Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Thai, Indian and Pub

By Nev


My name is Nev, and while I have exhaustive experience of eating, I am cursed with a lack of finesse in my appreciation. I blame this on my mother, who, wonderful as she is, infused boiled carrots with every meal as I grew up (except for a legendary fish pie I'd rather not go into). Thus it is a great irony that my hard-working colleagues, The Swish Fish and Kitchen Mark, with their marvellous culinary talents, spend much of their time cooking creations at home, while I - absent of any ability in the kitchen - seem to eat out rather a lot. Hence, while I'm in Aberdeen, I visit quite a lot of eating venues, and sample quite a lot of different food; alas, I have no idea whatsoever if it's any good or not.

Perhaps that's harsh. As Green/The Fish has remarked in the past, I can differentiate sweet and sour, and perhaps even hot or cold, and so it is with this delicate arsenal of taste that I attack head-on the many restuarants of Aberdeen and give them my judgement. Bonus points for pies.

1. Bhan Thai, Rose Street, 5th February

A lunch-time took me here, recommended by my dining colleague with a special insider knowledge into the cleanliness of Aberdonian restaurants, being as she is a Health and Safety official. Therefore, I can vouch strongly for the safety of all food within. I can vouch also for the tastiness of my meal, the name of which, regrettably, escapes me. You know, these foreign foods all have names I just can't remember. It had the name "Singapore" in it, and was kind of noodly, with beef and prawns, and was light and delicious. It was from the lunchtime menu, and was perfectly judged so, being enough to satisfy but not bloat.

The venue itself is first floor, and seemed pleasant, but as my seat was facing towards Rose Street I saw more of the Ladbrokes opposite than the actual restaurant. However, I appreciated the golden knife and fork, and my dining colleague paid! So all in all, an Egert and Roger (or whatever they are) thumbs up.

2. Kama, Bridge Street, 5th February

A few days earlier, I had eaten in the Nas (Naz?), as reviewed earlier by my two compatriots. It was very fine, and definitely high quality, despite the gigantic mound of plastic in Kitchen Mark's salad, and the heavy advertisement of celebrity guests. Kama, another Indian resturant just a few doors up, was more low-key on the guests - a photo of Penelope Keith adorned the lucky diner at only two tables of about twelve. Low-key was the theme of the evening, as though Kama is decorated pleasantly, it is far from hi-gloss or silver service. Which is where lies the charm. Straightforward, unpretentious, Kama was relaxed and friendly. Maybe not good enough for an S Club Junior, but good enough for me.

The food was excellent. I think. In fairness, my starter and main were nice, but didn't shine, but that was mostly because I was picking at random, and stupidly asked for the meal mild. What possessed me to ask this I don't know, but it meant that all the kick of my curry was removed. Still, it was very tasty, the potato-ish naan we had was lovely, and the single serving of pilau rice was extremely generous. And of note was my dining colleague's - my old schoolfriend Joe, who had chosen the place - starter, some kind of chilli liver. Improbable as this may sound, this chilli liver was sensationally delicious. I looked at Joe and envied him, then tried to distract him as I stole some more. There is no doubt that next time I go to Kama that I will be ordering this. Maybe twice.

And certainly, I will be returning. The no-frills, low-key vibe, together with the no-nonsense good Indian-style food appealed greatly.

3. The Globe, near Golden Square, 6th February

Well, I had a chilli con carne here. Chilli con carne used to be notable as the only meal I could make, but as I haven't made it since 2003, the note is historical only. Under Kitchen Mark's (via phone) supervision, I made a fried squid and some kind of sauce last year, which was surprisingly lovely, but that was almost 12 months ago and was the last of my kitchen flair, save a few baked potatoes.

Anyway, the chilli was nice. Just standard, but not shaming the world of con carne. My dining colleague opted for a half chicken, and what a mighty chicken it must have once been. I've seen smaller babies! Needless to say my dining colleague, who is fairly petite, was stuffed and ballooned by the end of the epic £6.95 feast.

Bhan Thai
21 Rose Street
01224 639155

Gourmet Kama
20 Bridge Street
01224 575754

The Globe
13-15 North Silver St
01224 624258

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