From Our Foreign Curryspondent … Dateline: London!

(The TATTGOC brotherhood extends around the globe, and we welcome reports of curry expeditions beyond Glasgow – here, one of our founder members ventures to his old stomping ground to test the curry mettle of the Big Smoke.)

REVIEW: Cafe Bangla in London

Your Foreign Curryspondent: The Gheezer

The Time: What, the old Harry Lime? The lager and lime? The cockney rhyme? Cannae mind.

Booking Name: Mr Ivan Reitman

The Pub Aforehand: The Ten Bells

In Attendance: The Gheezer and the newly-deputised Cazmati and Saag Ali

Every so often, the Gheezer finds himself back in the old country, a charmless and backwards village known locally as “Lahndan”. On his last visit, spontaneously and without the actual authorisation of TATTGOC High Command, he resolved to bring the shining light of Curry Club to this blighted land, to establish an outpost here among the merchant bankers dropping from the window ledges. To go, in other words, for a Ruby.

Since no full-bird Curry Clubbers were within grasping range, the Gheezer was forced to deputise. Already out on a limb, he chose sound men in whose trust he felt Trampy and the Tramp could have faith. Step forward Saag Ali and Cazmati, who agreed to meet the Gheezer in the Ten Bells in Shoreditch.

The Gheezer was the first to arrive, and found this East End boozer to be hoachin’ wi media types (unlike himself, of course). Sighing at what had become of the neighbourhood in these post-Nathan Barley days, he elbowed his way to the bar to order a Guinness. This was poured in a frankly slipshod all-in-one, and the Gheezer watched with resignation as the deformed head – a good couple of inches – inevitably formed at the top. He caught the eye of a foppish barman who looked like he was auditioning for Britain’s Biggest Fucking Twat and asked him to top it up.

“Yeah ... actually Guinness does that,” replied the berk, with what the Gheezer took to be an attempt at a withering look.

Like most TATTGOCers, the Gheezer is a reasonable man. Sighing inwardly, and outwardly, that “civilisation” has come to this, he restated his request calmly, and eventually received a (full) pint of the black stuff. Good things come to those who wait indeed, so long as they’re prepared to withstand the wittering of Shoreditch tossers. Inwardly, the Gheezer resolved to make good on his long-held intention to start carrying a cane precisely for the administering of belts upside the head to the most deserving.

Predictably, the Gheezer’s companions were running late. When they finally arrived, the newly-formed TATTGOC rump had to hurry through the East End rat runs to the sanctuary of Cafe Bangla, a bizarrely decorated but comfortably furnished eatery on London’s most famous Bangladeshi boulevard, Brick Lane. Distressed by the absence of creamy, refreshing Cobra (the Club’s favourite tipple – did we mention we were looking for a sponsor?), the gang settled down to a few Kingfishers under the watchful eye of the People’s Princess (see picture). Lady Di’s cross-eyed gaze was far from the only giant mural to catch the increasingly confused eyes of the Clubbers, however, for the walls were positively heaving with bosoms: everywhere they looked, semi-clad maidens were being rogered by satyrs, or simply sitting in puddles while their clothes fell off.

Your correspondent gathered a few pictures for TATTGOC’s puzzled perusal, but rest assured there were many more – only his fear of being considered a weirdo by other patrons prevented him from recording each and every mural. One image in particular (pictured left) prompted a discussion of exactly where a centaur’s reproductive apparatus would be located. Consensus was “at the back”, but that either artistic licence had been employed to suggest up front or, if it were indeed the back, then the maiden in question was undoubtedly brave.

Anyway, the food was excellent. The poppadoms were crispy and just the right side of dry, and the mango chutney seemed freshly made (with none of the Ghostbusters-esque properties of the gunk served up at TATTGOC’s legendary first outing to the Indian Orchard in Partick). It had occurred to Cazmati that he had never had a vindaloo, and he was sweatily pleased with his first. The Gheezer opted somewhat riskily for prawns, and Saag Ali made do with a lamb dhansak. All three opted for Baltis, so rare in Scotland, but sparking a debate about whether any so-called Balti produced outside the West Midlands could lay an honest claim to the name.

Rapidly bored by this chat, the trio opted to adjourn to a local boozer for the formerly traditional post-curry brandy. Saag Ali suggested that, instead of brandy, they honour TATTGOC’s Scottish roots by having whisky instead. He even offered to pick up the tab for these – a move he instantly regretted when the bill for three Highland Parks came in at 24 quid. Ah, London. Still full of thieves.

Replete, the three dispersed into the night. Another new frontier for TATTGOC’s operations, two new initiates into the brotherhood: after his laudable ambassadorial efforts, the Gheezer slept well that night. The people on whose sofa he slumbered did not perhaps sleep so well, but such is the cost of Curry Club.

Range Of Drinks: Kingfisher in bottles (though not quite as large as the above picture suggests).

Highlights: Those freakin' murals.

Lowlights: Those freakin' murals.

The Verdict: A right old bladdy knees-up fit for Mother Brown herself!

The Damage: £55.40 (tip: £7.60)


The Tramp said...

A top account of curry on the road - good work Gheezer. The mural of Lady Di has me wondering what the People's Princess's favourite ruby murray was? A nice Lamb Korma with a wee Dodi naan on the side? I'm sure that Trampy is working on some groan worthy puns as I type this...

Who Wants To Be A Camilla Heir? said...

Would Di's favourite dish have been some kind of Lamb Ker-ashi? With an overpasshweri naan?

And, of course, some papparazzodoms.