Friday 12th August 2016.
“Well you can swing it you can groove it
You can really start to move it at The Hop” (Danny & The Juniors)
Certainly there’s opportunity for stride swings and false scissors on the pommel horse seating in The Hop. Though for Team Curry it was mainly just bum Squats, which didn’t impress the judges much. I wonder how many Olympians mislay their mackintoshes beneath their gym apparatus in a mad dash for a curry booking… My swift exit was actually a floor routine of some distinction – threw in a couple of Arabian double pikes… A few tumbles hastened by Big Daddy’s steel toecaps.
Akbar’s is just a few doors away – formerly Antibo, the macaroni joint. It’s still a towering space, more suited to sheltering giraffes or God worship. Take the filmy drapes: giant monochrome cobwebs worthy of that Shelob creature. Then suddenly there’s this massive face peering deep into Big Daddy’s liver tikka starter from way up above. Sort of quizzical and disapproving at the same time. I think that’s the guy they stole the recipe off. Later, the sound system sputters noxious rhythms. A Bollywood Stringfellows shimmers in the mind-bending vapours.
The chicken liver tikka starter was exquisite, by the way. This one doesn’t come on the puree bread like Zara’s or Ashoka – similar to Butler’s version, it comes sizzling with onions. The onion bhajis were also highly rated – bite-sized, crisp and flavoursome, accompanied, unusually, by potato versions. And the pickle tray too was above average, I thought, despite no lime pickle and only the four options. The chilli and coriander green gunge somewhat divided opinion it has to be said.
The mains were generously portioned and the naan breads those trademark outsize nappies pegged on a clothes horse. But not their strongest course. The ‘Handi of The Day’ a fairly dry lamb chop dish, chewy and overcooked for the most part. Morsels filched from nearby plates performed better. Yet, olfactorily, none could top the Aromatic aromas released from the deodorising anti-splash urinal mats. A dizzying rapture overwhelms as you fumble your fly zip stealing a couple more precious gulps. There’s an 01977 number printed on them. Ask for Jimmy Riddle.
Judge ‘Gonzo’ Pickles