Sunday, 14 September 2008

Nan bread, who wants the Nan bread?

The best curry I ever had was at Chapel Market in North London. A little 'local' eatery, formica table tops, geared to serving the local ethnic vegetarian population. A vegetarian buffet, £3 - £4. Bottle of St. Emillion, £6. You can soon start to see the attraction of this regular after-work venue but added to the value, the food was to die for!

So we like curry.
So on holiday recently we hunted down the local Indian restaurant..

A table for four please
Have you booked?
No, sorry
Eh..just take a seat please.

Whirling dervish impression coming up..
We watch an urgent conversation take place and then a middle aged couple being politely urged off of a table for four onto an adjacent table for two.
Two pair of flying hands lay a table and we are invited to take our seats.
Menu's are quickly thrust into our outstretched hands.
Do you want a drink please?
And a poppadom, yes?

And we are off to the fastest Indian in the West Show.

The starters are ordered in double quick time and duly presented, well perhaps not 'presented' exactly, more slammed down; with a smile of course.
No sooner finished than the plates are cleared, a trolley wheeled in and dishes of curry are being loaded on to the table, anywhere they will go, to a staccato list of their names, Bombay Allo! Meat Madras! slam, shuffle, Tarka Dhal, Tarka Dhal anyone? Plain rice! Nan bread! Nan bread, who wants the Nan bread...?

As we were working our way through the culinary delights of our Hunstanton curry more and more people were cramming themselves hopefully into the minute waiting area.

Have you booked?
Eh, please wait here...

Flying waiters working double quick time, flying dishes of fragrant curry, flying plates and cutlery and soon, inevitably, the crescendo of flying smashing glasses.

Watching this frenzied activity was entertainment in itself...

Our meal finished, we asked for the bill and while were awaiting that we turned our attention to our neighbours at the next table, the couple that had been gently displaced by our arrival. They were still eating and also watching the bedlam that was unfolding around them. Eat faster, we joked, less of that conversation please , eat, eat, go, go..

The only delay to our rapid transit through this meal process was the 'Carol Vorderman' working out the bills at the bar. It took ten minutes to get the bill but otherwise, just about the sharpest, fastest, funniest turn around time for a meal ever.
And as we threaded our way to the exit...

A table for four please
Have you booked?
Eh, just wait here please...

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