At this time of year, reaching Friday evening in one piece is increasingly something of an achievement. And how better to celebrate the advent of two whole days off than with the resurrection of Girls’ Curry Night? This used to be a regular event, a gathering of some of the most brilliant female minds in Manchester, coming together in a meeting of ferocious intellect in order to solve the world’s problems. And drink wine.
The premise is a simple one, subject to the following conditions:
- you have to be a girl in order to attend
- you have to like drinking wine in my living room whilst sampling an assortment of nibbles and laughing in a ribald manner
- you have to like curry.
Obviously, in this tricky period following GreyGate I should perhaps be wary of opening myself up to charges of sexism; in fact, Mr Liz is whining about inequality at this very moment, pointing out that he satisfies two of the three conditions for Girls’ Curry Night but is unable – through no fault of his own – to fulfil the first. Still, what can I do? The clue is in the name; it’s not called Girls’ Oh But A Few Boys Are Allowed As Well I Suppose Curry Night, and with very good reason. This is an evening where boys are allowed to act as chauffeurs, admire our shoes, and then leave.
Last night’s Girls’ Curry Night was a triumphant affair, with several ladies showing exceptional bravery in the face of illness, adversity and tooth ache. Our venue of choice was Khandoker, who were clearly delighted by the arrival of so many merry ladies at their family-friendly restaurant, and also perceptively spotted that several of us were dangerously undernourished, despite the array of nibbles thoughtfully provided chez Liz; at any rate, the piles of poppadoms they brought us reached pretty much to the ceiling.
Mr Khandoker himself brought our wine. I have always said he is a fine fellow, and once he had poured our wine and retreated we noticed – and this is nothing to do with me – that my wine glass was a giant amongst minnows, towering over its miniature brethren, boasting of its ability to hold twice as much wine as any of the others. Remember Alan Partridge’s Big Plate? This was Liz’s Big Glass – bravo, Mr Khandoker.
The food was exceptional, as ever. Starters included Tandoori Chicken, Lamb Tikka, Meat Somosa and Onion Bhaji in generously sized portions; indeed, some of the ladies had to leave a little of their side salad in order to save space and calories. Turned out were wise to save room for the mains, which included a fantastically spicy King Prawn Jalfrezi, Kakri Chicken with melt-in-the-mouth aubergines, and - best of all - Esa Palong, king prawns nestling seductively in a come-hither bed of really very good for you spinach.
Just as well I ate all those vegetables – I was unable to enjoy my usual power walk home as a helpful boy belonging to one of the ladies was obligingly waiting in the car park ready to give lifts. And before men across Britain rise up and lynch me, I must point out that whilst my husband may indeed have brought me tea in bed both last night and this morning, I am very busy this morning doing chores. At least, I will be once I’ve finished writing this, promise.
- Khandoker is at 812 Kingsway, East Didsbury, Manchester M20 5WY, tel 0161 434 3596.