Food & Drink
Eat out, drink up '
THALI TALES SURUCHI
When The List recently wrote about a new Southside Edinburgh Indian restaurant, we implied that it was rather unique in the capital - a departure from the norm among Indian restaurants.
That sentiment, however true, was not entirely fair. Herman Rodrigues, owner of Suruchi restaurants In Nicolson Street - and a new edition in Leith on Constitution Street - is another restaurateur from Asia who pushes the envelope. Suruchl’s approach Intentionally steps outside the usual boundaries that we tend to associate with Indian food In the UK.
In Nicolson Street, the flagship has always been Scots/Indian with a menu written in couthie dialect. The Leith operation boasts being the only thali restaurant in Scotland. Quite common in parts of India, thali style means that all main courses come with a few accompanying dishes that vary from day to day. So a big silver platter arrives with a variety of bowls, for dipping or sharing.
This is another example of how Suruchi attempts to get beyond what Rodrigues calls the ‘British- Indian hybrid’: dishes such as jalfrezi and the ubiquitous ‘CTM’ or chicken tikka masala.
He has the utmost respect for the
pioneers in Indian catering in the UK, who were (and still are) predominantly Bangladeshi. In Edinburgh, when the menus were mostly curries and our beloved chips, he knows that they had to travel personally to London just to buy the rice that was then introduced to
Nevertheless, he has limited patience for what many of us accept as authentic Indian cooking. Despite the European name, a result of Portuguese empire building, Rodrigues is Goanese and raised in the Rajasthan region of India. As such, he sees Suruchi (which means
Suruchi takes the pulse of Indian Food
good taste in Sanskrit) as an ambassador for his native country. He says his restaurants offer ‘real Indian’ dishes unlike many other British-Indian outlets.
While this can mean some difficult reeducation of the local palate, he can’t see doing it any other way. ‘Edinburgh needs a place that is different,’ he says. ‘You have to have the courage to be different.’
I Suruchi, 74A Nicolson Street, 0737 556 6583 and 727
Constitution Street, Leith, 0737 554 3268, which features 'hot music and tempting thalis' every Wednesday with live jazz combo and two courses for £9.95.
LAST GOOD MEAL
Dancer and choreographer ROSINA BONSU is artistic director of Glasgow's Dance House, whose new programme is about to be launched. Here, she chooses her favourite places to eat and drink.
“M M W
Where did you eat your last good meal? My last really decent meal was
at Two Fat Ladies in Glasgow. but that was some time ago. I love this for its attention to detail, fabulous flavours. presentation and willingness to suit picky customers.
Go with friends who are allergic to this or that and they'll accommodate them. Fish and seafood are my favourite things. But they have something to suit carnivores and vegetarians. too.
What are your favourite restaurants and bars In Scotland? Fusion on Byres Road. which is close to home and feels like a home from home. serving Japanese and fusion cooking without fuss. with welcoming service and with other friendly eaters. Current favourites are salmon teriyaki and their latest addition, tofu balls with plain rice. Yum. But it could be prawn tempura. miso soup or soba noodles.
Where might you go if someone else is picking up the bill? Ghana — to eat at my mother's. My favourite
dish is her palm nut soup. 3 rich orange-coloured soup from the palm nut, full of fish, meat and snails. served with yams or rice. Then, if I have any room. fried fish and a salsa of fresh tomatoes and onion with hot peppers. Somehow I always manage to finish off with ripe fried plaintain.
Where you would like to go for your last supper? My kitchen. cooking with treasured friends and family. I take credit for the cooking although I only produce the ingredients. Actually everyone prepares the food and we cook together. I know who makes a good gravy or salad dressing among my friends and give them jobs accordingly. (Interviewed by Jane Hamilton)
I Dance House hosts a 'Men’s Dance Weekend' 4—7 Jan, while its new programme begins 7 Jan. /t is located at the Annexe, 9a Stewartvil/e Street, Part/ck, Glasgow, 0747 334 0776, www. dancehouse. org
An extra helping of news . . .
THE 13TH NOTE IN Glasgow bravely faces a potential catastrophe and has continued to trade at both King Street’s bar/vegan cafe/live music venue and the Clyde Street club. HM Customs and Excise Instigated provisional liquidation last month over a disputed VAT payment and an outside bld could hand the leases over to new owners. In the meantime, a group that represents the 13th Note’s many kindred spirits are planning a fund- ralslng project that will, It Is hoped, pay off any debt and keep the otherwise successful venue in the hands of director Craig Tannock. Many would find it difficult to imagine the city without it.
IN EDINBURGH. PLAISIR DU Chocolat has opened a second shop at 270 Canongate specialising in cheese. charcouterie and continental delicatessen goods. Called Epicerie Fine. it has exclusive rights to import tromage from the famous Cantin cheesemonger of Paris while the shop's pain Poilane comes from the Poilane French bakery. Seasonal goodies include pates. terrines and truffles. as well as a selection of cakes such as a rum-soaked Christmas Koughlof and BUches de Noel. GLASGOW’S NEXT LIKELY Michelin-award candidate has been re-branded to highlight its chef/owner. Brian Maule at Chardon d’Or is the new name which should end directory enquiries’ difficulties deciphering the Glaswegian accented French when people call to get the number of the West Regent Street Restaurant.
WHILE OUR RECENT BAR Guide was bigger and more informative than ever. it w0uld seem we got a bit muddled in the course of researching more than 300 bars in Glasgow and Edinburgh. As reader Brian Reddie points out. our review of New Town's Outhouse rather beggars belief. He writes. ‘according to your bar gurde [it] is connected to Noa in Queensferry Lane. Good trick. Is this using some son of tunnel System. or perhaps a bus that goes the length of Princes Street?‘ Mea Culpa. Brian.
13 Dec 2031-3 Jan 2302 THE LIST 1 17