WHEN the Glasgow Times first started running takeaway reviews, I ordered a £16 lunch in the middle of the week, just for myself. Who does that?

It was near the end of the month, but I could claim it on expenses for this feature – something most people can’t do – and anyway, it was a bit of a laugh and a heck of a treat.

Yeah, I felt a tinge of embarrassment about doing something so ostentatiously extravagant, but I gulped that down with my lunch and forgot about it.

Looking back on that from here, three weeks into coronavirus lockdown, it’s a stark example of how much things have changed.

I’d imagine we all have these wee totemic memories. Maybe it’s a calendar reminder about an event that had been planned and is, like everything else, now cancelled. Maybe it’s an old photo cast up by social media that suddenly reminds you that you can’t go there, you can’t do that, not now.

In these new days of social isolation, social distancing, furloughs, pay cuts, anxiety and all-round uncertainty, who’d order a £16 lunch-for-one?

But, working and schooling from home like everyone else, I’m finding food is playing an ever-more important place in our lives – that wee sweetie packet that takes a bite out of boredom when you’ve no pals to play with, that biscuit and coffee scoffed in the five seconds of peace you’ve got before the next thing happens, the loaf of bread you managed to get from the corner shop, one of the last that was there.

In this climate, a Sunday night curry collected from your local takeaway feels like incredible luxury.

Opening the many aromatic parcels and trays ordered from Bishopton Tandoori this time – South Indian garlic chilli chicken, Indian vegetable karahi, pakoras, breads, korma for the kids –

I was struck by just how lucky we are not only to have the budget to pay for the excellent feed, but also for the effort put in by kitchens in small businesses still managing to operate during this crisis.

The karahi sauce has always been rich, the pakora batter crunchy, the rice fluffy and naan well-fired, but I’m not sure I’d ever really appreciated it as much before.

It meant more than just a meal. It was a taste of normality in far from normal times. I hope they come back soon.


Where? Bishopton Tandoori

Type of food: Curry

Delivery Time: We collected

Cost: £33

Rating: 5 stars