CURRYBOND #1 Masaledar + Dr. No
The CURRY leg It was time. CURRYBOND was go! Five brave CURRYBONDers arrived at the first curry restaurant on this spicy odyssey, Masaledar. Perched nicely between Tooting Bec and Broadway it has been a long time favourite of these particular CURRYBONDers.
Jobbers, first to arrive. He’s clearly got his eyes on the Sean Connery award for best CURRYBOND attendance. Turnout is good, with The Banker third to arrive and only 15 mins late, we’ll keep an eye on that throughout CURRYBOND.
So to the venue, it’s glitzy sparkle fits in perfectly with the CURRYBOND aesthetic, comfy leather chairs, warm lighting and limited fluorescents will surely see Masaledar fire high on the venue score. Bathrooms are clean, adequately stocked with squeezy soap and received a thumbs up from Shethers, chief CURRYBOND bathroom reviewer. The gents hand drier however resembled an old man slowly exhaling his last breath on your hands. After collating the CURRYBONDers scores Masaledar gets a 8.1/10 for venue, the phaal is strong with this one…
Service was prompt, friendly and without incident.
The reference starter was available and duly ordered. 6 onion bhaji balls arrived accompanied by a rather nice spicy dipping sauce. Bhaji’s were very tasty, nicely crunchy without being burned and had a texture as Gills put it “quite falafelly”. Overall a strong start to the bhaji bonanza awaiting us, straight in with a 9/10 for bhajis.
But, to the curry. A good selection from the menu, which was relatively limited for a curry place, 8-10 main dishes per meat/veg on offer. Up first in CURRYBOND #1 Chicken Korma, Chicken Tikka Jalfrezi, Saag Murgh, Methi Gosht, Lamb Masaledar and of course the CURRYBOND reference curry, Chicken Tikka Masala. The curry looked good. Generous portions, notable by how much was left over (though January diets from some of the CURRYBONDers might not have helped). Quality was high across the board, the Methi Gosht was a notable high as was the Tikka Masala. The eponymous Lamb Masaledar however got a damp reception with Jobbers preferring the Tikka Masala. Naans were good, anti-vampiric levels of garlic, not too bready and big. A contender for the Naan with the Golden Gun Award. So overall, the food is very good, but the CURRYBONDers had the feeling we weren’t quite hitting the ceiling of curry Valhalla. So awarded the Food 7.2/10.
The final category for the curry leg of CURRYBOND, value. Straight off the bat Masaledar hits it off with a BYOB policy, which we took advantage of. A £1/person “corckage” is added to the bill though judging by the bottles of official Cobra beer on our table a “bottle capage” would have been more appropriate. The total bill £88.20 exc.tip, that’s £17.64/CURRYBONDer. Relatively high considering the BYOB, as a result Masaledar gets a score of 6.3/10 for value.
So to sum up Venue - 8.1 Food - 7.2 Value - 6.3 However, the CURRYBOND experience is so much more than specific categories, so for each locale an overall score is presented, and for Masaledar it get’s a
CURRYBOND approved rating of 7.2/10.
The BOND leg After having way too much curry fun the CURRYBONDers had to get a shifty on back to CURRYBOND HQ if the feat of a curry and a Bond film in one evening on a school night was possible. On the way an early contender for the Christmas Jones award for worst CURRYBOND moment slapped me in the face when one CURRYBONDer (you know who you are) suggested “this whole CURRYBOND thing is fun, maybe some weeks we could go somewhere else instead of curry…”. That’s one strike.
We settled down to our first instalment of the James Bond boxset. Martinis were poured, lights were dimmed, Bond was go!
…1 hour in….
Not much has happened…he got a new gun, went to Jamaica, read some geological reports (that’s a plus), played Baccarat (now we understand the rules, probably the most boring card game ever created). One of the CURRYBONDers was drifting in to the inevitable curry coma. But wait, Bond’s on an island, and wait there’s a dragon!
…Oh…it’s just a car with a lighter and a can of lynx…
Oh well, here comes Ursula Andress! Who perks things up a bit with her shells and knife action. Then ¾ of the way through, Dr. No. The least Chinese Chinese villain ever to hit mainstream cinema. But wait, he’s got special metal hands and an aquarium with a wonky window. It was all going fairly tamely until the dénouement.
Bond has found himself in the latest in radioactive protection fashion straight off the KKK designs rejection list, and he has infiltrated the rather sparsely populated lair of Dr. No who is intent on firing a missile at someone…
“Chang why are you standing there!” Isn’t is obvious Dr. No, he’s turning up the danger on your nuclear reactor, whilst not laughing at the inflated henchman going about his business! That’s top quality secret agenting! This was too much for some CURRYBONDers who broke down in hysterics. An early contender for the Oddjob’s Hat award for best CURRYBOND moment.
So overall a pretty slow start to the Bond experience but with some excellent costume based lair comedy towards the end. CURRYBONDers were asked to rate Dr. No on three categories and the scores were:
Gadgets n Girls - 4.6 (good classic Bond girl moment but zero gadgets)
Cheesiness - 5.8
Action - 5.3
Overall - 5.6
Therefore the total score for CURRYBOND #1 is 6.4/10
A good start to CURRYBOND but I feel there is more to come.
CURRYBOND will return in Rayyans + From Russia with Love