Saturday, 5 September 2015

Review - Malabar Junction, Jose Pizarro

August has passed in a flurry and I forgot to post even though I've eaten out loads due to a mixture of work travelling and Edinburgh-fringing. But because I need to keep my SEO ^^^ I'm splitting out the posts and giving each a theme. I will try to cast myself back to the time of eating for the first paragraph. The first of those posts is on Malabar Junction and Jose Pizarro, two meals that I ate about three weeks ago. The overall feeling of three weeks ago was fresh and vulnerable and chaotic, juggling work with doing scrabbling around with scraps of paper to frantically do sums when I haven't done any arithmetic for two years. Between spinning plates, I went to Malabar Junction with a friend who I barely have time to see since the working world sucked up both our lives. (Side note: I have a new favourite book which is just ON POINT with capturing modern corporate culture, everyone should read The Mark and the Void, I love Paul Murray, he is my new favourite person that I've never met.)

I've unfairly categorised curry into two camps: that which I would not describe as curry strictly that my family cook and that you get from a takeaway. Both delicious, if in different ways. This has completely neglected all the other types of subcontinent curry there are. Malabar Junction is South Indian and I imagine even there alone has hundreds of varieties to which I've failed to give any thought. Which is a shame, as the Keralan mutton curry I had was EXQUISITE and played my palate like MJ on a dance floor. My only criticism is that seeing so much sauce wasted makes me sad.
The following day, I went to Jose Pizarro for the leaving lunch of a colleague. (Side note: this is the same colleague that started a woefully unsympathetic conversation about refugees trying to make their way over to the UK and I just sat there, biting my tongue and contemplating whether it makes me morally culpable to stay quiet rather than challenging.) The basics, pan con tomate and padron peppers demonstrated nicely how (depressingly) there really is a difference in taste proportional to price between different tapas bars. Ditto for the croquettes. The spinach and pine nut empanada was actually a bit limp and reminded me of wetness. The lamb with olive oil mash was nicely cooked and had that crisp fattiness to it - but it was nothing to write home about. The saffron and mushroom rice was similarly lacklustre. However, the basics were good enough that I'll return.

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