I SALTIRE SOCIETY AWARDS
The short leet for the Scottish Book of the Year is: Brazzaville Beach (Sinclair-Stevenson) by William Boyd. Son ofA dam (Andre Deutsch) by Denis Forman. The Math Trap (Canongate) by Tom Pow. Symposium (Constable) by Muriel Spark and Sisters and Strangers (Grafton) by Emma Tennant.
The short leet for the Scottish First Book is: The Trick is to Keep Breathing (Polygon) by Janice Galloway. TheS/roe (Polygon) by Gordon Legge and The Ballad of Sawney Barri (Polygon) by Harry Tait.
The Awards Panel members are Angus Calder. Ian Campbell. Douglas Gifford. Isobel Murray. Paul Scott ((‘onvenor) and Alan Taylor.
The final decisions for both categories will be announced in January. For the Scottish book of the Year the award is £5000 and for the Scottish First Book of the Year. £1500.
I THIRD EYE CENTRE 346—354 Sauehiehall Street. Box ofice 041 3320522.
Fri 14: 8pm £4 (£2) from box offfice and all Ticketlink outlets. Points East is a season of new and innovative art works from Romania. Bulgaria. Czechoslovakia. Hungary. Poland, Yugoslavia. the Soviet Union and the UK. Tonight's literary celebration. A Dangerous Voyage, an evening of poetry. prose and protest songs. comes from Czechoslovakian poet and songwriter Jlrl Dedecek. Bulgarian poet and novelist Blaga Dimitrova.
Romanian poet Mariana Marin. Scottish poet Edwin Morgan. Russian poets Dmitri Prigov and Elena Shvarts and Hungarian poet and novelist Jozset Tamai. The evening will be introduced byJekaterina Young. Dept of Russian Studies. Manchester University. and Senior Consultant. New Beginnings.
I POETRY ASSOCIATION OF SCOTLAND 27 George Square. Info: 334 5241.
Wed 12 7.45pm. Annual Subscription £5: single meeting £1 (free). Norman MacCaig talks about ‘Some Post-War Scottish Poets'. followed by (‘hristmas Party.
I EDINBURGH BOOKSHOP 57 (ieorge Street. 225 4495.
Mon 10 6pm. The Royal Norwegian Consulate (icncral in cooperation with The ()rkney Press invite you to the launch of Lion '5 Heart by Norwegian author. SISSBI Lie. Lirm 's Heart is her follow-up to the 1986 short-story collection 'l'iger Smile.
I JAMES THIN 53-59 South Bridge. 556 6743.
Thursb Lunchtime. Stephen Hendry will be in the shop to sign copies of his autobiography. Remember My Name (Pclham £9.99).
Fri 7 Lunchtime. L'sing a recipe from Delia Smith 's ('Iirisrmas (BBC £ 12.95 ). 'I'hin‘s have produced a Christmas cake w hich visitors to the shop can sample as a lunchtime treat.
Fri 7 7pm. Norman MacCaig will read from his Collected Poems ((‘hatto. £18).
Thurs 20 bpm--7pm. I libs and Scotland goalkeeper. Andy Goram will sign his book Scotland's For Me (John Donald. £5 .95 ).
Uncannin published just in time for Christmas, here is the book that solves all those ‘oh no what on earth shall I get Uncle Jimmy?’ present problems, a good-looking, well-presented coffee-table history of Scottish lootball and its unique place in our culture. Unlike many of this genre, The Only Game, while having lots of high quality, interesting photos, is tirme text-based. Although Roddy Forsyth has a tendency to lapse into cliche from time to time (Jim Baxter had ‘a devotion to the temale cause', apparently, and “if England claims to be the mother of football, Scotland is the righttul tather’), he is generally a useful writer; after years as a sports hack he knows his territory, and still revels in being around the game.
The narrative style, however, more resembles the passing game than the sweeper system. After an initial dribble around the idea that the excellence of early players — so skilled that they were known as the Scots Professors and most English teams teatured a majority and sometimes even an entirety of them - was responsible for tootball becoming the most popular game worldwide, easily outscoring its rivals, cricket and rugby, Forsyth abandons an interpretative approach for a thematic one.
Through chapters on the players, the managers, and the history, Forsyth retells some ot his favourite stories and
examines the careers of some of the game's more colourful characters, trom Jock Stein and Denis Law to Major William Sudell, who in 1888 was so confident of victory in the FA Cup final that he asked it his team could be photographed with the cup before the game, as afterwards they’d be dirty (they lost 2-1, a lesson Ally McLeod would have done well to learn in 1978). There are plenty of interesting anecdotes here to browse through, although much of the material will be familiarto hardened fans, and the focus is mainly on recent events — Souness' revitalising of Ibrox, the really quite laughable Mo Johnston ‘scandal’, the Hibs takeover bid. All in all, this book is a hell of a lot better than getting attershave for Christmas; the lad done tremendous. (Andrea Baxter) The Only Game: The Scots and World Football by Roddy Forsyth (Mainstream £14.99).
Malay _ Me Down
' Catherine Fellows surveys South East Asian food.
It is only in the last two years that South East Asian food has become available in Scotland. and yet the relatively small number of restaurants that have been established for that long have generated. or at least contributed to. a wave ofenthusiasm that grows ever stronger. Many international bistro-type places now feature Malaysian dishes on their menus. While it‘s wrong to lump them all together. the cooking of'l‘hailand. Malaysia and Singapore do have characteristics which distinguish them and which account for their present popularity.
Food is cooked extremely fast to preserve texture. nutritional value and individual flavours. in a minimal amount ofoil. Unlike their(‘hincse or Indian counterparts. South [iast Asian cooks add many fresh herbs. particularly sweet basil and mint varieties. to dishes in the final stages ofcooking: they also provide abundant quantities of fresh salad vegetables and fruit. People are becoming much more discerning when eating out. They want to savour subtle combinations of complementary and yet distinct ﬂavours and to emerge feeling good. At its best South East Asian food is perfect:deliciouslyaromatic. bitter.
sweet. sharp. hot and above all fresh.
creamy with coconut. crunchy with peanut dressings and vegetables. I
discovered. as I spent a day talking to
some of Scotland‘s more exotic restauranteurs and sampling their wares. an awareness on their part that feeling good is as much about wonderfully relaxed and friendly atmospheres as it is about healthy. tasty food.
I Mai Thai. 415 Sauehiehall Street. 332 4996. The entrance to Mai Thai is not inviting. When I visited. the dingy staircase was thick with an overpowering smell of disinfectant. The restaurant interior itself is typically haphazard with large office-boardroom chairs dominatingThai wall hangings. And yet all this was forgiven a thousand times when businessmens‘ lunches emerged steaming and fragrant from the kitchen. Since Mo began cooking Thai food here a year ago. the restaurant has become the focal point for the small Thai community of Glasgow. Many of her customers have lived in Thailand or are among the increasing numbers who holiday there. Asked ifThai food is easy to cook at home, Mo said it was very easy. she herselfonly knows as much as any Thai housewife. She gave some recipes to some regular customers. and they had such success that they have not come back! She does not mind. happy to have initiated an interest in Thai food. A
representative meal from her own menu would consist of Satay. little char-grilled kebabs with spiced peanut sauce (£3.90 for four); Tom Yum Koong. prawns in a spicy hot and sour lemon grass flavoured soup (£5.75); Khigeo Moo Sap. minced pork omclcttc with sauce (£4.55 — ‘no meal is complete without it') and Yam Ncua. thinly sliced spicy grilled beef served on salad with chilli and lemon sauce (£6.20). This would serve at least two. dishes being shared in traditional fashion. "There are many vegetarians in Thailand. Any of my dishes can be easily adapted.‘ says Mo.
Mai Thai Special Fried Rice
1 Icat a small ladle of vegetable oil in a wok over a strong flariic. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic and bite-sized slicesof chicken. (’ook for 3 to 4 mins. turning. Add sliced mushrooms. tomatoes. onions and broccoli. Turn beat down. Stir inan egg. Keep stirring until the egg iscookcd. Add pre-boiled rice and turn the heat
backup. Mix well. adding a tablespoon of
oyster sauce. a teaspoon each of light soy sauce. fish sauce and sugar. and some sliced small red chillies for heat. Cook for a minute or two and serve.
I Mala Hart. 17 West Princes Street. 332 9789.
The new premises of (ilasgow 'sonly Malaysian restaurant are nothing it not flash. The exuberance of the proprietor is reflected in more colours than you could imagine there would be space for. Pastels to primaries. they are all there. if not in napkins and tablecloths. in the striking ‘priniitivist‘ collages on the walls. 'l’hisis not a place that allows you to sit down and forget about it the chances are the alorc—mcntioncd proprietor w hose philosophy is. ‘I do and say what [like here and expect the customers to dothe samcf will Join you fora l'iger beerarid the party will begin. Astor the food.it was explained to me (and this borne out by others) that a lot of palate educating would need to be done before food as it is eaten III the I‘ill I'.;tst could be served here. ‘I mean would you eat soggy chicken skin. snake. dog’.‘ In the past.a lot of the heat and spice in Thai food.ior example. was to disguise very poor ingredients which were all the people could affor d.'
My meal at Mata Ilari started with hot vegetable soup with coconut. It had a delicious tlavour but I was surprised to discover that it was made with frozen mixed veg. My companion ate crispy pancake rolls with Malaysian kctchtrp. They were a good texture but had very little in them, Sweet and sour fish was very disappointing.
King prawns cooked with green pepper in coconut and spices was much better. tasty if watery. I did not like the strong fishy sauce on our cucumber salad but I am aware that this is an aquired taste. To be fair. the head chef was ill.and the house hock was very drinkable. The meal cost around £26 for two.
l Malaysian Kris Restaurant. 1 l0 Raeburn
Place. 3l5 2220. ’l‘hisclegant establishment is redolent ot colonial Malaysia. Apparently it is frequented by many ex-ex-pats nostalgic for the cooking oftheir native servants. The food here reﬂects the happy refining and rnellowing influence which the influx ofthe Europeans is said to have had upon the cuisine. The chef. Zia. is a young. untrained home-cook the high qualityof whose food is a reflection ofthe importance of meals in her country. In Malaysia you can rely upon stall food to be excellent and hygienic. Amongst Zia's
94 The List 7 — 20 December 1990