We’d had a day at the cricket and with playing slowing to the end of the day the likelihood of Middlesex taking the title seemed to recede. Well, I got that wrong!* Cricket, watching or playing, makes me thirsty. And once a few pints of bitter have gone down thoughts inevitably turn to curry.
We could’ve found more glamorous Indian restaurants in Marylebone but we decided to take a punt on Bombay Spice as an Old Skool venue. Curiously sited immediately next door to another Indian restaurant (not exactly making a Curry Mile) BS’s décor was reassuringly lived-in and had waiters to match.
Well, the test of this type of restaurant for me is the Onion Bhaji-Jalfrezi one-two. The Bhaji was fine, as was a vegetable samosa. Poppadoms had arrived suspiciously quickly before this (with some distinctly average chutney) but a cold Kingfisher delivered at speed was a welcome thing.
The food was okay. Across the table the Madras looked to have come from exactly the same receptacle as the Jalfrezi except that the ‘frezi had added raw chilis (not especially fresh ones by the look of it but delivering the required heat). Some people see this as a scam, that one sauce can serve so many purposes, but to me it’s not a problem. For example, when I go to listen to a Philip Glass symphony I don’t really bother to work out exactly which one it is. I like that shit and he keeps churning it out so whether it’s the 2nd or the 3rd is really quite immaterial since they all sound basically the same.
So if I want Indian cooking with more subtlety I know where to get it, I know it’ll cost more (in Marylebone at least, these things are geographical) and I make sure that I haven’t blasted my tastebuds with Burton’s finest all day before I get there. Having said that I wouldn’t say that Bombay Spice is worth making a detour to go to – the cooking isn’t on a par with similar places not too far away.
But there was another comparison with Philip Glass! They looped the same piece of Indian music, about four minutes long, for the duration of our meal. Sergio’s of course were the masters of minimalism thus far this year but Bombay beats Italian with a smack-down for such commitment to repetition. For which it gets a point off. I’m not anti-music, I just wish people would think about it.
*Middlesex won the title on the last day with a thrilling winning hat-trick by TR-J.
To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).