Pride of India, Glenelg

date of visit:  Sat 28 Aug 2010

With our dinner at the Yakumi well and truly stymied, our group of six was left to wander the streets of Glenelg looking for food.  At around 8pm on a Saturday night.  The Glenelg BBQ Inn, which would have been our natural fall back, was packed. Everyone was grumpy (some more than others) and people were getting thirsty.

As curry usually keeps everyone happy we headed down the road to the Pride of India to try our luck. We were lucky, in that they could accommodate six – taking the restaurant to approximately half full. Frankly, that’s about where the luck ran out …

It soon became apparent there was something wrong … I’m going to be kind and suggest that the restaurant had been left in the lurch by staff calling in sick. There appeared to be two ‘proper’ waiters – a man and a woman who were both wearing a uniform, and one of whom clearly knew what was going on. There seemed to be two other ‘waiters’ who had been drafted in. I suspect they may have been delivery drivers, given their very casual dress, and, in the case of one, absolute cluelessness about front of house restaurant service.

I do genuinely feel sorry for those dropped in a professional situation for which they are ill-equipped. However, I also feel sorry for me, when I’m at a restaurant and my waiter REALLY is Manuel of Fawlty Towers fame. So, drinks were ordered by pointing to pictures of beers on the menu. Our bottle of sparkling wine arrived and was placed on the table unopened. In some circumstances we’d have been worried about the grubby fingerprints all over our glasses, but we had to get that bottle open first …

As you might expect, the food ordering process was pretty shambolic. Our group tried to keep it as simple as possible but moments later the waitress (who knew what was going on) had to return to our table to clarify our meal: clearly the delivery driver cum waiter hadn’t been briefed on how to take an order.

So – service-wise, I’m sure you get the picture. Things did improve slightly as the meal progressed but there are obviously some very serious staffing issues at the Pride of India.

All of our food did arrive, and as ordered. The main courses were far superior to the entrées, which we mostly found to be a little unexciting. My mixed pakora was OK, but a touch salty and certainly nothing to rave about. Salty seemed to be a common complaint around the table.

Main courses were much better. I chose the dal gosht – lamb and lentils, along with a bhatura (deep fried bread … how can you go wrong? While I definitely enjoyed my main more than my entrée, I’m not such a fan of the use of kidney beans in dal and a hungry eater might complain that the portion was a little light on meat. For me, it was pretty much the perfect size.

Other main courses ordered included the tandoori lamb chops, the hot Malayalee prawns and the lamb nawabi. Everyone was in agreement that their main courses were superior to the starters … but no one was convinced that the experience was worth the effort. As I’ve mentioned of the Taj Tandoor, curry in a restaurant just can’t be ho-hum. While I can’t vouch for the authenticity of any curries made in our household, I do know that they’ll be tasty, the meat will be tender and the meal will be cheap. If I’m paying $20 for a main course, I need to feel that somewhere along the way, something is being value added. And I’m not talking about comedy service.

The evening wrapped up, costing just under $50 a head. Unsurprisingly, we were in the restaurant quite a while, so I wouldn’t recommend Pride of India for a quick meal. In fact, I’d only recommend it for potential comedy value …

Comedy service, average curry

The food just wasn’t good enough to make up for the amateur service …

Rating:2.0 stars

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