Spice Fillers: The Best Of TATTGOC 2011

With Hogmanay fast approaching, there's very little of 2011 left. And so it's natural to look back and reflect on the past 12 months. It's been an incident-packed year for TATTGOC, with some births, some marriages, some meths and a substantive uptick in the use of exclamation marks. The Tramps began 2011 hanging on to the last threads of their Scottish Curry Lover(s) Of The Year title, but were unable to retain it (in fact, they were unaware they could even win it again, and so were pretty lax about campaigning).

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And while the weekly blog updates covered all manner of subjects in breathless, scattershot detail, there were always the monthly curry outings, the very blazin' d'outre of TATTGOC, where our ever-evolving squad of currynauts set out into the Glasgow night to find a dish they have perhaps never tasted before. You should probably just go back to January 2011 and diligently read every single blog in order to relive the magic, but in case you don't have that kind of time, Trampy and The Tramp's have picked out their five favourite weekly posts from 2011. What a year! (!!)

"Forgive me, curry brothers and sisters, for I have sinned ..." Back in March, The Tramp rolled a spicy grenade into the room by essaying at length his love for that strangest of dishes, the "English" curry. Despite being raised on the authentic stuff from the Shish Mahal, The Tramp has always retained a soft spot for the coconutty, raisiny, banany facsimile of real curry that was popular in the 1970s. He even provided his own recipe! Judas!

In 2011, our rag-tag band of Foreign Curryspondents filed reports of curry tasted in foreign climes, from locations as diverse as Hong Kong and Barcelona. But it was prolific curryspondent Tikka MaBaws who went above and beyond the call of duty, as he set aboot "the world's most dangerous vindaloo" at around 4000m above sea level in La Paz. It's a suitably epic tale, and one that requires a strong stomach. Good luck!

In May, the Tramps failed to retain their crown at the Scottish Curry Awards 2011. Some other dude won it. Cannae mind his name. But being nominated for Curry Lovers Of The Year gave the Tramps a second opportunity to try and sum up the whole crazy world of TATTGOC in just a hot minute. This 60-second primer, sadly unaired on the night, was what they came up with, and it still stands as a symbolic distillation of the TATTGOC "ethos", such as it is. (There was also a "dance remix".)

There were many memorable TATTGOC outings, including an early stop-off at Cafe Salma and a double visit to Punjabi's. But the one that truly stands out is the September visit to Cafe Serena on the Southside. Perhaps it's because there were so many Curry Clubbers in attendance, ensuring a lively level of chat all night. Perhaps it was because of the beer everyone tanned beforehand. But mostly it was because this relatively unassuming diner put together a fantastic feast. Rabbie Shankar described his chicken karahi as "the best I've ever tasted". What a night!

In October, the Tramps launched their latest multimedia assault on the unsuspecting world of curry with the first episode of Keep Calm And Curry On, the official TATTGOC podcast. So far, there have been three instalments of this pathbreaking soundclash series, and for those who find the proper blog simply "too much hassle" to read, the audio version is a much more soothing delivery system. Watch out for episode four, dropping early in 2012. And have a good new year, y'all!

Pod Cast Ye Merry Gentlemen ... It's Your Special Festive Episode Of Keep Calm And Curry On!


The Tramp said...

Happy memories of 2011... I had what will probably be my last curry of the year last night from the mighty Cafe Serena. Definitely my top pick of the TATTGOC year and highly recommended to all. The Tramp's special top-tip? Check out their mince and mushroom curry - its a winner. Happy New Year team - looking forward to another curry packed year ahead.