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07/01/2020: Money can't buy class - never make assumptions about waiters

Money can't buy you class

Having been a long and fairly traumatic time since we last had an evening off for nothing better than pleasing ourselves, Dimitri and I went to have a curry at our local Indian restaurant The Jewel in the Passage. As always our gushing host Baddu was on hand to welcome us. He ushered us into a corner table just next to a very well-dressed couple who were already well into their meal.

Assuming a caricature of his own accent he assured us that "your most splendid meal will be a delight to all senses" and that we had nothing to do but call if we wanted his most personal attentiveness… Bowing deeply, he left us to study the menu.

The well-dressed couple were obviously impressed and loudly agreed that they were surprised that this restaurant had never appeared in any of Michael Winner's reviews. They were most impressed by the "totally authentic nature" of the establishment and how they almost felt they were in India. Killing a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc with a flourish, Mr Well-Dressed flipped it upside down into the ice bucket.

"I say Darling" He continued. "Wouldn't it be marvellously wonderful to get the recipe for this amaaaazing dish and offer it to all our friends back on the Common". "They will all be so impressed, we will be the highlight of the social calendar".

Mrs Well-Dressed insisted that she couldn't cook and it may be difficult. "Nonsense Darling, I am sure that if these chaps can do it, anyone can. Let me ask him for the recipe". He went on to insist that it would be such fun. They could invite everyone in fancy dress and take everyone right back to the days of the Raj.

Baddu appeared almost silently back at their table and asked in his best "It Ain't 'Alf 'Ot Mum" overacting accent if there was anything else he could get them. "Only the recipe for that most delightful dish we have just been sharing an orgasm over", interrupted Mr Well-Dressed.

Baddu rolled his eyes and shook visibly. "You mean the Chicken Tikka Scallywally Balti sir?". "Yes" chirped Mr Well-Dressed, "that's the chap". "I can't possibly do that sir", Baddu replied. "You see, it is a closely guarded secret, known only to men of magic and elders in our mountain village" he continued along with much eye rolling and hand wringing. Prompted by the couple's crest fallen reaction, Baddu continued. "However, I believe that there are less scrupulous ones among us who have put the secret online. If you know its real name, you can search for it."

The Well-Dresseds nearly fell to crying. "Do you know the real name?". "May the gods forgive me, I do" Baddu replied. "This dish has the real name Goan Fakir Salph". Pausing only just long enough to make sure they were writing on a napkin, Baddu turned on his heel and headed back to the kitchen.

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