Tastebuds tickled by curry in a hurry outing

HOT SERVICE: Owners George Francis, with some butter chicken and naan bread, and his son Peter Francis, with mutton bunnychow, at The Hungry Peter, in the Boardwalk. PHOTOGRAPH: BRIAN WITBOOI,
HOT SERVICE: Owners George Francis, with some butter chicken and naan bread, and his son Peter Francis, with mutton bunnychow, at The Hungry Peter, in the Boardwalk. PHOTOGRAPH: BRIAN WITBOOI,

WHEN I say The Hungry Peter’s samoosas are fit for royalty, I actually have information to back this up.

Co-owner of the Boardwalk’s curry nook, Peter Francis is a third-generation chef, who has over 35 years’ experience in the culinary arts, and has cooked for diplomats and politicians, including former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

His son and co-owner, George, has been whipping up mouth watering curries and samoosas for the past seven years.

The North Indian takeaway joint opened at the Boardwalk in November and has since grown in popularity.

George is usually spotted behind the counter and is quick to welcome patrons with his dashing smile.

Although The Hungry Peter predominantly caters for takeaways, there are a few tables inside and outside the restaurant for those wanting to sit down for a quick bite to eat.

On Tuesday evening, hubby and I popped in for what turned out to be a very pleasant experience. Because it had been a long day at the office, we opted for a takeaway.

From the moment an order is placed, curries take about 20 minutes to be served up.

It would have been nice to sit down and enjoy a drink while waiting, but The Hungry Peter does not serve alcoholic beverages. They do, however, have a vast selection of cooldrinks.

I decided on the corn and cheese mini samoosas to start (five for R10), while hubby opted for the reasonably priced large mince samoosa (R6).

We both enjoyed this tremendously and scoffed it down in minutes.

We agreed that the pastry was crisp and thin enough to enjoy the flavourful contents oozing out when we bit into our samoosas.

For a main we chose to share a variety of curries which included a mild chicken briyani (R49.95), chicken korma (R54.95) and a medium mutton roganjosh (R54.95). All dishes, which range between mild to hot, are served with a generous portion of rice, unless otherwise specified.

This was all lapped up with butter naan bread (R19.90).

While the briyani and roganjosh – suggested by George – were perfectly suited to our taste buds, the chicken korma was a bit disappointing. While I prefer my curries on the mild side, the korma lacked that curry flavour I craved. In fact, it tasted more like butter chicken.

On the up side, the portions were generous and the rice was fresh and cooked to perfection.

While the briyani was a little on the dry side, the flavourful portion was so big, we battled to finish it.

We both agreed that the dish of the night was the mutton roganjosh. The meat was juicy and so tender it literally fell off the bone. The generous source was complimented by the fresh naan bread, which was easily of the best I have tasted in Port Elizabeth.

Curries are cooked in a specialised tandoori oven.

The heat for a tandoori oven is traditionally generated by a charcoal or wood fire. This exposes the food to a mixture of heat directly from the fire, and smoking from the fat and food juices that drip onto the charcoal. Temperatures in the tandoori reach up to 480°C, and is one of the oldest cooking methods in the world.

The Hungry Peter is strictly halaal and offers a variety of vegetarian dishes as well.

The Hungry Peter can be contacted on (041)583-5922 – Kathryn Kimberley

 

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