FIOI & IRINK
Food news on a plate
Mrs Unis Kitchen
The word curry probably conjures up
images of chunks of meat, fish or
vegetables covered in a thick, spicy sauce and accompanied by a helping of Technicolor rice. But that curry, the kind that's doled out with alacrity by most Asian restaurants and takeaways, isn't the real thing. Doctored for Western tastebuds, it’s a pale imitation of the genuine article. Ethnic food manufacturer Mrs Unis wants to change all that.
Her new restaurant, Mrs Unis Kitchen, the first Pakistani restaurant in Edinburgh with
permanent buffet-style service, was opened in response to what she felt was a demand for the kind of food that Asians eat in their own homes. 'I want to give people something original, so there isn’t a set menu. Whatever I or my staff feel, that's what we're going to cook,’ she explains. ’We’re not going to add flavours like chicken dhansak or malayan, these are artificial curries. I’ll leave fried tomatoes or mango chutney for people to mix to their own tastes.’
In accordance with this easygoing ethic which lauds authenticity, the menu features old favourites like chicken tikka, vegetable samosas, chicken kurma and lamb boona. These jostle for space with more
innovative dishes that include turnip, okra, and aubergine and potato curry. Although it’s more simple than its Westernized counterpart, the food is substantial and boasts subtler flavours. Lunch costs £5.99 for adults and £2.99 for children. An all-you-can- eat dinner is £11.99 and £5.99 respectively. Because the Unis family are Muslims and don't want to profit from the sale of alcohol, there's a bring your own bottle policy with no charge for corkage.
Mrs Unis (or the uncrowned pakora queen of Scotland as she's dubbed in some circles) is well placed to introduce homemade curries to the good folk of
Czech it out: Republic Bier Halle
Europe nudges closer to Glasgow with the recent opening of the Republic Bier Halle. Stocking 90 biers from the Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium — as well as a selection from Asia, Russia, Poland and the US — the Gordon Street establishment has the minimalist look of a modern bier keller. The drinks menu includes Bon Secours Lavieille (fondly known as ’the
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champagne of biers’) and Staropramen as house bier, with glasses coming in all sizes right up to the traditional two pint 'stein’. For those With a taste for spirits, there’s also a separate schnapps/vodka bar, while 'peasant- style foods' — goulash, stews and soups — are served daily from noon until 7pm. Regular live music, stand-up comedy and pre-club Dls add to the atmosphere.
I Repub/ic Bier Ha/le, 9 Gordon Street, Glasgow, 204 0706.
Stravaigan, the Glasgow restaurant that gives an international mm to fresh Scottish produce, continues to add to its existing mountain of awards. On Thu 21 Oct, Stravaigan was named 1999 Scottish Licence Trade News Restaurant Of The Year; then on Mon 25 Oct, it completed an enviable double, running away with the Macallan Taste Of Scotland Award For Best City Restaurant 2000. ’To win one national accolade is an achievement,’
Scrantastic: Mrs Unis kitchen
Edinburgh. Twenty five years ago she opened a restaurant called Nadia’s. Slowly but surely the wholesale manufacturing of paratha, naan bread, chappatis, rice and curries as well as her legendary pakora took over and the restaurant closed. But thankfully the days when you can enjoy a spot of good old-fashioned Pakistani home cooking in a restaurant setting have returned.
I Mrs Unis Kitchen, 99—707 Da/ry Road is open 72pm—2pm for lunch and Siam—midnight for dinner. Reservations can be made on 0 737 337 3852.
said a spokesperson in a suspiciously Wildean manner, ’to Win two major awards in five days is a restaurant’s dream'. Of course, the fact that not too long ago Stravaigan was named one of The List readers’ favourite Glasgow restaurants is the only commendation anyone needs.
I Stravaigan, 28 Gibson Street, Glasgow, 334 2665.
Theakston meets Caledonian as the independent Edinburgh-based Caledonian Brewing Company announce the appomtment of Simon Theakston — great great grandson of the original Yorkshire brewer - as national account controller for on- trade sales in England and Wales. He plans a three-pronged attack south of the border With Caledonian 80/-, organic ale Golden Promise and Deuchers IPA, which recently won a bronze medal in the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 1999 Awards.
Spit or swallow
A taste of things to come.
Belgium has the reputation of being a fairly boring c0untry, renowned only for Tin Tin and Eurocrats. However if you walk into a Brussels supermarket and check out the beer section, you may change your mind The huge selection ranges from the lightest of lagers to the darkest of ales and the good news is that they are becoming more Widely available over here.
Tripel Karmeliet (8% Alc Vol, £1.49) Brewed by monks (eat y0ur heart Out Buckfast Abbey), this is a golden, cloudy light ale made With three grains — wheat, barley and maize. It is smooth and creamy With its strong Wheat flavour softened out With a delicate sweetness.
(5% Alc. Vol. £1.05) This brown ale has a rich beefy nose which follows through to the palate but combines With flavours of cherry tomatoes and musk. A must try for those light ale drinkers out there.
.i_ w i
Liefmans Frambozenbier (4.5% Alc. Vol., £2.09) As the name suggests this is an intense raspberry expenence. Despite the hints of jelly and , Cremola Foam, ,, this is not artifically sweet but fruity and refreshing. It beats alcopops any day. Gold medal Winner at CAMRA in 1998.
Westmalle Dubbel, Trappist .. .. .. (70/0 AIC. VOI. i s '; £1.45) Again "1L brewed by ‘ Belgian holy -: 56' men, this is not / for the faint- hearted. It's surprisineg Pear - Drops nose is followed by rich flavours of treacle and fresh coffee. It is dark, smooth and very, very powerful. (lane QUinn) Avai/ab/e from selected Safeway stores.