CURRYBOND #5 Dosa N Chutney + You Only Live Twice
CURRYBOND #5 and we're 20% of the way through this journey, a big enough sample size to check out some serious CURRYBOND stats courtesy of CURRYBOND Analytics. First up attendance, and now the words out, this chapter sees a new record in attendance. But let's take a more in depth look at the trends. It's clear, CURRYBOND is growing exponentially. We welcome two CURRYBOND virgins to the fold, both arriving early, clearly eager to please the CURRYBOND gods of Tikka and Masala to bless this CURRYBOND experience...perhaps their prayers were answered.
Our latest venue is Dosa N Chutney. Expectations were high. Many a tasty curry has been had at this establishment over my tenure in Tooting. Ideally located just across the road from Tooting Broadway it's a popular establishment, demonstrated by a number of fellow patrons on this chilly Tuesday evening.
The venue itself isn't the largest. But it does an impressive job deceiving you otherwise with it's mirrored walls effectively giving the illusion of an infinite curry palace. The rest of the decor is relatively basic but the lively hum from the other restaurant go-ers gives a pleasant atmosphere. Certainly could do better but the CURRYBONDers decide on a descent venue score of 6.6/10.
As we take our seats we line up the Cobra's, unfortunately no BYOB at Dosa N Chutney but the Cobra pint glasses make a nice change to the rows of bottles. Popadoms are ordered, and Jobbers, now chief popadom assessor duly approved even suggesting these were the best 'doms yet. However, as a South Indian curry house, mango chutney was not provided but rather some nicely spicy chutney alternatives.
As the name suggests, this place does dosas. Not just any dosas, these beasts are giant crispy Indian pancakes with a myriad of fillings, toppings and all served with chutneys, samba and daal. The CURRYBONDers make the most of what's on offer with a host of dosas to start, Mysore Masala Dosa, Masala Dosa and Mutton Masala Dosa. They are delicious.
Unfortunately our efforts to fairly assess each and every curry restaurant with reference dishes of Onion Bhaji and Chicken Tikka Masala meets its first issue...no bhajis. We plump for the closest substitute, onion pakoras. Whilst being crunchy and well spiced they do have a bit of the "just left on the side" feel to them. Resulting in a "bhaji" score of 4/10.
Dosas down, bring on the curry. Which in this menu is called gravy. The menu itself has an excellent variety, in particular, like its other South Indian counterparts, an excellent selection of vegetarian dishes. With so many CURRYBONDers this was a superb opportunity to sample this selection. The curry spread was, Aloo Gobi Masala, Hyderabad Bhuna Ghost, Chettinadu Chicken and Lamb, Mixed Kothu and thankfully Chicken Tikka Masala.
The curry...is....fantastic! Each curry has a depth of spice that smacks your tastebuds in the face then slowly caresses them as the flavour develops. The CTM is rich, creamy and moorish, my veggie Aloo Gobi is fragrant and warming, the Chettinadu is a thinner sauce but fiery and meaty with hunky lamb on the bone and the Kothu looks terrifying, like the scrapings of an omelette gone wrong. However, it has a common characteristic with all of its curry buddies, it's delicious!
The level of heat is variable but this is curry for grown ups. The heat isn't overwhelming, it's necessary. The accompaniments are good but don't necessarily meet the heights of the curry. Overall this is the best curry of CURRYBOND to date, it is duly rewarded with a food score of 8.5/10.
The CURRYBONDers slump back in their seats to survey the remains of the curry conquest before them, the portions were good the leftovers are inevitable the bill comes to £133.90 that's £16.74/CURRYBONDer. This all adds up to a value score of 7.4/10.
With this many CURRYBONDers the inevitable latecomers make their appearance once the beads of sweat are already trickling and belts have been loosened. So we have our first CURRYBOND takeaway, a trend that will surely pick up once we arrive at some of the smaller venues.
So with the scores in, smiles on faces, we take the official CURRYBOND photo and tot up the scores. Dosa N Chutney gets
An approved CURRYBOND rating of 7.9/10.
A new benchmark on the CURRYBOND roller coaster beating it's nearest rival, Masaledar by a full point! This one may be hard to beat. Certainly an early front runner for best curry in Tooting.
So with one curry in a bag and seven curries in bellies, we waddle to CURRYBOND HQ for the Bond leg. Can You Only Live Twice meet the high standards of its Curry counterpart to achieve the ultimate CURRYBOND experience?
As we approach HQ, I'm nervous, a horde of CURRYBONDers make their way into a small Tooting flat, CURRYBOND sardines were not on the menu. But with some CURRYBOND feng shui we pack everyone in.
Next order of business, the Martinis. Seven more on order which takes our CURRYBOND total to 1.5 litres of Martini drunk so far. Combine this with 22 litres of Cobra, CURRYBONDers have consumed to date 1.58 litres of pure alcohol, which contains enough energy to power a lightbulb for 134 days, non-stop...statistics courtesy of CURRYBOND Analytics.
Drinks in hands, lights dimmed, Bah bah Bahhh! Bond is go.
Two minutes in and Bond is dead...again. Wait, what's this film called?
After four Bond films, these CURRYBONDers have seen this all before. So as Bond descends to his watery grave...I guess he's now in the Navy? It's no surprise to see divers making their way to the ocean floor...10 metres down. After investing that much in a giant swimming pool in Thunderball some kind of underwater action is expected. As Bond makes his way in to the afterlife it looks suspiciously like the most English submarine ever conceived.
In the meantime we're treated to our first exploration into the heavens with some excellent space action. Not just floaty astronauts but a super, space ship munching rocket! But who's doing the munching? Surely those pesky Soviets, Bond is on the case...so obviously he heads to Japan.
That's right, this is the Japanese Bond. Bond touches down in Tokyo, which is interesting to see just how sparse it looks in 1967. Bond heads to the Ryogoku Kokugikan to take in some sumo. As a sumo aficionado I can confirm the tachi-ai is legit, and this particular rikishi performs a faultless uwatenage overarm throw. Surely on the fast track to Yokozuna!
The tour of Japanese culture is therefore pretty enjoyable, and soon enough we're heading to ninja school! Ninja stars, Kendo, Karate, and everything in-between. As we know Bond is not unfamiliar with a judo throw to immobilise a henchman or two.
But back to the plot, Bond needs to survey an island to find where this space munching rocket is coming from, surely he can spot a space launchpad. So he takes to the air, after the jet pack in Thunderball Q Branch decides to raise its game. A handful of suitcases unfurl in an Ikea inspired flat-pack montage provide a microlight! Which looks exceedingly light. Bond takes off and while I nipped out to make the tea, I assume he had some excellent aerial duels with henchman on wings.
Bond's been hanging around in Japan for a while, and clearly his 1st in oriental languages isn't helping him blend in with the locals. So he turns to inspiration from The Vapors. A bit of hair dye, beefed up eyebrows and a winning fringe, bish bash bosh, Bond-san!
With a newly Jappaned up Bond. He goes to infiltrate the first great Bond lair, secret volcano space launchpad base! Who's in charge? Ernst Stavro Blofeld. You know this bits good when you recognise most of it from Austin Powers. With his new scantily clad Japanese wife in tow Bond and his trusty ninja friends make their assault. It's pretty exciting. Kung fu, explosions, abseiling, ninja stars, machine guns. Everything you need for an action packed Bond denouement. And of course Bloey escapes with his cat.
So inevitably the lair blows up, world war three is averted and Bond is left floating in the sea with a Bond girl in his government funded sex raft. All is well in the Bond universe.
Overall a fun packed trip to the orient with classic villain, entertaining action and some mildly offensive Japanese stereotypes. You Only Live Twice scores
Girls n Gadgets - 7.3/10
Cheese - 7.2/10
Action - 7.3/10
Overall - 7.3/10
So the Bond leg holds up its end of the bargain to give the best CURRYBOND experience to date!
CURRYBOND #5 scores 7.6/10
CURRYBOND will return in Onam + On Her Majesty's Secret Service