CURRYBOND #15 Vijaya Krishna + The Living Daylights
The Curry Leg
Fourteen CURRYBONDs in and the strain is beginning to show.
Petty distractions such as holidays, jobs, other friends even other restaurants that don't serve curry!...whilst these glitzy trinkets have tempted some of the weak willed CURRYBONDers those true to the cause plough on....that or we've got nothing better to do on a Tuesday evening...
Our Curry gathering is somewhat more intimate this time therefore. But in CURRYBOND you never know when you might stumble upon the greatest curry Tooting has to offer.
Our venue, which hopes to reach for the heights of the CURRYBOND leaderboard, and topple Dosa N Chutney, is Vijaya Krishna. Chosen in 2015 by former Tooting MP, now Mayor of London and generally top Tooting bloke, Sadiq Khan as best curry in Tooting for the annual Tiffin Cup. So with a top endorsement expectations were high.
Vijaya Krishna is not in the heart of the curry corridor, situated along the Mitcham Road it certainly stands out with a clean, cream exterior and classy signage. It's certainly benefitted from a relatively recent make-over. As we take our seats the overriding impression is this is a proper restaurant. Welcoming staff, cosy interior, other patrons. Good stuff.
Venue score - 9.3/10.
We're back in South India for the curry on offer, but with our limited numbers we choose our dishes carefully. Starters are, the now regular, Prawn Puuri and thank the Lord we can re-open the Bible with a portion of Bhajis. The Puuri is puffy and the Bhajis are crunchy, tasty and hot, rewarded with a Bhaji Score of 9/10.
Next up comes the curry. The selection is good, a nice combination of classic options as well as some previously frequented South Indian specials. The CURRYBONDers plump for Lamb Bhuna, Butter Chicken and after some Masala based confusion Chiken Tikka. We partner up with some parathas and a pilau rice. It is all, frankly, delicious. The Chicken Tikka is charred and has a deep Tikka orange spice which is juicy and tender. The Bhuna is deep and spicy, mild but incredibly moorish and the Butter Chicken is rich and creamy. After close to 100 curry dishes sampled to date, you come to recognise the real curry champions. The difference it seems, to my amateur curry palate, is the depth and the complexity of the spices, without swimming in butter and stinging with salt. It's safe to say Vijaya Krishna hits the mark.
Food Score - 9.0/10.
Perhaps the greatest compliment to the food on offer comes when we achieve the as yet thought unachieveable...we clean our plates!
With bellies comfortably full and a timely finish for the Bond leg our bill comes in at £51.50 minus the tip which was added automatically so an upper end £17.17/CURRYBONDer but with beers included as well as free after eights with the bill! The value was good.
Value Score - 7.7/10.
Classy exterior, welcoming service, blinding Bhaji's delicious curry and Cobras on offer there are zero complaints. Even the toilets get the thumbs up from Rimmsy. Our CURRYBONDers are happy, and duly reward Vijaya Krishna with the highest score to date.
Overall Score - 9.2/10.
Vijaya Krishna therefore sails straight to the top of the leaderboard approaching 2/3 of the way through the CURRYBOND adventure, this could be an unassailable lead. Clearly Sadiq, you have good taste!
As we make our way to the Bond leg we get half way down the road before remembering to document the Curry leg...whoops.
The Bond Leg
We're back to The Gorringe and pick up one more CURRYBONDer for the first instalment of the Timothy Dalton era, The Living Daylights.
Things kick off in Gibraltar, and after a full on Doctor Who-esque regeneration from eye brow twerking Englishman to significantly younger, suave Weshman, Dalton Bond needs some training. What better way than some paintball fun on the cliff tops until, hang on, that guy isn't firing pink splodges, he's knocking off so many double O agents they'll soon be digging out the single O's! Bond catches on, chase ensues bish bash bosh, credits.
The excellent 80s era Bond themes continue with a punchy little dittie from Swedish pop Gods A-Ha. The accompanying titles are a little dull...hmm let's hope that's not a recurring theme...
Next up on Bond's to do list is sniper protection duty in Bratislava, some Russian bloke is defecting to the Brits...except he's not really...and there's this sniper trying to kill him...except she's not really, she's his girlfriend...and what he really wants is money from this drug deal in Afganistan, with diamonds, to sell to this American bloke...for weapons...to give to the Russians...confused? Welcome to the plot for The Living Daylights. Safe to say it's close to impossible to figure out what's going on. What we do know is Bond doesn't kill the hot cellist sniper because this is a new, compassionate, charismatic Bond for the 80s, I'm sure he'll be busting out his tie-dye in no time.
Rather than breaking into her hotel room, pouring himself a drink and waiting for our Bond girl to unzip her dress, Tim Bond gets to know her, takes her to the fare, smiles at her! And not in that creepy, notch-on-the-bedpost way...After seven Roger Moore Bond films, this is unsettling. It's not long before he whisks off young Kara to the slopes for some classic Bond ski chasing action. However, we've had skis, snowboards, time for something different, let's try Cello case boarding!
Meanwhile, amidst our selection of bad guys who might not be, including a KGB general who looks suspiciously like an axe wielding dwarf, we have our henchman, Necros. Destined to meet a sticky end at the hands of John McLean, he spends his time in the Bond Universe dressing up like a milkman, playing 80s music on his Walkman and throwing explosive milk bottles!
Soon enough Bond gets captured and shipped off to our exotic locale for the evening Afganistan, before you know we messed it all up and that...turns out it looked pretty nice.
After escaping said capture, Bond meets local Afgan freedom fighter Kamran Shah, who takes pity on poor Timothy and puts him up with his Mujahadeen buddies. Of course this impressive looking good guy can't just be Afgani, so obviously he's been educated at Oxford and quickly shifts to being a proper Bond posho.
We then enter the overly familiar boring, seemingly endless, confrontation of good guys and bad guys in the plains of Afganistan phase. Which begins to look increasingly like The Last Crusade, good job John Rhys Davis isn't here to ride off with the good guy, oh wait...
Fortunately we get a fun action sequence which sees Bond and bad guy clinging on for dear life to a net filled with drug parcels hanging out the back of an airborne freight plane! It's certainly a pretty hairy looking stunt especially when there's a Cellist at the controls!
Inevitably Bond dispatches the henchman, escapes the plummeting plane...in a jeep! Then pops off for a weird epilogue where he takes care of the 8th or 9th villain which feels like the director just forgot to kill him first.
All in all, we're left pretty exhausted, and not in a good way. In a please make it stop already way...Not a killer start to the latest Bond re-boot then.
The Living Daylights scores
Girls n Gadgets - 4.6/10
Cheese - 1.3/10
Action - 5.0/10
Overall - 4.3/10
Therefore, a champion curry and a bog standard Bond...All in all CURRYBOND #15 scores 6.7/10.
CURRYBOND will return in Kolam + License to Kill.