Miles Jupp loves the curry but not the card­board plates at Dishoom’s Chow­patty Beach Bar

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Magazine - - Food -

WEL­COME TO DISHOOM’S!’ The man whose job it is to stand be­hind the bar at Dishoom’s Chow­patty Beach Bar and shout this yells it loudly enough to make me flinch, and of­ten enough to make me look as if I am in a state of con­stant spasm. Lon­don’s South Bank can’t re­ally com­pare with the sights and sounds of Mum­bai’s Chow­patty Beach, but at this pop-up ver­sion of the Up­per St Martin’s Lane café, there is an em­pha­sis on fun and friend­li­ness. It is meant to have a thrown-to­gether, ‘ up­cy­cled’ feel, but the end re­sult looks rather slick – var­i­ous bits of tech­ni­cal ap­pa­ra­tus that have been spray-painted a glossy white give it the feel of a cleaned-up ver­sion of the Red Dwarf set. There are also rolledup In­dian news­pa­pers, and var­i­ous bits of Day-Glo. They’re aim­ing at a cer­tain type of cus­tomer – the type, for in­stance, who might be in­ter­ested in buy­ing one of their brightly coloured T-shirts.

I met my friends David and Danielle there, who are not only a cou­ple of co­me­di­ans but also an ac­tual cou­ple. ‘ Never trust a restau­rant that sells mer­chan­dis­ing,’ was David’s re­sponse. As the name sug­gests, it’s more of a bar than a restau­rant. There are gi­ant menus up be­hind the bar and you or­der and pay at the till. If they turn out not to have some­thing, then you have to run back to your ta­ble or shout over to them. ‘ There are no co­conut cock­tails,’ I called to Danielle. ‘ What?’ she mouthed back. ‘ There are no co­conut cock­tails,’ I said again, hav­ing re­turned to the ta­ble. ‘ I’ll just have a T-shirt then,’ she said.

I fi­nally or­dered a por­tion of cala­mari and some veg­etable samosas. Then I asked for two chicken cur­ries and one of the veg­etable va­ri­ety. Hav­ing paid, I was given an or­der num­ber and pointed to­wards a hatch, which made me fear for an Ar­gosstyle col­lec­tion process. In fact, it was brought quickly to our ta­ble. The food, par­tic­u­larly the curry, was splen­did. But the crock­ery was card­board and the cut­lery wooden. There may be sound think­ing be­hind this pol­icy, but it makes eat­ing more dif­fi­cult than it needs to be, as if you’re do­ing it as a team-build­ing ex­er­cise. Cer­tainly the ex­pe­ri­ence of eat­ing curry out of cof­fee cups bonded us firmly enough for fur­ther rounds of drinks else­where.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.