How late is was, how late ... this TATTGOC outing took place way back in the sunny days of August but it has taken til now for the Tramps to properly formulate their thoughts about the experience. Although to be honest, they could have summed it up quite succinctly: how great it was, how great.
If you're not aware of Mama's Rasoi, it is a relatively informal but excellent curryhouse tucked around the back of the St Enoch Centre. The Tramps first visited it months ago for one of their irregular strategy lunches, and were highly impressed by the food and service. Since then, it has become a favourite of recent TATTGOC inductee The KingFisher King, who raved about it so much, the Tramps decided it was time to head back en masse. The fact that it was BYOB made it a particularly easy decision.
A lot of yellow soldiers on parade
For whatever reason, this hastily organised trip turned out to be particularly well-subscribed. In a classic pincer movement, Trampy and the Tramp each assembled some of the squad to march on Howard Street. Trampy began in the relaxed environs of The Laurieston, where there were not one but two longtime TATTGOCers returning to the fold: the hard-working but still mischievous Bulldosa and the recently hitched Gheezer, who wowed everyone in the Laurieston with his sparkler. (The ring looked lovely too.) The Tramp – a busy professional pushed for time – hurtled toward Mama's Rasoi from a mystery location with Rabbie Shanker+1 and a slab of Tennent's in tow, plus a few fancier beers to help slake Curry Club's oft-unquenchable thirst.
Mama's Rasoi is a cosy rather than enormous restaurant, but Ravi Peshwari had been there before as part of a massive group, and with a few tables pushed together in the middle of the room, there was certainly space for TATTGOC's Ocean's 11 of attendees without interfering with the tables and booths round the edge of the restaurant. The KingFisher King was clearly such a regular since he was recognised and warmly greeted by the owner. The entire brotherhood raised a toast to the Bulldosa and the Gheezer before getting wired into the poppadoms.
The quality of Mama Rasoi's lamb chops was a matter of record, so from the 11 Curry Clubbers, the starter order leaned heavily toward what must surely be the dish most ordered by TATTGOC. Even after five years, there are still the flickers of a spirit of adventure, though, so some souls opted for lamb or chicken seekh kebab, and even some haggis pakora. When they arrived, the chops were excellent, and the KingFisher King recounted a story of a friend who had enjoyed them so much, he had engaged in a long discussion with the owner to see if it was possible to forego the traditional starter/main course paradigm of ordering and simply get a massive plate of chops (with some sauce on the side). To the establishment's great credit, they were happy to comply with this request.
As ever when the Curry Club convenes, there was a lively cultural discussion between draughts of ale and heaped forkfuls of delicious curry. In what now seems like rather a quaint debate, there was an awful lot of Breaking Bad chat (no spoilers in the comments, please). A rather more circuitous but no less enjoyable discussion centred around the character of Kima from The Wire, sparked by the Tramp's suddenly insatiable appetite for keema – you don't get those kind of pop brain-leaps on The Culture Show. And a little later, it looked as if the ranks might even swell to a dirty dozen as a slightly confused chap wandered in to have a chat, perhaps attracted – Bisto-style – by the mouth-watering aromas of the main courses being cooked up in the open kitchen.
Can you spot the Gheezer's ring?
If most Clubbers had been relatively unadventurous with thei starters, the roll call of mains was an eclectic lot. A few folk all opted for lamb bhuna, but there was also lamb kadia (with peppers and crushed spices), lamb neelgiri (more coconutty) as well as desi chicken on the bone, a murch masala, a traditional veg curry and even some tamarind soup. The rice/naan equation was more equal than previous outings, although the rice portions were generous – for a return visit, the Tramps might trim their sails toward more naans. That said, there was certainly plenty to go around, the curries served in sturdy karahi pots and the pre-cut naan easily distributed around the table.
A flotilla of naans ... and rapidly cleared plates
It was a fine feast, worthy of returning heroes the Bulldosa and the Gheezer, and marking out Mama's Rasoi as one of TATTGOC's most agreeably relaxed outings, with top-notch service and excellent food. Combined with the bill-ameliorating BYOB, it also represented excellent value – so if you need a break from Hamley's or it looks like your other half is dragging you to nearby Nando's, bear in mind that there's a wonderful curry experience waiting for you if you just scoot round the back of the St Enoch's Centre. It's just a shame that the intimate apparel store Tramp that used to be a few doors down the way has closed its doors. The Tramps will have to find another shop to source the traditional TATTGOC stocking-fillers ...