CURRYBOND #2 Rayyan's + From Russia with Love
With CURRYBOND #1 a mere lost memory in the ether of time...a.k.a last Tuesday the stage was set for CURRYBOND #2.
A clear illustration of the success of CURRYBOND #1, this instalment saw a 20% increase in the number of CURRYBONDers. Forecasting out to CURRYBOND #24 we surely can expect a veritable hoard of 331 CURRYBONDers invading the streets of Tooting at Christmas, Sadiq, you've been warned! So with our new participant lined up we welcomed the second curry leg.
The venue, Rayyan's, a slight deviation from the curry Mecca of Tooting High St veering East along Mitcham Rd to this relatively recent (2013) addition to the Tooting curry scene. On arrival it's clearly spacious, more than capable of coping with the explosion in CURRYBOND participation. There's a glitter wall, always a plus and would certainly be on the list of requirements for the perfect CURRYBOND venue. Comfy seats, some music, and yes Shethers, they will be marked down for playing at least three Bieber songs in short succession. Overall a decent venue however scores dampened somewhat by the lack of other patrons...
Venue score 5/10
The second chapter gives us a chance to evaluate the future pitfalls of CURRYBOND, punctuality. Punctuality is clearly an issue...and with the Chairman spending his week mired in the depths of PRINCE2 this is surely an amber risk with a high likelihood. It's going straight into the CURRYBOND risk register. Having said that, one CURRYBONDer continues to buck the trend of creative time keeping and clocks in bang on time, official beer in hand.
The prompt CURRYBONDers get down to some curry action and kick things off with the reference starter, that's right, it's bhaji time! Probably the polar opposite of CURRYBOND #1's bhaji, Rayyan's have appeared to go for the mutated crustacean look to their curry starter staple.
Despite the appearance of the love child of a king crab and a Nik Nak, the flavour is good, texture is crunchy and portion is giant! So another good addition to the bhaji bible. It gets an impressive 8/10.
Now with a full complement of CURRYBONDers, the serious work of the curry can commence. On the menu is Lamb Madras, Chicken Jalfrezi, Chicken Karahi, Chicken Madras a special Afgan Lamb Karahi and of course the reference Chicken Tikka Masala. With a vague attempt to actually finish the meal only two rice were ordered but plenty of naan.
The curries look good, smell good and taste good. The Afgan lamb certainly goes down well with a nice level of background heat. The reference however is advertised with 0/3 chillis on the menu but seems to have been cooked in the same pot where a thousand chillis have been ground into oblivion to impart their spiritual fire to whatever curry comes near...in other words, it was surprisingly hot, but not unpleasantly so. The Madras' also gave a hefty kick. On average Rayyan's is getting a bog roll in the fridge rating of hotness, not quite reaching the blast chiller levels.
The CURRYBONDers score in the 'Good' range with 6s and 7s all round, therefore Rayyan's gets a CURRYBOND food score of 6.6/10.
There's certainly curry left in the pots and even rice in the bowls, so good portions all round and with another BYOB policy signs are good for the value scores. The total bill comes to63 exc. Tip making an average cost of10.50/CURRYBONDer a bargain without doubt. High value scores all round CURRYBOND value score of 8/10.
So with Bond number two beckoning we round off the second curry with a feeling of satisfaction, heavy wallets and well spiced taste buds. Food was good but again left room for improvement and the venue could have done with an injection of fellow curry crusaders, and certainly less Bieber.
Rayyan's gets a CURRYBOND approved rating of 6.6/10
The Bond leg
So with our extra CURRYBONDer this was an early test for the capacity of CURRYBOND HQ. So far no complaints, though if this growth in participation increases a new venue for the Bond leg may be necessary...
As we settle down for Sir Sean's second outing the signs are good. Classic Bond intro, classic Bond music which seems to have been the only music written for the film and used for everything from car chases to wandering around a hotel room unscrewing light bulbs...Before we know it Bond is wandering around a rather nice maze until Bam! Razor wire and James is dead. Right, film over CURRYBOND cancelled...no wait. It's one of those pesky Russian's who's nicked a rubber face making kit from Mission Impossible 2! So all is good, it's just Bond's latest Lungren-esque adversary getting in some choking practice for the annual CCCP choke off.
Back to Blighty where spies spend THEIR time throwing their hats on hat stands! Bond is soon off on his latest adventure to Istanbul, something to do with a hot Russian girl and code breaking...the important thing is he gets to pose with said sexy Russian on windswept shots of the Blue Mosque from the Bosphorus, lovely!
He meets up with local Turkish voyeur Kerim Bey who has decided that spying in Istanbul should have a certain maritime flavour and installed a periscope beneath the Russian embassy, that's right, mirror, pipe, spying.
After some excellent Bond girl seduction, in this case coming home to your hotel and finding a naked Russian in your bed, damn he's good, there's some explosions, some shooting, a gypsy carnival and he's on a train. He's got his girl, he's got his special case with the special thing he was meant to pick up, all is good...not sure why he doesn't fly home...but hey, who doesn't like a good train ride from Istanbul to London! Until Russian Dolph Lundgren turns up and he's brought his chokey wire! But first, dinner with Bond, obviously! What's the point in just killing him!
So they sit down to dinner, fish on the menu...wine Mr Lundgren? "I'll have a glass of red" ...Shit! He missed the sommelier week at Russian henchman school! That combined with one of the worst English accents this side of Dick Van Dyke, Bond's on to him! Couple of punch ups later and he's away, done deal.
But there's still one more iconic Bond moment to fit in when that short strangely Russian sounding hotel maid suddenly turns evil! That's right it's Rosa Klebb and she's got spikey shoes!
So down to the scores. Overall a much more satisfying Bond experience than Dr.No, the story bobbed along nicely with spots of action and a liberal spreading of Bond girls. We even get our first introduction to Q branch who provides a briefcase with gold sovereigns hidden inside, one can only assume to prepare James for his upcoming Captain Pugwash cross-over film.
The CURRYBONDers score From Russia with Love Girls n Gadgets - 7.2/10 Cheese - 5.8/10 Action - 5.2/10 Overall - 6.6/10 Giving CURRYBOND #2 and overall score of 6.6/10
CURRYBOND will return in Radha Krishna Bhavan + Goldfinger