment, because the place was full.  There was another full long table next to ours in the extra (overflow) room on the far side of the stairs, and everyone seemed to be having a very good time.  We feared that being so busy would mean slow service, but once the initial drinks were ordered, it all went pretty smoothly. 

The restaurant laid on a mixed starter of sheek and shami kebab, chicken tikki, and onion bhaji, and then the main courses were headlined by the special order Kulchi Lamb, our big favourite for this restaurant.  It's a whole leg of lamb that's marinated for about a day and then very slow-cooked with spices, basted periodically.  The other dishes included more familiar fare, including CTM (not too mild), chicken balti, chicken dhansak, and some other unusual dishes: chicken pura murchi (cumin, fennel), achari lamb (lime and ginger), honey chicken and king prawn delight.  Side dishes included special and pilau rice, naans, dhal, and vegetables.

This was quite a feast, and the lamb went far enough to provide a takeaway for one of our members who was unwell and unable to make the evening.  We wish him a rapid recovery and all our members a happy and prosperous 2013.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Bay Leaf - Grayshott

Wednesday 14th November was a fine day, with glorious autumn sunshine, and we had plenty of mellow heat that evening when we visited the Bay Leaf in Grayshott.

After an enjoyable couple of pints in the Fox and Pelican, we made the short walk to the other side of the village green and a warm welcome from Bishnu and the team. A delicious mixed starter comprised onion pakora, sheek kebab, chicken tikka and lamb sikora. Everything was very tasty, and enough to whet the appetite for the main courses.

We enjoyed lamb madras, rogan josh, chicken pathia, and a chicken chilli stir fry that had a touch of Chinese about it. Sag paneer, tarka dhal, various naans and rice made perfect accompaniments, and the overall result was a really excellent meal, a good balance of medium and hot, but nothing too much to be thoroughly enjoyable. One of our stalwarts remarked that this was on a par with Madhuban, as good a Curry Club meal as he'd ever had, and that's a pretty fair summary.

We decided that as the December meeting (Wed 12th) is to be held at Spice Lounge, we'd go to the Old Square Brewery for aperitifs. We plan to book at Madhuban for the January meeting.

Talking of Madhuban, we hear that the restaurant has been included in the prestigious Michelin Guide for 2013. Congratulations to them!

Christmas is coming, and members that are planning to shop on Amazon are requested please to enter via the Amazon shopfront on our website. Buying through here gives a small kickback for the beer kitty! I'll put up some recommendations including books about Indian food that could make very acceptable gifts for Christmas.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

November meeting - Bay Leaf, Grayshott

The table is booked! We're out of Petersfield for the November meeting, on Wednesday 14th, at Bay Leaf in Grayshott. We visited in early May when it was still located in its old premises near the Fire Station. The business moved towards the end of May and is going very well in the new location, much nearer the Fox & Pelican, which is our rendezvous for aperitifs.

Essential information: aperitifs from about 19:30, and then dinner at 20:30. Please reply by e-mail or use the feedback page of our web site to say whether you'll be there or not. The F&P has Bengal Lancer on draught at the moment, and as well as being great beer, it seems a very apt start to a Curry Club evening.

Bay Leaf impressed us with the quality and presentation of its food at our last visit (review here) and I'm sure they'll aim to do just the same this time, promising a very good evening.

Two other notices:

1. As we run up to Christmas, a reminder about our Amazon shop. Amazon has a massive choice of books, music, films, electronics, and kitchen gear. This can give us a contribution to the beer kitty, so it's worth using. Here's the link!

2. As previously mentioned, the December meeting will be in Petersfield.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

October meeting - Malabon, Petersfield, Wed 10th

We had a great time at Malabon for our October meeting. We turned up with more than expected but they quickly managed to lay on an extra table for us. No surprises with the food though - just as excellent as always.

Starters included chicken tikka lazeez (meat is marinated in lemon and yoghurt before grilling), aloo channa chat (potatoes, chick peas, fairly sharp sauce), and familiar appetisers such as sheek kebab, onion bhaji and pakora.

Then we moved on to a delicious selection of main courses: Goan green chicken curry - a big favourite of ours, garlic chilli king prawn, gosht lajawaab (marinated lamb cooked with cinnamon and coriander), rajeshwari chicken (quite hot, chillis and garlic), and saag paneer. Side dishes included panch mela (mixed vegetables), keema aloo (mincemeat with potato), saag aloo, and various rices and naans. All were excellent, and hardly anything was left in the serving dishes! This was a great night out, thoroughly enjoyed.

The plan for the rest of 2012 is to hold the Christmas meeting in Petersfield and the November meeting out of town at the Bay Leaf restaurant in Grayshott.  It's now moved to a new more spacious premises and the cooking is just as good as at the old place.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

September meeting - Paradise Balti

September's meeting was thinly attended for various reasons, but that didn't stop Paradise Balti putting on a great combination of dishes for our members.  Starters were made up of meat and vegetable platters including a delicious spicy kofta fish cake, tandoori chicken, mushroom keema balls, shami kebab, onion bhaji, paneer tikka (very tasty, haven't tried it before), and samosas.  This was a very good selection, lots of good flavours. 

Our main courses were lamb jalfrezi, chicken tikka bhuna and a murg massala which included a variation, hard-boiled eggs.  These were accompanied with bangladeshi dhal, sag aloo, aloo niramish, rice and naans.  All in all, a pretty good dinner, well served and much enjoyed by those that attended. 

Paradise Balti: 23 Lavant Street, Petersfield.  01730 262748

Our plan for the rest of 2012 is to go for one out of town meeting (probably Grayshott, where the new Bay Leaf certainly deserves a visit) and then two locally, Malabon and Spice Lounge, which is usually our Christmas venue.

Friday 13 July 2012

Spice Lounge, 11th July

Despite the torrential rain that could have kept fainter hearts at home, we had a great turnout for July's meeting at Spice Lounge, Petersfield. The centrepiece of our dinner was kulchi lamb, marinated, slow-cooked and delicious, which provided plenty of second helpings.

Other main courses included a chicken chilli massala, king prawn balti, chicken balti, and a selection of vegetable side dishes, dhal, rice and naans. Very good, and throughly enjoyed.
Judith in charge of the seconds...

The programme for August and September is:

08 AugMalabon, Petersfield
12 SepGurkha Chautari, Liphook

Let's hope we have some summer weather by then!

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Madhuban - 13th June

The table is booked - our June meeting is at the Madhuban, Liss, on Wednesday 13th. Aperitifs will be at the Spreadeagle from about 19:30.

I'll send the notice out to all of the e-mailing list as soon as my PC returns from the menders, but I'd like to hear from those that plan to attend as soon as possible. Please confirm using the feedback page on our website. Looking forward to a great evening!

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Bay Leaf - Grayshott - 9th May

It was a quiet night in Grayshott, probably due to the torrential rain that had persisted since the morning, so the Fox and Pelican was fairly empty even before we walked up to the restaurant.  Bay Leaf had planned to move to its new premises on 6th May, but various hold-ups in the project meant that the change was delayed until later in the month.

Bay Leaf has always impressed with the beautiful way that it presents the food, and the starter this evening was no exception; it included a spicy poppadum with prawns in the puree style, momo (steamed dumplings), pakora, and sekuwa, peppered and barbecued lamb.

The main courses were chosen for us by the restaurant:  the sauced dishes were garlic chilli chicken, very lively but not over-heavy on the garlic, chicken pathia, lamb madras and lamb balti.  We also enjoyed lamb shashlick and tikka chicken - again, beautifully presented.  Side dishes were tarka dhal, channa massala, saag paneer, plain and pilau rice, plain and garlic naan. 

Overall, we had a very enjoyable evening, well looked after by the Bay Leaf staff, who made us more than welcome.  As a footnote, the move the new premises was made on 20th May; the picture shows the celebration archway of balloons around the door of the new premises, the former Kapadokya grill restaurant.  The plan for the old restaurant is Italian plus steak, so it looks as though there should be another interesting addition to the Grayshott food scene very soon. 

Web site  
New address: 2 Crossways Road, GU26 6HJ
Phone: 01428 608030

Our plan for 13th June is another visit to the Madhuban in Liss, preceded by aperitifs at the Spreadeagle.    We'll decide the programme for July - August then.

Sunday 29 April 2012

Bay Leaf, Grayshott - 9th May

The table is booked! Our venue for May is the new Bay Leaf in Grayshott. Bay Leaf has been operating in Grayshott since October 2009, and has gained a reputation for delicious and beautifully-presented Indian and Nepalese food. Here's a review from 2010.

It moves to new, larger, premises at 2 Crossways Road on Sunday 6th May. This is the location of the former Kapadokya grill restaurant, which closed in January. Aperitifs will be at the Fox and Pelican, in the centre of the village, and just about 100 yards from the Bay Leaf. I've booked for 12 people, but there's room for more. Please e-mail or use the feedback form on the web site to confirm attendance.

[Update, 9th May]  We now hear that the new premises won't be ready until 20th May.  So we'll go to the original place after all.  

Looking forward to a great evening, see you on the 9th!

Web site
Old address: 18 - 20 Headley Road, GU26 6LB
New address: 2 Crossways Road, GU26 6HJ
presumably the phone number will transfer - 01428 608030

Friday 13 April 2012

Malabon -- 11th April 2012

In Petersfield on an evening of torrential showers, we timed our walk from the pub to the restaurant just right, and Malabon gave us a suitably warm welcome.

The evening started well, as there was a really good pickle tray including chilli and hot lime to accompany the papadums. We enjoyed a light mixed starter which arrived promptly and was all that we needed before a fine selection of main dishes.

These were Peshwari chicken, cooked with tomato and onion, Gosht Lajawaab - lamb cooked in spices and yoghurt with cinnamon in there somewhere, and garlic chilli chicken which was hot but very tasty too. King prawn bhuna was mild but delicious, and we also enjoyed chicken saag, along with aloo gobi and a choice of naans and rices. The restaurant put on an additional special dish not on the regular menu - Darjeeling chicken - mint-marinaded, cooked in a lively sauce, and very good indeed. Lots of great flavours made for a most enjoyable evening, with great service.

Here's the programme for next three months, subject to confirmation and bookings:
09 MayBay Leaf, Grayshott
13 JuneMadhuban, Liss
11 JulySpice Lounge, Petersfield

In May, we'll visit the Bay Leaf for the first time. This has operated in small premises in Grayshott for a couple of years, and I can vouch for its reputation for beautiful presentation and flavours of its food. Now it's moving to a bigger place, the former Kapadokya grill restaurant, closer to the centre of the village and the pub. Looking forward to it...

Tuesday 3 April 2012

April meeting - Malabon, Petersfield, Wed 11th

The table's booked - we return to Malabon on Wednesday 11th April, for the first time in 2012. We went there three times in 2011 and enjoyed every occasion. Aperitifs will be at the Red Lion, just a short stroll away, from 19:30, and dinner, as usual, will be at 20:30.

I've booked for 12, and space is a little limited, so please let us know whether you plan to be there or not by e-mail or through the feedback page of the web site. Looking forward to a fine evening!

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Dhanmondi - 14th March 2012

Good food, warm welcome, shame I've lost the notes.  But we had a good time and enjoyed ourselves...

Monday 5 March 2012

March meeting - Dhanmondi, Whitehill - Wednesday 14th

The table is booked! The venue for March is Dhanmondi Tandoori, on the A325 Petersfield Road, in Whitehill. Aperitifs will be taken at the Woodlark from about 19:30, and dinner is booked for 20:30.  

Dhanmondi was listed as one of the 100 top British restaurants in the 2007 British Curry Awards and they've always looked after us very well.

Please let me know either through the web site feedback page or by e-mail whether you expect to attend or not.

This Google Map takes you close to Dhanmondi, but someone has put the locator pin in the wrong place. It's actually on the corner of Stubbington Avenue, 100 yards or so north of the point shown.

View Larger Map

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Paradise Balti - 8th February

Due to work commitments, it's been quite a while since I last went to a Curry Club meeting at Paradise Balti. It's changed, looks brighter and more modern.  The new decor wasn't the only good thing - the cooking was really well done, with distinct flavours and a choice of mouth-watering dishes.

Sometimes we find that our venue tries to overdo the variety, with the effect that many dishes are similar to each other, and people can miss out on the one they really want to try. Instead, after papadums and a mixed starter, our hosts offered us five main dishes: a chicken tikka masala, chicken tikka jalfrezi, meat vindaloo, lamb tikka balti and a prawn korai. These were accompanied by cheese and peshwari naans, pilau rice, sag paneer, gobi tomato and Bangladeshi dhal. Everything tasted good - even the CTM, which I'd normally avoid on grounds of excessive mildness, in fact had some heat and was very pleasant.

This was a great evening, thoroughly enjoyed by us all. The team at Paradise made us welcome, served really tasty food, and moved themselves up the list for a return visit sooner rather than later. I was actually surprised by how good the food was, compared with a previous visit a couple of years ago. Well done.

We agreed the schedule for the next three months, subject to booking and confirmation:

14 MarchDhanmondi, Whitehill
11 AprilMalabon, Petersfield
09 MayBay Leaf, Grayshott

Paradise Balti House:   01730 265162/262748

Monday 30 January 2012

February meeting - Paradise Balti, Petersfield

The table's booked, and the Paradise Balti looks forward to welcoming us on Wednesday 8th February. Dinner will be at 20:30, and aperitifs will be taken as usual at the Red Lion from about 19:30. Paradise has always been one of the mainstays of the curry club, so it's quite a surprise to me that we last visited in April. For a change, the second Wednesday of this February is as early as it possibly can be, and so our meeting won't clash with or be too near to Valentine's Day. Gentlemen, you hadn't forgotten all about it, had you? Instead, we can concentrate on other affairs, such as beer, curry, and the opening weekend of this year's RBS Six Nations.

Please confirm by e-mail or through the feedback page of the web site, to less us know whether or not you expect to make it.

By the way, if you hadn't already spotted my horrid mistake in the January send-out, the March meeting will be on Wed 14th at Dhanmondi, not Wed 7th.

Looking forward to a convivial meeting as usual, see you on Wednesday 8th.

Thursday 12 January 2012

Madhuban - January 2012

We enjoyed a convivial meeting on 11th January, even though the arrangements were slightly disturbed by the fact that the Bluebell Inn was closed.  A quick series of texts and phone calls let all our regulars know that we'd start at the Spreadeagle instead. On a slightly chilly and damp night, this was a very pleasant place to take our aperitifs.

Dinner was delayed a few minutes by the need to ferry those without cars up to the resturant, but we had a warm welcome from the staff at the Madhuban.  They selected a really interesting menu for our meal.  After papadums and a very good mixed starter, the main courses included Jungli Mas (lamb with bay leaves and red chillis), Korma Murchwangan (mild-to-medium chicken in a red sauce), Madhuban's special lamb, served in a balti, and a delicious mixed vegetable curry.  Pilau rice and naan breads accompanied.  Everyone was delighted with the range of great flavours and the sheer quality of the food. Nothing was excessively chilli-hot, so everyone could taste every dish.  It's worth a mention that the full menu (pdf download here) offers a whole range of tempting delights.  I'm plotting a return trip to try the Naga chilli stir fry. 

The Madhuban does everything to make your visit a great experience.  This was a fine way to spend a winter evening, and we'll visit again sooner rather than later.


Wednesday 4 January 2012

Table booked for Wed 11th January - Madhuban, Liss

Happy New Year 2012 to all our members and friends! The table for the first meeting of the year is booked, at Madhuban, Liss on Wednesday 11th January at 20:30. Aperitifs will be at the Blue Bell (marked with an 'A' on the map below) from about 19:30. It's only a few minutes' walk to the restaurant.

View Larger Map
The confirmation e-mail has been sent to everyone on the mailing list, but you can also let us know if you're coming or not through the feedback page on our web site.

Madhuban is the outstanding Tandoori restaurant in our area and we look forward to this visit as a great way to start 2012's activities.  For your diary, the subsequent meetings are planned to be at Paradise Balti, Petersfield and Dhanmondi, Whitehill, on 8th Feb and 14th March respectively (correcting my earlier error).