CURRYBOND #3 Radha Krishna Bhavan + Goldfinger
The Curry Leg
CURRYBOND is clearly hitting its stride. Arriving at the start time, 7pm, to not just one CURRYBONDer but two! Clearly public shaming is the way to go to encourage punctuality. That being said The Banker was still tardy, however only 15 mins late is a minor miracle. So by 7.15pm we had a full complement, including the latest addition to the CURRYBOND family, George's Legacy, our first eponymous CURRYBONDer.
So to our latest curry venue, Radha Krishna Bhavan (RKB). It's an established Tooting classic. One of the many advantages of exploring curry restaurants in Tooting is they have helpfully located themselves in a geographically accurate configuration...sort of. This venue features South Indian cuisine and is located south of Tooting Broadway with many of it's other South Indian compatriots (see future CURRYBONDs Dosa N Chutney and Onam).
The venue itself is probably summed up in one word, "homely", which may come back to bite it when it comes to the food. There's a rather nice exotic palm tree theme to the decor with various authentic looking objet d'art adorning the walls. Some of which Jobbers described as "lovely brass balls"...The restaurant started filling up from 7.30pm which provided a nice hum of atmosphere to go along with the scenery. All of this adds up to a strong start with an average venue score from the CURRYBONDers of 7.8/10.
With our curries ordered we eagerly awaited the next chapter of the Bhaji Bible. The variety on offer looked good with a number of South Indian curries not seen on CURRYBOND as yet. As with many South Indian offerings there's an excellent selection of veggie dishes, most seem to be side dish size, but all seem like good value.
RKB take the ball approach to the bhaji, with 5 balls for one serving, good stuff. In general, bhaji's are tasty and crunchy-ish, overall not bad but not quite reaching the heights from CURRYBOND #1, these little fellas get a 7/10.
Important to note that this is our first CURRYBOND without bringing our trusty supply of Cobra beer. RKB is not BYOB but offers alcohol on the menu, unfortunately the promised Kingfisher is scribbled off but Tikka Gold and the ever faithful Cobra is on offer for £3.95/per 660ml bottle. Pretty good value and predictably the CURRYBONDers rack up the Cobra's in preparation for the curry bananza awaiting them.
The curry arrives, on the menu this evening, old faithfuls chicken jalfrezi and lamb bhuna, some veggie sides beetroot thoran and brinjal, and some newbies including chicken malabar. No naan on offer, so parathas were the bread of choice. Not forgetting the reference...but wait...no chicken tikka masala. Our first compromise to the control experiment, we dropped the tikka and plumped for chicken masala.
Overall there is a definite lack of heat, which I'm sure goes with the South Indian style, so if you're after a mild experience it's a plus, for these CURRYBONDers they like to come away with a slightly fizzing tastebud. The reference dish was frankly a little disappointing, the dominant flavour was tomato with a lack of spicy depth. Unfortunately this is where "homely" comes in again which was the dominant impression of the food, more home cooked than restaurant extravaganza...This all culminates in a food score for RKB of 5.4/10.
The bill comes in at a total of £79.50 that's £15.90/CURRYBONDer, so not cheap. There is however a Tastecard offer of 2-4-1 if you mention when booking on the phone. This took off the bhajis and the chicken masala from the bill which was good news. Overall the value suffers from a lack of a BYOB policy and results in An average value score of 5.6/10.
So as the CURRYBONDers line up for the official photo we add up the scores to average out to a CURRYBOND approved rating of 6.3/10.
The Bond Leg
Unfortunately we lose our newest CURRYBONDer for the Bond leg, George's legacy has clearly spotted her namesake's award and sticking with an attendance record of half a CURRYBOND.
So Bond #3, Goldfinger, the first of many gold themed Bonds. One can only imagine that after a finger, a gun and an eye, maybe Bond will one day meet his ultimate golden villain with a fully golden anatomy.
First off this Bond outing has a much slicker feel, proper Bond music, girls in golden pants writhing around, rampant misogyny and a dose of mild female abuse. So classic Bond all round.
We're introduced to the villain Goldfinger pretty much straight away and Bond proceeds to follow him around the globe in a masterclass of spying by introducing himself as a spy, getting locked up, escaping then coming back to say "hi remember me" and getting locked up again.
On the plus side he makes up for his spy skills with a host of excellent gadgets mostly in the rather nice Austin Martin which makes it's first outing with 007. Including the very first ejector seat! So gadgets, tick. How about henchman? SWOOSH! That's right, the sound of a steel rimmed bowler hat coming to decapitate you! It's Oddjob! Perhaps the greatest Bond henchman and obviously the best character in N64 Goldeneye multiplayer. He has little to say, but with hat action like that who needs a script. Henchman, tick.
Bond girl? None other than feisty stunt pilot Pussy Galore..."I must be dreaming..." Never before has a film, not found exclusively on restricted websites, used the word pussy with a straight face more times than Goldfinger. Impressive.
The dastardly plot involves gold, unsurprisingly, not stealing it but making it radioactive so the remaining gold in the market rises in value due to a restricted supply....that's right, a dastardly plot mainly appreciated by economists...pretty dull. When do we get a villain with a giant space laser!
So a good Bond experience, plenty of classic moments, the Bond crotch laser scene, "no Mr. Bond I expect you to die!" Which begs the question why he doesn't shoot him in the face...
The CURRYBONDers score Goldfinger
Girls n Gadgets - 6.8/10
Cheese - 6.5/10
Action - 6/10
and gets an overall CURRYBOND rating of 6.5/10
So CURRYBOND #3 gets and overall score of 6.4/10
CURRYBOND will return in Mirch Masala + Thunderball