Best laid plans and all that. I started out with no intention whatsoever of eating Indian food in Glasgow this week. I was thinking Spanish or maybe even a rare foray into Italian, but my first two restaurant choices were both utterly deserted. I didn't fancy being the sole diner staring out at the drizzle from an empty room, so moved on. Said drizzle wasn't really conducive to a lengthy walk either so I ended up at the Wee Curry Shop near the bottom of Byres Road. Not entirely a random choice as I dined at one of their other restaurants last summer and really enjoyed it.
The menu here is refreshingly short, and gives equal billing to both vegetables and meat. There are just five starters and eleven main courses, a rare sight in Indian restaurants where the 'something for everyone 500 different options' menu seems to prevail over the 'do few things and do them well' school of thought.
To begin, haddock with mustard seed and curry leaves was served in the foil it had been baked in. It was simple and delicious, lightly cooked until it just flaked and marinaded with nothing but the named ingredients and a bit of salt.
Sticking with the meat avoidance plan, next up was channa paneer with broccoli. I've heard paneer described as being a bit like feta, or a bit like cottage cheese. This was nothing like either. It was slightly rubbery, but not in a bad way. The flavour was really mellow and milky, perhaps more like mozarella if anything. Despite the mildness it was still distinct through all of the other tastes in the dish.
The earthier tastes; creamy paneer, nutty chickpeas and vegetal broccoli were offset beautifully with the tangy, garlicky tomato based sauce. Slivers of raw ginger and coriander leaf added little vibrant bursts of flavour. Scooped up in light, pillowy roti this was fantastic. Great with rice too, although an extra roti would have been a better choice.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, despite the deliberate lack of lamb it was the best Indian meal I've eaten this year. Service was efficient and amenable, and it was great value too (£16.90 including a generous tip).
The Wee Curry Shop
41 Byres Road