I have been extremely slack about updating recently – mainly because I have had SO much to post about – and therefore been out when I should’ve been posting!
Last week, The Man and myself were lucky enough to find out about a new pop-up Indian Supper Club in Walthamstow. It was the very first one, and although we thought all the places would have been filled, Alex managed to squeeze as in and we happily trotted down the road to a brand new experience!
Unbeknown to me, as it was their very first try, they had actually had all the places snapped up by people that they already knew – so we were ‘the outsiders’! But considering my usual ‘Stranger Danger’ worries, this was not a problem in the slightest. We were made to feel so welcome in their beautiful home, and Alex and Salim were so relaxed, that we forgot that we hadn’t known them for years!
We were served a gorgeous homemade lemon & mint soft drink on arrival, along with little homemade bags of indian-spiced popcorn, which was so simple but totally more-ish. We were then given an indian twist on a mojito, which was wonderful and refreshing – and WAY too easy to go down.
On top of the very easy conversation, we were invited into the kitchen where Salim invited us to taste all of the dishes, and prod his bread dough that was on one side rising.
After trying the dishes, actually sitting down to eat couldn’t come around fast enough! With a table of 6, one of 4 and two of 2, me and The Man got our own table, but the other diners were turning around to chat to us, giving it a real party feel
We had a gorgeous, fresh peanut masala and crackers on the table ready to tuck into which was fantastic. More mojitos were sent our way, and then a bottle of wine appeared. We felt very looked after!
The main meal consisted of cumin rice, a huge fresh salad, chicken dopiaza, moong dal and muttar paneer. I have always kept away from paneer in restaurants as I’d had it a couple of times and it hadn’t been quite ‘right’ for me. however, when I’d tasted Salim’s ‘cheesey peas’ straight out of the saucepan, it was like a completely different experience.
Everything was absolutely wonderful, light but rich in flavour, perfectly spiced, and all the individual elements complimented each other whilst tasting very different. And it was all accompanied by Salim’s freshly made bread which we were in the perfect vantage spot to witness him preparing and cooking!
Although our initial portions were of a fair size, we didn’t realise that the seemingly never-ending bowls would be brought around continuously! We were STUFFED by the end of it (I had MANY heaps of muttar paneer!).
When I say stuffed, we did indeed manage to fit in our chocolate and cardamon mousse with a coffee cream made by Alex, which was also very scrummy. After finishing with freshly brewed coffee (The Man) and fresh mint tea (me), we rolled ourselves out of our chairs to walk home.
They don’t present a bill (!) but have a discreet contribution box with a suggested £20/head to cover their costs – more than reasonable, I think you’ll agree.
They are going to be running the supper club on the first Friday of every month, and me and a few friends have already booked ourselves in for the next one (yes, I have been spreading the word!) which will be concentrating on street food. I plan not to eat for a week beforehand!
Salim is also available for cookery lessons – I am planning to send The Man to learn bread, kebabs, dal and of course the muttar paneer!
Can’t wait to post about it again next month!
…no it bloody well isn’t! Why do you feel the need to lie to me?
OK, I’m sure that this isn’t be just me. When I get one of those calls where you answer the phone and there’s a slight delay before a chappy with an exotic accent and an impossibly vacant tone asks for me, my heart sinks. I just know that I are going to have to deal with that axis of terror that is….(dramatic music) The Indian Call Centre.
I have nothing at all against the lovely Indians, and I am in fact in awe of their grasp of our language, and the amount of work that they get through, and I appreciate that they’re cheap to run (the call centres, not the Indians themselves I hasten to add) but oh my GOD I hate dealing with them!!
First of all there’s the language barrier – although their English is always impeccable, you can’t really get them to understand what the problem is a lot of the time (and let’s face it – we only ever speak to them when there IS a problem). Secondly, their over-politeness is draining. It takes them so long to get through a sentence because it’s all “Yes ma’am, I can appreciate what you are saying..” “Or thank you ma’am, could you be giving me your account number…” that I just want to smash my head against a wall. Then there is also the problem that they can’t actually DO anything. they are given a script and an instruction guide, and they have to adhere to their step-by-step instructions. If something falls out of this (which it always seems to for me) then they can’t help you. When you ask if they can check something for you, they don’t have access. When you ask if they can cancel something because it was paid under a different account number for example, they don’t have authority.
Of course, the worst for this were Three Mobile. Oh. My. God. The things I went through with Three. I had 18 months of pure hell with them. In fact one day I may even post the ‘Online Help’ discussion I saved that I had with one of their Customer Service Reps where they accused me of having the wrong type of bricks in my house! Anyway, out of about 50 phone calls (and no, I am NOT exaggerating) I had two helpful conversations with people from Three – and BOTH of them were with a guy in Glasgow after I had found an email address for their Executive Office there and managed to get soemoen to call me back!
I know a few companies have come back to British call centres – I’m just hoping that more do soon.
(NB: Just as I was posting this, my boss decided to tell me of the woes he had over Christmas with his Virgin landline, and the difficulties he had with their Indian call centre. He couldn’t understand why I was laughing so much!)