I don’t know how, why or when I decided on this particular tradition in my life but, for years now, whenever I have something worth celebrating I order Indian cuisine.
Perhaps it’s because it’s my favourite meal, or maybe it’s because I don’t order it too often so it’s a fine treat.
So when my partner and I reached our anniversary, it went without saying that we’d be ordering from our favourite restaurant, Wild Ginger.
Set on the city’s Union Street, Wild Ginger has built up quite the popular reputation, and it’s easy to understand why.
The service, for example, is always – in my experience – more than sufficient.
Polite, friendly and keen to assist in any way they can, I’ve never had a bad word to say about the place.
On this occasion, Wild Ginger once again did not disappoint.
After placing my order over the phone, the waiter told me I would be able to collect it from the door of the restaurant within half an hour.
“Perfect,” I thought. Not too long to wait at all.
Right on time, we arrived at 6.30pm and a staff member handed over our order, socially distanced, of course.
My partner and I hurried back home, desperate for the burst of flavours which we knew were guaranteed to come.
Between us we’d ordered two mains, a side, a bread, popadums and some dips. As Indian cuisine can be very filling, we decided to err on the side of caution.
For my main event I’d opted for my favourite dish, vegetable tikka masala with pilau rice. My expectations were high and, thankfully, my reliable choice of Wild Ginger did not let me down.
Mild spices were captured in the creamy masala sauce which was bursting with rich flavour. Cooked with fresh cream, the sauce had also been prepared with almonds which gave it an air of nuttiness.
Loaded with vegetables including green beans, peas, carrots, tomatoes and so many more, the curry was far from lacking in texture and variety.
Not only did the masala taste great but it looked it too, with swirls of orange and red which I happily scooped up with forkfuls of fluffy pilau rice.
Also helping me soak up the delicious sauce was the coconut-flavoured peshwari naan which tore apart with ease.
Adding another texture to the mix was the popadums. I dipped those in the tangy mango chutney which my partner and I shared. The chutney had a chunky, spreadable consistency, and was a real mix of sweet and sour.
On the side, my partner and I shared saag bhajee – a spinach-based dish. In terms of spices, the side was quite tame. The bulk of the flavour came from the fried onions, while the spinach really just offered texture more than anything else.
It was a side neither my partner nor I had tried out before. It wasn’t the highlight of the meal, but it wasn’t bad either.
However, my partner had decided to try something new when it came to his main dish. He opted for the Wild Ginger balti special.
A real mix of incredible flavours, the main included chicken, lamb and prawn. Garnished with crunchy green peppers, the balti offered more spice than my masala.
The sauce was thick, rich and had been made using fresh herbs and exotic spices.
With each forkful a different combination of flavours swirled inside his mouth, from the tenderness of the chicken, to the distinct, mildly salty flavour of the prawns.
The lamb in the dish was a real highlight. Cooked to perfection, it had a smoked flavour and blended beautifully with the spicy sauce.
The spices of the sauce were mellowed by the neutral rice and fresh mint sauce.
Wild Ginger is a reliable choice time and time again in my experience. While the restaurant remains closed, takeaway is the only way to show the business some support, and I was only too happy to do so.
The dishes are exactly as they are described on the menu, delicious and fresh.
And while some Indian restaurants can sometimes be a little on the costly side, I always find Wild Ginger reasonably priced.
I look forward to diving into another meal from the Aberdeen restaurant again… most likely in summer when I celebrate the big 3-0.
To place an order for collection with Wild Ginger call 01224 581000. Orders can also be placed for home delivery via Deliveroo.