May 11 - The Spicery, Irchester

So, this months visit for the Curry Club was to a new establishment in Irchester. The Spicery hasn't been around for long and is still offering an opening special. As usual Bill had done some negotiating to enable us to take advantage of the deal on our usual Thursday night. Most of the gang left the church car park and made a way along the short journey for the nights eating pleasure. When we arrived the main man was hanging around outside ready to greet us. One of the first things Mohamed said was "Can I join the club!". We've never had a host ask us that question, so we were caught off side a bit. Of course we are open to anyone coming along and joining in.

We were seated in the small but clean restaurant and spaced out nicely. We waited until a few of the guys turned up and then we were all in and ready. It should be said, as some of the members didn't realise, the Spicery does not sell alcohol. You are of course welcome to pop to the local shop, buy your own and take it in. Our drinks orders (cokes, juice, tap water and Lassi) were taken. Now the deal is like this, you pay one price and then you can order as many items as you can eat. Sounds fair to us curry eaters. However, this is not a buffet with everything cooked and ready to troff. We ordered starters and then got on with talking. Some of the drinks were late arriving, but no big issue.

Now they say, or someone said anyway, that you should never discuss religion or politics. Well, as many of us had been down to vote for numerous things in the day, the obvious discussion ensued. Now Swiss Pete, not being English on account that he is Swiss, which is why we call him Swiss Pete and not because he has a passion for Swiss Rolls, though he may have and I just don't know. Where was I, oh yes, Swiss Pete had strong opinions on the old AV (to me that's Anti-Virus, but I gather it stood for alternative vote) which differed from those around him. So a reasonable discussion was had. So you either vote for a process that enables minority groups to have an impact on the end result, that will cost the tax payer a lot of money and is generally not understood by the populous or you vote the right way. There, sorted. Then of course we have the odd discussion about religion. But neither of these discussions had the best impact. It was sport that took the headline on one table. It came to light that Tony and Colin support what one could say are strong rivals football teams. Tony, being born and brought up around Chelsea, supports the club of his childhood. Colin, being touched by the Munich air disaster supports Manchester United. Both reasonable reasons for supporting a specific football club. Now it would be too easy and unfair of me to abuse my editorial control of this blog to sound off about one of the teams. So I won't. Instead I'll mention the fact that we all agreed that football is being spoilt by what is maybe the majority of supporters now. I'm not just talking about the mindless thugs that go just to cause trouble. I'm including the so called parents that encourage or allow their kids to use abusive language and signs while sitting in the family seats. Why can't supporters of opposing clubs just sit next to each other and enjoy the game? I know the players on the pitch are using every tactic to cheat by rolling around on the floor as though they have been stabbed, or tripping over their own feet and claiming it was the 4 and half feet long leg of the defended that caught them. But at the end of the day, they all do it, they all get away with some stuff and all get caught with others. So it's a level playing field as it were. Lets just watch the game, get annoyed with the players, enjoy the players, get annoyed with the ref when he plays 16 mins added time when there was one small stoppage - or is that just at Man U games when Man U are losing? Oops I'm sorry. Yes Chelsea get their fair share with the odd goal or two that appear not to cross the line. Anyway enough rambling, so what was the food like at the Spicery?

Well, the quality of the food was excellent and reflected in the high score of 4.6 out of 5! However, as anyone knows quality food takes time to prepare and this means waiting. Now, those that know the curry club members know that they don't like a long wait. One of the things at the Spicery that was obvious was that the guys were waiting for us to finish before considering whether we wanted anything else to try. This meant that after a reasonable wait for the starters, we also waited a considerable to for the main course. Then when we finished it, we sort of thought, do we want to wait another long time to try something different. Mohamed did come and ask us, after we had finished whether we wanted to try something else, and as we had paid for a kind of buffet, we ordered another sharing dish. Again the quality was excellent.

The general feeling was that instead of taking individual orders from everyone, we should have ordered a few dishes and then once they had come out and been half eaten, ordered some other dishes. This way there would have been a steady stream of different dishes to try. Something to think about. I do have to say that the variety of dishes on offer is fantastic, with ... wait for it, curry pizza's!! We must go and get one from the takeaway menu that they have.

So to the scoring, the quality and quantity got good scores. The staff ( which includes speed of service) didn't do so well. But that's the price you pay for quality. Ambience got a reasonable score as did price. The final score was 21.3, which puts the Spicery mid table. A good effort for this new establishment. I'm sure that if the items mentioned are taken on board, the score will go up and who knows there is a very real chance of topping the leader board some time.

Before I end, we must just mention 2 specific curry club members who were not with us due to illness. We hope they both return to full health to enjoy another curry with us.

As usual the opinions expressed here are entirely personal and represent 13 blokes views on the night. So until next month, curry on with out us.

Mar 11 - Eastern Spice, Irthlingborough

Who would have believed at the turn of the 3rd millennium there would be such a fight for the top spot at the mission curry club - well the heat is on.The M.C.C. went to Eastern Spice in Irthlingborough and it's a pleasure to be the collateral damage in this war, (well I'm running out of rennies)!

Let me explain, with only .03 of a mark between Cafe Bangla and Eastern Spice that is close! It's not a perfect system of marking, and it is very subjective, but that's the joy of it, it's what we individually think, collectively.

So to the evening. It was a cold night, and we had to park some distance away - therefore it was a pleasant surprise that a warm curry house awaited us. A very small foyer (double doors, to keep in heat, good idea) was let down by the fact that two big men and fluff (the shorty one) were almost trapped in there ( I could imagine Paul and I having to hold fluff above our heads so we could open the second door as the first had closed behind us).

Eastern Spice has recently been decorated to a modern contemporary design, a well stocked bar to your left as you enter,and again we were sat at one long table, this is fine but if you sit in the middle you won't hear what is being talked about at the ends.

Thursday is their normal banquet night. Any starter, any main, any side dish between two, (I found that really annoying), rice or nan, coffee.£8.95.

I had momo to start very nice, made a wrap with the flaky bread and momo, and made a mess over me. Still that's what washing machines are for. Then Murgh Dil Bahar, yummy until a green chili would have vaporised my tonsils if I had any, this for me, just made it better. Now to the side dish. Colin was looking at me as if to say, we can share a side dish. OK let me explain, I don't like vegetables and I now I hear Colin say some thing about cauliflower AH! Quickly I buddy up with Paul and say "Ian likes cauliflower Colin". Haven't a clue if he does or not, as long as I don't have to eat something I don't like.(Child hood story). Paul and I had Chana Masala.

The coffee at the end was good, but if you want a cup (may have been pot can't remember) of tea be prepared to take out a bank mortgage, £1.90 wow U.C.B.S.

Now to the chat, as I have said I was in the middle of the table, so I can only refer to the things said around me. Fluff had to get out new phone to phone wife. Really bad etiquette, just showing off. But a big discussion about Rushden and what's going on with the town, i.e. what is moving into the Oakley pub? Possible relocation of reptile shop, more wild life along Wellingborough road. And what's going on along Bedford road, car park, flats, shop, all were suggested. Not to mention Tescos. I think people had a positive feel about changes, like a least something is happening in our town ,but we need infrastructure on the housing estate on Bedford road.

One story was a man who complained that his son insured his car for £180. Now to me that sounds rather cheap, and therefore worrying. Perhaps because of the gaiety of the evening, or that he is now retired (and brain goes sleepy byes) Keith tried to order Bamboo Aloo (this was obviously a side dish for him and his Panda).

Colin eventually gets his meal, this is not to say that we were waiting for food, no the service was very good, just that Colin saw everybody else eating and WHERE WAS HIS FOOD?

Restaurants were mentioned, Wagamama, Rat n Parrot, all in MK.

Must say about Tom's birthday, happy 18th Tom. A big event in the M.C.C. Tom can now buy US a drink YES!! His mum got him a Top Gear cake ah. Stig on top ah.

So all in all a very good evening. I should just say that Tony and I had a long talk about voting system that we have. Although I can't agree with him he may have a point.

Next time at the Chapel I think, so those who like to eat Chinese, fish and chips or any of the food outlets that are around the church would have a chance of coming. No excuses not to be social!!

One final point .... the score, wait for it ...... a brilliant 23.72!!!
Bye, Bill the organiser

Feb 11 - Joytun, Raunds

Finding the place was no easy thing it’s set back from the road a bit and a strange shop in front of it, (it had something to do with clothes I think (I didn't like to look to closely) and I was getting hungry.

The place is well set out bar as you enter tables to your right and a large fish tank set into the rear wall. Don't remember seeing any fish though (perhaps they were on the menu yesterday). Having done a deal with them on the price two weeks earlier, (curry club members know what I mean) possibly there may be trouble ahead.

But no, good as their word, deal ok even chef specials, which included lamb shank not often seen on menus.

I went for chicken chat starter very nice. Chicken Madras, Bombay aloo, and keema naan it was all really nice, not special but nice (somewhere you would take the wife to). Allen sitting next to me had green chilly chicken as his main course I know I have a problem about eating things that are green but that was to much for me, I was coached into eating a small portion (a very small portion) and yes I am right leaving green things alone. Can’t say much about what went on talk wise I was at one end of a long table. I did get into the four Yorkshire men sketch with Paul but it was about scars and stitches (you know what I mean, "you think that's a scar when they stitched my arm back" yes you know how it went) mind you I could not compete with a story about his brother, my eyes are watering even now.

Didn't have a beer, staying off alcohol, seems to give me headache ,and I don't drink much anyway.

So, anyway to the scoring, Ambience scored 3.9, Quantity scored 4.8, Quality scored 4.6, Price scored 4.4 and staff received 3.6. This gave a total of 21.3

Bill the organiser.

Jan 11 - Fordham Arms, Sharnbrook

A return to a favourite for us to begin the New Year. Well I don't have much to say here as we are still trying to get back on track with the blog. However, what can be said that hasn't already. This is a fantastic pub to get a curry in, the other meals are great too. The chef really loves his cooking and pulls out all the stops for us.

I'll just jump straight to the score shall I ..... 23.3!!! Oh so close to a new record for all establishments we have visited. Of course they seta new record for the pub league.

Well done guys a great result.

Dec 10 - Bangla Cafe, Rushden

TBC when I ask the lads if they can remember the score.

Nov 10 - TBC

The lads need to help me here and confirm where we went and if we know the score :-)

Oct 10 - TBC

The lads need to help me here and confirm where we went and if we know the score :-)

Sep 10 -TBC

The lads need to help me here and confirm where we went and if we know the score :-)

Aug 10 - Fusion, Northampton

Despite Bills directions we all found our way to Fusion in Northampton for this months curry club. In attendance were;

Ian (rev), Jim, Bill, Tom, Alan, Phil, Paul, Colin M, Alan P, Alan B, Julian, Adrian and Ian T.

As well as a restaurant Fusion also has a nightclub situated on the ground floor. It was quickly decided that as there were no takers for dancing we would make our way straight up to the restaurant located on both the first and second floors. On arrival we noticed that the restaurant was ominously empty (maybe they heard we were coming?), that was until we were taken upstairs and found that in fact the place was heaving!

Fusion is an all-u-can-eat self-service buffet incorporating many different styles of food including; Italian, Indian and Chinese. You could take your pick from a selection of starters, mains and desserts (or should that be deserts!?!) in any order you like! So basically we all got up and helped ourselves to as much as we could cram onto our plates!

Tom complained that his plate wasn’t big enough and went back for several rounds more - he later admitted that he is attempting to take on Nathan’s (we still miss you) mantle as the human dustbin. The usual random chat ensued over dinner notably; about half-way through the meal Bill announced that Ian was a decent chap – for a vicar. An image Ian went on to tarnish slightly when he revealed that following a return to Victorian values he was looking for a small child to sweep the manse chimney. The burning question of the evening (and possibly the next day) was ‘what is the difference between a korma and a royal korma?’(– any answers on a postcard to Bill please).

Clearly we couldn’t complain about the speed of service – you have only yourself to blame if your food arrives slowly at a self-service buffet. Although crowded Fusion felt really spacious and we had plenty of room to navigate around the table. The only minor incident of the night came when one of our number discovered a broken toilet an issue that was swiftly dealt with by the staff who apologised for our inconvenience .

Fusion scored as follows;

Quality 4.31, Quantity 5, Price 4.31, Ambiance 4.23, Staff 3.48

Total Score: 21.43

Not a top scorer but a respectable result nevertheless.

As usual all opinions expressed are entirely our own and are reflective of our experiences on the evening.

Till next month ……………….

July 10 - TBC

The lads need to help me here and confirm where we went and if we know the score :-)