Brits love curry. London loves curry. We love curry. FACT. But the quality of curry available to you in your local restaurant or supermarket can vary wildly. Vineet Bhatia, a Michelin starred pioneer of Indian fine dining in the capital, has put himself to considerable distress to help educate us about what proper Indian food is all about.
He's been tasting supermarket ready meal versions of his beloved cuisine.
Bhatia opens his latest restaurant "Urban Turban" in Westbourne Grove soon which promises to provide dishes based on Mumbai street food 'tapas style' which sounds great to us as a little bit of lots of things is just so satisfying. However, he won't be serving any of the traditional British favourites of Chicken Tikka Masala or Lamb Rogon Josh. Especially after blind tasting our high street, prepackaged examples. Poor Vineet. Here's a sample of his pained verdicts of meals from the big 4 supermarkets:
It's not right.
It's overcooked and the sugar kills everything off.
It's disgusting to put this in your mouth.
Lots and lots of tomato paste. You can smell it straight away.
The overall reaction was reported to be "ugh".
Oddly, the new city restaurant and takeaway outlet Tiffinbites was included in the tasting. Unsurprisingly, since their stated purpose is "Real Indian Food Served The Real Indian Way" and not delivering a comprehensive retail experience to millions of people nationwide, they scored rather better than their supermarket competitors. It seems rather unfair but even they only racked up a not so lipsmacking 8/20 so, perhaps not.
Whatever Bhatia says though we'll still remain faithful to our favourite trusty takeaway even though an expensive one off trip to Rasoi or the Cinnamon Club or similar is heavenly stuff. In fact, all this has made us rather peckish. Curry lunch, anyone?
Image courtesy of j.sp's Flickrstream