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Author Topic: How do you know when... they are better than average?  (Read 857 times)

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Offline Bob-A-Job

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For three decades, I have moved around and tried almost every 'local' takeaway and sometimes the restaurants in the area I lived in.

They have been more often on the doorstep (close by) as you can't wait too long after a heavy night out, sleep is approaching faster than the ensuing hangover... and sometimes work.

For a first time order, so I can 'measure' if they can cook or not, I have always ordered what I consider to be quite a difficult dish: Chicken Biryani.
Any repeat orders/attendances/recommendations are based on this.

Do you order something the first time, to determine the quality of a takeaway or restaurant (price excluded)?

BAJ
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Online Garp

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Re: How do you know when... they are better than average?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2019, 09:47 AM »
I usually try a Lamb Madras first.

Maybe not technically the most difficult dish, but it gives me a good indication of what the quality of the rest of their menu is likely to be (and also the heat level).


Offline mickyp

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Re: How do you know when... they are better than average?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2019, 12:34 PM »
Madras, used to be my first go for dish, partly because its a favourite
 of mine, also Onion Bhaji's, I consider the taste and quality of those to be a good indicator.

Its a catch 22 with curries and what to order, because its not that often we go for one i end up having a Madras or Pathia because i know i like them rather than risk wasting my money trying a dish that i might not like.

Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: How do you know when... they are better than average?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2019, 01:44 PM »
F0r me, a chicken Madras.  Lamb is, sadly, only too often not-lamb (or at best, part-lamb) these days, but chicken is (afaik) always chicken.  I avoid the house specials like the plague — they are almost invariably tikka-based and are no indication of what they can achieve on a simple, straightforward, dish.
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Offline bhamcurry

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Re: How do you know when... they are better than average?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2019, 01:56 PM »
F0r me, a chicken Madras.  Lamb is, sadly, only too often not-lamb (or at best, part-lamb) these days, but chicken is (afaik) always chicken.  I avoid the house specials like the plague — they are almost invariably tikka-based and are no indication of what they can achieve on a simple, straightforward, dish.
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wouldn't someone like Trading Standards be interested in being served something other than lamb when you order lamb....?

Offline Bob-A-Job

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Re: How do you know when... they are better than average?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2019, 02:59 PM »

wouldn't someone like Trading Standards be interested in being served something other than lamb when you order lamb....?

Sadly, it happens all the time and has been going on for decades as far as I am aware by Restaruants of all types, trying to cut costs.  Recently, we had some issues with some T/A's using 'condemned' meat,  One such T/A a few years ago that I had never used before, ordered the Chicken Biryani and the overriding taste was Paraffin, which is used to try to prevent the meat returning to the food chain.  (Takeaway meal returned, refunded and reported, now closed).

We seem to have a growing number of 'meat processing' units on little industrial estates that can never be inspected because they are unregistered.  Some use dubious practices to try to circumvent the law, such as relabelling meat and chicken with expiry dates based on the date it was delivered to the butcher/meat packaging firm and not the date it was slaughtered on, like the recently shut down firm that had a meat processing factory in Exeter.

There have been many documentaries made about Trading Standards ordering meals described as Lamb but ending up being any but, a little like the Horse Meat scandal a few years ago and unfortunately, since there is no equivalent of the Advertising Standards Agency, other things too, such as 'Hawaiian' Pizza - Ham and Pineapple but the Ham is not pork but Turkey Ham although the word Turkey is excluded.
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Offline mickyp

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Re: How do you know when... they are better than average?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2019, 04:38 PM »
Like Phil and for the same reasons I always go for chicken, Lamb / mutton i cook at home.

Offline ELW

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Re: How do you know when... they are better than average?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2019, 10:42 PM »

Quote

wouldn't someone like Trading Standards be interested in being served something other than lamb when you order lamb....?

Yes, the Foods Standards Agency 'were' interested  and found lots of cheap cuts beef masquerading as mutton, masquerading as lamb in bir &  t/a across the large uk cities. A freedom of information request would be required to find if your local UK tested bogus, as no names were released to the public??
Unlike the recent poor hygiene reports of Glasgow restaurants, which named them all

ELW
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 11:08 PM by ELW »

Offline Stephen Lindsay

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Re: How do you know when... they are better than average?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2019, 10:03 PM »
A few years ago there was publicity in Scotland following an inspection by food standards agency which showed about 1 in 3 restaurants were serving beef instead of lamb, and there was a practice of beef being cooked in lamb stock to make it more lamb-like. In the main, I've tended to avoid ordering lamb since, except in establishments that I know to be reputable. Most recently I had a lamb dupiaza in London and it was definitely beef, not lamb.

I would agree with others that a Madras is a good benchmark for assessing a new outlet. However, I've pretty much avoided doing that these days, sticking to places I know where possible.
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Re: How do you know when... they are better than average?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2019, 07:07 AM »
In my preferred local BIR, the owner invariably explains "it will be mixed lamb/beef", when asked for a lamb <whatever>.  Sadly she is now cutting back to opening just one evening per week, because she is experiencing an increasing number of unpredictable falls.

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