I so very nearly blew my top with this one.
Just imagine, there I was preparing myself yesterday morning, getting psyched up and ready for the arduous journey ahead. I got tooled up with the biggest marrow I could find down the allotment for protection, I strap a secret wallet around my waist to hide valuables and lace up my biggest pair of bovver boots. I then spend a good half hour staring in the mirror repeating "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talking... you talking to me?!" over and over again. And then Helen of Food Stories texts me in a panic and says that she's left the Curry Goat at home, leaving me thinking that this week's WMPC was off. I mean look, didn't she know how difficult it was going to be for me to go south of the river, especially to Camberwell of all places? It was just as well that she lived down the road from where she worked and could nip back home to collect my dinner otherwise there would have been hell to pay.
I jest of course, I had no problem at all with jumping on the train to meet Helen in Sarf London, it's all part of the great adventure that is WMPC. Actually I like to think it highlights my commitment to the cause. Make the offer of a good meal and I will always go the extra mile (Penge being the exception, I will never go to Penge). And speaking of which, I was very grateful that Helen went the extra mile because her curry was absolutely knockout.
I've eaten a few Jamaican staples plenty of times before such as Ackee and Saltfish and Jerk Chicken but this was the first time I've ever had Curry Goat. By her own admission, Helen wasn't entirely sure that it was goat but quite possibly mutton, as by all accounts it is often sold as a substitute in the butchers i.e. "mutton for goat". Still, that was ok as I don't think I've tried mutton before either. The meat was fairly strong in flavour like lamb but didn't actually taste of lamb, if that makes any sense and it was fantastically tender, it really did melt in the mouth. This was obviously a dish that Helen took her time over. The best part though was the spicy hot rich sauce. You know I said that I nearly blew my top, well in fact I did, in the most pleasurable way possible. With the scotch bonnet chillies pushing up the barometer on the scoville scale, it did test my capacity for hotness somewhat, causing the old bonce to sweat a bit but I made it through. Given the intensity of heat, there was a healthy whack of lime in the background which added a certain tang and the peas and rice with the addition of coconut milk gave a nice cool contrast.
For the exchange I handed over an unfeasibly large marrow, the one that I planned to use for self-protection, a bag of peas and a small pot of jam (strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant made by my father) all produced from the allotment. I get the impression that Helen plans to make some rum with the marrow through some strange alchemic process, a gin-soaked idea if ever I've heard one but if she's successful, I for one will not be handing out any more marrows for WMPC.
It'll be Food Urchin's Own "Mount Gay" and Curry Goat all the way for me I can tell you.
Cafe Murano, Mayfair
2 years ago