Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Methi, Childwall Valley Rd, Liverpool

Good eateries are like buses- you wait ages for one and then a load turn up, springing up like mushrooms in Woolton Woods! Liverpool's Childwall Fiveways is a prime example of this phenomenon. 10 years ago, the main focal point of this area was the uninspiring but supposedly upmarket Owens, flanked by the Peking Garden Chinese that rested on its laurels and two takeaways (pretty good ones, mind you). Fast forward to the present day and there is now the glitzy Spiceways, the revamped Chinese, a Turkish place and a brand spanking new Indian takeaway, Methi. A night in for the Vindaloo Queen it was then, purely for research purposes.

I ordered their £16.90 meal deal and added an additional Pilau rice for £1.60, splitting the meal 3 ways. Starters included 2 popadoms, 4 onion Bhajis and a Sheek Kebab for the carnivores. The popadoms were crisp and survived the 15 minute walk from the Fiveways, the accompaniments to the pops staying fresh. The pop accompaniments consisted of the old faves- minty onions, mango chutney and a yogurt based dip, which I then dunked the bite sized bhajis in. The bhajis were the perfect consistency- fleshy, not greasy, cooked to perfection as opposed to burnt to a cinder, a simple touch which most takeaways cannot master but Methi does to a T.

After my Dubai- induced curry exhaustion, I eschewed Vindaloo, Madras and anything with Aloo in the title for a long-lost favourite I hadn't seen in years, the much-underrated Vegetable Pathia. Pathias are perfect for Vindaloo Queens and Kings who want to bring the spices down a notch, and Madras lovers who want something potent but with a bit more of an inmaginative edge. Pathia is a hot and sour curry, but don't compare it with that old Chinese fave Hot and Sour soup. This is curry at its finest, rich with an intricate blend of spices and Methi pulls it off with finesse. Packed to the brim with fresh veg and not a tinned carrot in sight, this was a meal and a half. Pathia, you have been sorely missed. While I was enjoying veggie perfection, the carnivores were tucking in to Lamb Sondia, an equally spicy dish perfect for fans of Tikka Masala and Jalfrezi. On hand to extinguish the flames was a Vegetable Bhaji. Not to be confused with an onion bhaji, this mild curry packed with fresh veg is great to alternate a raging hot curry with. Needless to say, the pilau and plain naan were top notch as well. A quality takeaway at a decent price. Fingers crossed that Methi open a restaurant someday too!

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Hi Vindaloo Kings and Queens!