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Restaurant review: The U n I

The taxi driver is back, possibly for the last time after this, locked in a curtained cubicle for a curry. Fat Git reports...

Published on January 14th 2010.

Restaurant review: The U n I

IT has been a while since I have enjoyed a good hand-pull, so last week it was time to put that right.

And while The Fly in the Loaf says it's the best in Liverpool for this, I think The Dispensary's cask ales win every time.

In some situations, I am made to feel different because of my size, but not in the Dispensary. There are many men of considerable girth in Liverpool and I am happy to count myself among them.

One half may be keeping the seats and the tills warm in Piccolino every night. Others, like me, sometimes want nothing more than to stare into a quiet pint of Black Sheep. Woman in tow, optional.

Yet I haven't seen much of Pauline for a bit, or you readers for that matter. Why? Because I have been hard at it on the rank, and on the bimble. These are credit crunched times, and even though I have been on incapacity benefit for 16 years, a man has got to earn an honest crust. I have therefore been working all the collars God sends, even doing early morning special needs runs for Barry's Taxis.

It paid off, and last week, with a ton of readies in one hand, and my Wobbly Bob in the other, I turned off the engine, and turned on the phone to text this ravishing creature from Litherland. Was she doing anything?

An hour later she was there. She had dropped everything, just as I had hoped she would, and the minute she walked into the bar of the Renshaw Street pub I could feel my loins stir.

Unfortunately, it's been like this ever since Pauline got the sack from the colonic irrigation clinic. Up till then, I had enjoyed a “friends and family” perk - and in my sedentary job, it's not only the cab that frequently hits gridlock.

Time then, for nature to take a tube-clearing turn. The essences of Renshaw Street drifted in, and a hot curry beckoned. "U n I," I told her. She threw back her head and cackled, reminding me of why she and her rubber syphons bewitch me so and how I adore her.

The Stone Roses were playing when we got there. Not the Indian Stone Roses who were on at the Summer Pops last year, but the real ones. Otherwise, the U n I, which is actually called The Cubical Restaurant, is very traditional Indian. It's called Cubical because the place is one long alley lined with curtained booths and your own set of lights in each one, which you can switch on or off at will. A bit like the Fairway, except that has a heater as well.

It is like they are encouraging you, and Pauline was quick to pull the curtains closed and tuck into the dry and crisp poppadoms and pickles which were fresh and endless (£1.50). That's why I like this place. You get loads. It's not posh or trendy, but a bogstandard curry house, if you get what I mean. A pint of Kingfisher down her (£4.90) and the queen of the flush was turning bright red and roaring with laughter.

As red, in fact, as the King Prawn Butterfly and Puri (£4.50) which consisted of massive tiger prawns encased in a fritter batter that was so vivid it would put the Kop's colours to shame.

It might put some people off, it might scare them, but not me. Texture wise

the batter was excellent. The big, juicy prawns were cooked perfectly and the unleavened puri bread was light, delicious and puffy as a pensioner's ankle.

Pauline fared less well with her starter of stuffed mushrooms (£3.75). filled with minced vegetables and spices.

However, I realised a long time ago that, where food is concerned, Pauline, like a lot of you, does not have a clue what she is talking about. She complained that these mushrooms were lacking in flavour. Unlike the third pint of Kingfisher she was necking. So I had them and thought they were perfectly fine. I was paying, after all.

Onto the mains and lamb sagwalla (£7.95) caught my eye. I had had a disappointing and tough lamb curry a few doors down, the week before, in the Samrat, a place that is normally OK, but this one put all the wrongs to right. Tender as anything in a rich, deeply spicy curry sauce, which I asked them to notch up to madras strength, there was plenty of spinach for the ticker and I had no problem polishing off every bit. Yummy!

Across the table I could not take my eyes off Pauline's two large breasts of chicken. As part of Naz's Special (£9.95) they had been stuffed with lemon, garlic, ginger and fresh coriander. There were also creamy potatoes in a light curry sauce and pillau rice to go with them. It was quite massive.

Pauline was starting to ramble about horoscopes and tarot, so when she went to the toilets, about a mile a way, I am ashamed to say I could not stop myself from devouring the lot. I mean she'd only have left it. As good an Indian dish as you'll find anywhere, apart from the lacklustre side salad, which I don't suppose anyone seriously thinks about eating anyway, and I surveyed my kingdom of empty plates contentedly.

I had been hoping for a night of gorging and passion and gorging, and as the star of the North End clattered down the corridor and pulled those curtains back, staring at me with a twinkle in her one good eye, I suspected that there would be more than one kind of special needs run in the morning.

Indeed the next afternoon, when Pauline said she was willing to give the thumbs up, I told her there was no longer any need.

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it; 6-9 get a DVD; 10-11 if you must; 12-13 if you’re passing;14-15 worth a trip;16-17 mostly very good; 17-18 exceptional; 19 pure quality; 20 perfect. More than 20: Don't be daft

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Billy The FishMay 22nd 2009.

According to my mate on the Nelson St rank, it's not the first time Git's had the thumbs up.

Cock au VinMay 22nd 2009.

My friend once had an excitable Jack Russell that used to surprise visitors with something very similar as it tried to give you a loving embrace.

Wavy GravyMay 22nd 2009.

I have never had a bad meal in the U n I and the scores are quite accurate. It's always good value and they have the formula quite right.

Al E. BrownMay 22nd 2009.

Black Sheep? Wobbly Bob? What's all this about? Surely Fat Git, like all taxi drivers, is a lagerboy; and one who sucks urinous American stuff straight from the bottle at that!

Stanley StreetMay 22nd 2009.

This place was trading with the same sign up outside when I was a short-trousered schoolboy in 1969. It's certainly got staying power, everything else in that area has long gone.

Fat Git's been left in chargeMay 22nd 2009.

Sorry curry mile. Could you please repost. I was having a furtle in the back office.

GordoMay 22nd 2009.

What on God's green earth are those big red things? They look frightening, indedible and downright dangerous

Miss PMay 22nd 2009.

Would Git would be interested in taking me out for a game of footsie under the table next time Pauline is indisposed with her rubber syphons? I can do next week, but better the week after.

poppadoomMay 22nd 2009.

£4.90 for a pint of kingfisher!!??? That is NOT a bog standard curry house!

AnonymousMay 22nd 2009.

This is by far the best Indian I have had! It's so tasty, although the place looks a bit tired now (could do with a lick of paint) the food is georgous, the service is fab and you get your money's worth!

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