Arriving in Hull after a busy day in Manchester, having completed a 100km cycle (with 5 massive hills), gone to town and had lunch with an old friend and taking a 2.5 hour train, I was understandably shattered. Chowki was close to my colleagues’ home in the Avenues which was a boon. We ate well and were impressed by the level of service, at times being waited on by two different waiters. The only disappointing aspect of the evening was the fog horn Hullean leviathan a few tables away from us whose loud-some grunts and squeals permeated the entire restaurant. While Hull is an underrated city, the same cannot be said for some of its populace.
We ordered two starters and two mains. The first starter was on the Indo-Chinese menu, this was the chilli pork. They did not have any ribs but had only the chilli pork in stock which was fine by us. You will note the photograph above is not pork but paneer, which was the second starter. The initial photograph was blurry so I did not attach it. The pork was delightful, on the sweeter side of chilli with a great kick. It was cooked well and was as plentiful as the above picture. The paneer chilli fry dry was delightful as well. Paneer has this rubbery texture which I enjoy enormously. The spice level was balanced and the value was hard to deny given the portion size.
I believe the above was Nick’s dish which was the Railway Lamb Curry, so called because it was once cooked by the chefs working on the Indian railways in the 1900s, presumably in India. Lamb on the bone gives loads of flavour to this spicy dish. The main spices are ginger, garlic, turmeric and coconut milk, curry leads, coriander seeds, fennel and cumin seeds as well as Kashmiri chilli. From Nick’s satisfied hums and rhythmic foot taps, I can tell that he enjoyed the dish. I found the small morsel which was offered was highly flavourful, beautifully cooked and the texture was excellent.
Finally, I had the South Indian garlic chicken, a classic Indian take away dish. It is not clear form my research whether this is a staple dish in India or whether this is a dish made for the less sophisticate British palate but it was divine non the less. This dish is made up of garlic, ginger root, cumin seeds, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric and green chillies. This was just superlative. With the pilau rice it was just great, soft flavours, chicken which melted in the mouth and a good level of spice, as well as a large portion size. This was a winning meal. We also had some naan bread which is pictured below.
Overall this was a superb meal, in a good location, which was economical and had great portions. Hopefully you shall visit on a quieter night than Nick and I did.