CURRYBOND #22 Shahana + Quantum of Solace

The Curry Leg

The nights are drawing in. Those pesky Christmas ads are beginning to leak out of the TV, advent calendars with expiry dates before Christmas are on the shelves and CURRYBOND continues. With these glitzy baubles distracting our CURRYBONDers we're somewhat sparse for our 22nd outing of the year.

We make our way to our slightly delayed trip to Shahana, our curry leg venue. It's located in prime position on Tooting High Street and opposite the disappointments of our last mega CURRYBOND.

We're welcomed in and take a seat at a table for four, unfortunately we don't even fill that! On the plus side, we looking forward to being served before bedtime. Our venue rocks the cafeteria style with counter, metal tables and TV's on mute. The tables fill up enough to give a lively atmosphere, not bad for the canteen genre of restaurant.

Venue score - 6/10.

You would think after eating at 21 curry restaurants within 15 minutes walk of each other we're unlikely tofind anything new or surprising. Think again! It's time for a buffet! That's right for just £9.99 you can help yourself to an unlimited curry feast at Shahana. Two of us take up the challenge. Jobbers however is somewhat sceptical, and opts for some of the traditional curry fare still available from the menu.

The buffet offers starters, mains, sides and dessert. Naturally, we take the opportunity to try pretty much everything on offer. There are bhajis, samosas, chicken wings and kebabs along side popadoms and huge vats of chutneys to dish out. Everything is pretty tasty, the kebabs in particular and meaty and nicely spiced. The bhaji's are delicious, still crunchy enough and really moorish. Bhaji score 8/10. The samosas suffer from the typical buffet sog, and lack the fresh crunch you would hope for.

We make our way further down the buffet corridor and load up the mains. The variety is fairly limited with chicken and meat (we assume lamb) Karahis, a couple of Biryanis, Saag Aloo, Lahori Chana and Paya, which is helpfully translated as simply, trotters...we skip over the Paya... Jobbers goes for his ever faithful curry yardstick, Chicken Jalfrezi. The buffet is by-and-large, delicious. The curries are a little greasy but underneath the gee sits curry glee. They're deep in flavour, not too spicy and soaked up well by the variety of biryanis. Jobbers however is not so happy, his Jalfrezi arrives quickly...a bit too Uncle Ben's-microwaved-sauce quickly...It's exceedingly red and exceedingly sweet, not at all resembling the Jalfrezi Jobbers knows and loves. The lesson therefore holds true, if there's a thing a curry restaurant does, get that thing, not the other stuff, the other stuff is other stuff for a reason.

Food score - 6.7/10.

With the aid of limited attendance and a buffet, we wrap the curry leg up by 8pm. The bill comes in at £32.90 which make a pretty bagainous £10.97/CRRYBONDer. I should, add this is another dry venue, lassies and fizzy drinks were the drinks of choice.

Value Score - 7/10.

So an enjoyable, if intimate, curry leg was had by all. Our first CURRYBOND buffet was a success, and if you need a quick curry fix, Shahana is a great budget option.

Overall Score - 6.5/10.


The Bond Leg

Unsurprisingly we don't feel the need for an entire cinema so don't call on the Gorringe as our venue and make our way to CURRYBOND HQ to enjoy a whole sofa seat each!

Time for Daniel Craig Bond II, after the exciting reboot we get the difficult second album. Will it be ...Morning Glory or Second Coming, Modern Life is Rubbish or Room on Fire. The signs aren't great, let's begin with the title. Quantum of Solace. A quantum is a minimal amount of something physical. Solace is comfort or consolation in time of great distress. So a minimum amount of comfort...except does Bond want comfort, but why a quantum? Forget it, it's just bullshit. It seems the film makers decided to make the overarching theme of this Bond film, confusion.

So for the purposes of my and your, the reader's, sanity, I'm not going to bother trying to unravel the plot of Suantum of Quolace. It attempts to follow on immediately after the tantalising end of Casino Royale with a breathless car chase ending up with bad guy one being interrogated by M. Before you know it, shit goes wrong, bad guy one escapes and Bond chases bad guy two who ends up dead. Bad guy two is linked to bad guy three that Bond also ends up killing but he's linked to bad, well sort of, woman one...aaaand confusion. Yes I'm lost within the first 30 minutes, I don't know what's going on, who Bond is chasing and why.

But hey, having a confusing plot is practically a Bond staple at this point, one thing you can surely rely on is the action, which was phenomenal in Casino Royale. Unfortunately the editor for Something of Boris decided to take inspiration from those "great" Sean Connery action scenes where the camera cuts between shots twelve time a second! Also, let's combine that with the super trendy shaky cam thing, people love that right? The result is every fight and chase scene becoming practically unwatchable, I've no idea what's going on, I'm get the picture.

So we've got a shambles of a plot, chaotic action but a good villain can always turn things around... we get Dominic Greene, CEO of a what appears to be Water Aid...He's played by mild mannered Frenchman Mathieu Amalric and conveys about as much threat as an irritable maitre d' in a Parisian brasserie after just being called Garcon.

OK, so bad plot, bad action, bad bad guy, maybe we'll be redeemed by the evil What's the worst thing a guy in charge of a water charity could do? Evaporate the world's oceans with a mega space patio heater? Melt the polar ice caps with a giant space laser? Poison a countries water supply with hallucinogenic toxins? Oh yeah, Batman did that Monsieur villain reduces the amount of drinking water to a town in Bolivia with the demonic use of...dams.

On the plus side we get a quite feisty Bond girl in Camille but offset by the oh so easily seduced Ms Strawberry Fields...I mean if you're going to give her a stupid name at least give it at least one entendre.

We finish things off with a ridiculous sequence in a desert where things are mostly exploding, our minds are not. In fact Lex has been thoroughly unconscious for a good hour. But hold up there's still time for a damp squib ending. The finale ends up in Russia and inconceivably we're back to the Vesper revenge storyline, Bond has tracked down the boyfriend who is up to his old tricks with the Canadian secret service...seriously the Canadians have spys!? Anyway, Bond doesn't kill him which for some reason is meant to symbolise "closure".

All in all we're left pretty flat and thoroughly confused at what we just experienced. The only good thing to come out of this film is Joe Cornish's alternative theme tune. God bless you Adam & Joe,


Quantum of Solace (I've written it down) scores:

Girls n Gadgets - 2.8/10

Cheese - 1.3/10

Action - 6.7/10

Overall - 4.7/10.

Fingers crossed the remaining CURRYBONDs can only ascend from the depths of an overall score for Shahana + Quantum of Solace of 5.6/10.

CURRYBOND will return in Saravanaa Bhavan + Skyfall.