Curry Capital 2011: Sizin' Up The Competition

In case you haven't heard us banging on about it for ages – here, and here and on Twitter – today is the last day of public voting for Curry Capital 2011. Be advised that the original online poll – which had over 250,000 votes, and put Glasgow and Bradford pretty much neck-and-neck – was closed on September 17, so the only way to make your vote count now is by email: sling one over to indicating that you want to vote for Glasgow. As well as getting a nice warm, possibly spicy feeling inside, you'll also be entered in a prize draw to win a year's supply of lager and Patak's products. Of course, while the public vote is important, the crown is also awarded on various other criteria – check out the bottom half of this official post for the exhaustive judging process. Much of the remaining responsibility lies with the teams of four curryhouses chosen to represent each city.

But never mind that – let's take a sideways and hopefully humorous look at some of Glasgow's main rivals, then make some arbitrary judgements about their chances!

(Click here for the runners and riders ...)


Where better to wolf down a curry that Wolverhampton, eh? And while you might need to squint a little to make out what the text above actually says, they have cannily used an elephant as their mascot/logo ... and it does look pretty cool. Wolverhampton placed third in Curry Capital 2010, and their 2011 curryhouse squad features two returning restaurants – The Bilash and Cafe Rickshaw – which suggests a strong foundation to build from. And of all the competing cities, Wolverhampton seems to be the only one to have built a proper separate website to keep interested parties up-to-date with what's going on. It's got a calendar of the various Curry Capital stages that's actually a little easier to parse than the official website, and features slick examples of their dossier from 2010, including in-depth interviews with each of the curryhouse owners. If all of their 2011 campaign has been as polished and thorough, Wolverhampton could be poised to cause an upset.

PREDICTION: Possible dark horse. (Elephant. Whatever.)


Leicester was crowned Curry Capital for the first time ever back in 2007, and the city has arguably held the title for the longest time of any winner, since the whole shooting match subsequently went on spicy hiatus for the next two years. Of the four-strong curryhouse team representing the city in 2011, there's only one return from the 2007 winning squad – Little India – but the local press, spearheaded by the Leicester Mercury, have certainly got behind the campaign in a big way. The prospect of winning back their crown seems to have the former winners pretty fired up, even if concerted attempts to promote the proposed Twitter hashtag #Leicurrycap have fared ... well, let's say they've fared poorly. Because they have.

PREDICTION: Maybe a podium finish?


While it might not always be recognised in the wild, wild west of Scotland, there's a fine tradition of great curry in our nation's capital, with the first Kushi's opening way back in 1947. And while it hasn't made that much of an impression in Curry Capital compos past – though it did pick up a special gong in 2003 – it's certainly assembled a decent squad for 2011, including the sophisticated and charitable Britannia Spice (a favourite haunt of occasional TATTGOC correspondent and Curry Lover of the Year 2009 Alex Salmond). Most surprising of all, the team includes the east coast outpost of Mother India's Cafe, hopefully bringing some of that gallus Glasgow magic to the bid.

LAST YEAR: Unplaced.
PREDICTION: You'll have had your tea.


Fair's fair, that's a pretty awesome poster that Bradford cooked up for their 2010 campaign. And judging by local media coverage – which puts a strong emphasis on the fact that Bradford is "England's Curry Capital" – they will stop at nothing to lay their grasp on the curry crown they perceive as Bradford's rightful prize. In the 2011 squad, there are two holdovers from last year – the Shipley outpost of the successful local Aagrah chain and Shimla Spice in Keighley – and since they only lost last year to Glasgow by two points, two measly points, they must fancy their chances. And of all the competing cities, Bradford has by far been the most active on Twitter, with multiple calls to action from local residents and businesses. Will it be enough?

LAST YEAR: Second!
PREDICTION: The current favourite, probs.

So could it be? Could Glasgow and Bradford really be ... nemeses? Take it away, JoCo ...

Yeeaaargh! It's Time For Khuhlai Khan's Kurry Klub Khallenge!
Last Chance To Vote For Your Favourite Glasgow Curryhouse ...
Vow Wow Wow: Raisin' A Glass To TATTGOC's Happy Couples!
Gluttonous Maximus: INDIAN EPIC MEAL TIME


Hector said...

Hector is spending the Glasgow holiday weekend in Bradford. I know which city I would vote for, so I shall abstain. ....from voting, not Curry eating, Sheesh Mahal and The International, here I come...