Lahore fizzes with flavour

It was an Indian acquaintance who recommended that we try Lahore in King Street, Aberdeen. It was, she said, the best in Aberdeen.

So, last night four of us headed down King Street just a short distance from the East and West North Street junctions to find Lahore. It’s an unpretentious place. The tables are not decked with flowers, there is no maroon plush wallpaper on the walls and there is absolutely no sitar music in the background.

The menu offers old favourites (Chicken Masala, Chicken Jalfrezi and the like) and some that were new to me too.

Having perused the menu and seeing no beers I enquired. Lahore is not licensed and as far as I can make out you cannot take your own beer or wine either. So two of the party went for Cokes while the other two of us had Lassi – traditional yoghurt based drinks from the Punjab region.

The order was taken and, for the mains, we were asked if we wanted mild, medium or hot. As we were to discover the “medium” is pretty spicey, so unless you are really capable of withstanding the fire, don’t try to prove your macho by opting for “hot”.

After delicious starters of samosas and pekoras, plus poppadums, accompanied by the delightful sauces and chutneys, we dutifully returned our plates with knives and forks, which the waiter immediately removed and replaced at our setting on the table! Mental note – as in America, hang onto your cutlery!

For the main courses the pilau rice arrived first. This was not like pilau rice as we tend to know it, with all those bright artificial looking colours. This was a much more natural looking colour and great taste of subtle fresh spices.

The main course I chose was chicken chilli masala. Although ordered “medium” it was quite hot (which I like) and I was just glad I had not ordered “hot”. The first mouthful was a sensation, with a tingle of all sorts of fantastic spice notes on the tongue. Delicious. The garlic naan was unusual in that there were actual pieces of garlic in the bread.

The only downside was that one of the party who had ordered “medium” was toiling. When the waiter came to clear up, she commented that it was rather hot. The waiter tasted a little and nodded his confirmation that it was too hot, before heading off to inform the chef. A complimentary desert was immediately offered as consolation.

Although it is not in our most often frequented part of town, I can confidently predict that Lahore will become a reasonably regular destination for us in the future.
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