CURRYBOND #13 Chennai Dosa + Octopussy
It had been an interesting week.
Some bloke from Eton had a row with his other mates from Eton and decided the best way to make amends was to ask the entire country what they thought about Europe...Turns out 52% of them said Fuck it! Why not, sounds like a good idea, lets bugger off, all those other Eton blokes are behind it, plus that nice Russian judo guy and the American Alan Sugar...This made the bloke from Eton sad as his mates kicked him out of his crib! It was pretty nice as well, free car, bodyguards, walking distance to at least three Prets. Meanwhile the rest of the world (i.e. Bankers/gamblers) decided we hadn't had a good self inflicted financial crisis for ages. When all these people voted they didn't realise they were actually signing their beloved Britain to a decade of economic S&M with France repeatedly slapping Britain in the balls with a frozen string of garlic and only that German woman who looks like Anne Widdecombe knows our safe word!
Fortunately CURRYBOND carries on. In fact it flourishes! With our second weekend outing we see the biggest curry leg to date. We welcome as ever, a diverse and inclusive CURRYBOND cadre, highlighting that even though some people clearly want to get back to our real British identity of Normans...no wait they're French...I mean Saxons....hang on weren't they kind of German...fine the Viking guys...nope Swedish...Frickin' Romans then!...Viva L'Italia!
CURRYBOND welcomes friends from all nations.
The Bond Leg
So as we look set to enjoy another Saturday afternoon Bond showing we rock up to The Gorringe eagerly anticipating another entertaining ride through the world of the Roger Moore Bond film.It seems the Roger era has an all or nothing approach with both the highest highs (Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker) and the lowest lows (Live and Let Die, For You Your Eyes Only) in equal measure.
Our cold open kicks things off in Cuba? Spain? Mexico? Anyway somewhere Latinny. Bond is undercover sneaking around with those pesky Russians again until, whoops, caught again. Rog manages to wriggle away thanks to some sexy sidekick and he hops in the latest in miniature getaway vehicles, a mini jet! That actually flies and gets shot at, it's all excellent plane chasing action topped off by Bond landing the mini-jet and pulling up to a petrol station..."fill her up"...and credits.
Title sequence is a little disappointing. The theme "An all Time High" is nice enough but certainly doesn't hold up amongst the best. Next up is our first, but certainly not our last clown based action. Said clown is on the run with our first henchman in hot pursuit. One of twin circus knife throwers who stick our clown on the run before he takes a dive in the river. Krusty somehow manages to make it to his local embassy and drops off a rather nice Faberge egg, our Mcguffin for the next couple of hours.
Bond is soon whisked off on his latest adventure to track down, or switch around, or do something with this fancy egg in India! Finally, CURRYBOND comes home to the sub-continent! Will Bond tuck in to a lovely Tikka Masala? Sadly not, our only reference to spicy nirvana comes when James chucks a wad of cash at his friendly local tuk tuk driver and quips "that should keep him in curry for a few weeks..." Alas it seems any curry reference must be marinated in racism to make it to an 80s bond script.
All this comes amidst an excellent chase through the streets of Delhi with local MI6 recruit and therefore certain to meet a grisly end, Vijay, who loves a spot of tennis. So much so, he seems to use his racket as his primary weapon resulting in a back-and-forth tennis match-esque chase scene. It's no pigeon double take but it comes close.
Bond makes his escape and turns up in Q-branch. Again fully equipped, just it seems, to meet Bond on his mission...someone should really look into streamlining their logistics, did you really need to bring the spikey slamming door with you? Bond gets bored with the tracking device in the egg business and wanders off to play with the latest in boob zooming hardware, which looks suspiciously like an iWatch...what were Apple waiting for for 20 years!
After an intro with our villain Kamal Khan and a roll around with the standard double crossing Bond girl Magda, James is back in sneaky spy mode and needs to infiltrate a floating palace in search of the Octopussy cult. What better way to sneak across a body of water than a submarine masquerading as a crocodile! I just want to know how the hell he gets in and out!
So after a good chunk of the way in we finally meet Octopussy played by the charming Maud Adams, who for a Bond girl, is refreshingly close to Sir Roger's actual age so it doesn't feel like he's trying to absorb her life force when they kiss. Turns out she's not such a bad lass, just a rich girl trying to make her way in the world smuggling jewellery and running circuses, same old, same old.
Bond tracks down her circus and our Mcguffin suddenly takes a Cold War turn and gets substituted for a nuke! And it's in the circus! Think of the mess with all those elephants and clowns...Queue our penultimate action sequence when Bond is racing against time to defuse said nuke, pops into a trailer to really embrace the circus theme and emerges in full clown regalia. But he's a sad clown :( he's got a nuke to defuse don't you know! He finally tracks it down and with 1 second to spare, success! Timed that costume change to perfection, I mean if you'd just left off the red nose or the clown shoes might have been a bit more comfortable...
Our final confrontation comes in a classic hilltop castle lair which Octoussy infiltrates with the crafty use of circus performers, including catapulting with an elephant...so you walked the elephant up the hill...oh never mind...A fun packed fight scene ensues with trapezes, strong women, and any number of circus fight japes, including Q getting in on the action with a hot air balloon attack!
Bad guy escapes in a plane and Bond decides to hang on for dear life. We then get a mid-air fight scene which looks scarily realistic in some shots. See Tom Cruise, Jimmy Bond has been doing this shit for decades!
Inevitably Bond escapes with Octopussy, bad guy crashes into a mountain and Bond celebrates with his lovely on her sex yacht...all is well in the Bond Universe.
Overall the CURRYBONDers are pretty happy with this entry, a lovely visit to India, some excellent gadgetry and more clown/circus based high jinx than you're ever likely to see in a spy thriller. Octopussy scores
Girls n Gadgets - 8.0/10
Cheese - 8.0/10
Action - 7.8/10
Overall - 8.1/10.
The Curry Leg
Our committed CURRYBONDers, after a lovely afternoon with Roger Moore, wander up towards Tooting Bec and liaise with the more casual of our cadre at The Wheatsheaf for a cheeky pint before the curry beckons across the road at Chennai Dosa.
Our numbers swell and by the time we take our seats there are a monstrous 14 CURRYBONDers eager for some spicy treats! Our venue is nice enough, comfy seats, light and airy. We get some fellow diners filing in throughout the evening creating a nice atmosphere.
Venue Score - 6.0//10.
The menu on offer looks good, and as the name suggests Dosas are prevalent. You could spend the rest of your days sampling the variety of crispy Indian pancakes on offer and many a CURRYBONDer dive in. With 14 orders flying in around the table I don't have the memory or receipt to help me recall all of our order. Suffice to say we selected a crap load of dosas, curries, pooris, oothappams, parathas and rice. The number of actual curries on offer is fairly limited to a handful of quite similar looking dark brown dishes with either chicken of lamb. The service is a bit sporadic but considering the number of CURRYBONDers we don't hold them to account even when there is widespread order vs curry confusion. The food overall is very tasty, my hot masala dosa in particular was a highlight with delicious chutneys and samba with the dosa coated in a searingly hot chilli paste. Very hot, but very good. The curries are good but not great.
Food Score - 6.8/10.
With curry remains piling high across the table we sit back and survey the damage. Good sized portions certainly and another alcohol free dinner. The bill comes in at £177 which is £12.64/CURRYBONDer, so good value but not the cheapest we've seen. It's worth pointing out Chennai Dosa is cash only but thankfully they warn you with a helpful sign on the door as you enter.
Value - 7.4/10.
So the consensus seems to be a solid curry venue, probably best suited to a lunchtime dosa rather than a curry feast. Chennai Dosa gets an Overall Score - 6.6/10.
With Germany vs Italy beckoning we make our way to the nearest pub to cheer on our native Romans or was it those charming Saxons...I forget well at least England removed themselves from this confusing heritage nice and early...
CURRYBOND #13 gets an overall score of 7.3/10.
CURRYBOND will return in Dawat + A View to a Kill