Monday, June 16, 2008

Take away or eat in?

As readers of my dog's blog will know, we have had a flurry of eating out. For the first time in I can't remember how many years.

This is how it started.

I decided to ring for an Indian. You have to imagine the right accents for this conversation.

"Hello Take-Away Restaurant" says Indian in that combination of singsong Indian meets singsong Welsh accent that they have.

(I'm not very good at understanding accents but I can manage Indian ones because they all sound like Partner when he's had too much to drink. He's Welsh. Not Indian).

"Hello" says me.  "I want one vegetable jaipuri" in even sillier combination of Gibbo speaking English with clipped accent meets singsong Indian/Welsh accent.

"No vegetable jaipuri." 

I scan the menu quickly.

"OK.  I have vegetable rogan josh."

"No vegetable rogan josh."

"No vegetable rogan josh?" says me parrot fashion.

"No vegetable rogan josh" says Indian robot.

"Well what vegetable curry do you have?" still in silly accent but at least reverting to proper sentence structure.

"Only veg curry sag aloo."

"Only sag aloo?" (return of the parrot).

"Yes, only sag aloo" says robot, clearly dealing with the thickest woman in Gibraltar.

"Well thanks sweetheart but no thanks" says me, so annoyed that I even forgot the silly accents and reverted to posh Yorkshire.  And put the phone down.

Looked at Partner.  The parrot came back to me and I told him there was no veg jaipuri, no veg rogan josh, only veg curry was sag aloo. Which was pretty stupid as he had been sitting there listening to the whole surreal conversation anyway.  

Then I ripped up the menu and threw it in the bin.  It's always satisfying to DO something when someone annoys you, I find. Then I was stumped.

Why was the Indian not doing veg curry on a Thursday night?  It's not as though I'm not a good customer.  I have spent £8 there on my veg curries at least twice in the last two months, maybe three times.

"What about the other one?" says Partner.  No. Don't like that, I said.  (Mainly cos I didn't feel like the walk as it is near Morrison's, although I'm not that keen on it either).

"Well I'm sure that one at the marina (near us ie Ragged Staff, Queensway Marina) does take aways," says Partner.  So I rang up - with strict instructions from Partner to speak properly.  Without any accents apart from a posh Yorkshire one.

Yes they did.  This seemed a Good Plan.  Near, and we could all (ie us plus Pippadog) walk down and choose what we wanted and sit and wait for it.   So we walked down and I went inside.  Partner and Pippa leaning against the railings looking cool.  

Indian waiter escorted me outside with menu and tablecloth.  

"We've got a dog," I said, pointing to Pippa.  "He's big", I added unnecessarily.  

No problem.  We all sat down, actually Pippa lay down to get the best cat-spotting position.  Chose the food, went for the impossible veg jaipuri which was available, sag aloo which I'd refused from the other place, nan and rice.  

"Do you want a drink?" says me to Partner, thinking how nice it was sitting there.  

"Ask how much it is", he says.  Less than two quid - cheap.  Beer for him, glass of wine for me.  Nice.  Evening sun, boats, a drink. Someone cooking my tea. No washing up, or at least only the plates when we got home and I dished it up.   What more could I want?  

"Shall we eat here?" I said brightly.

Partner looked horrified. "No.  I want a take-away.  I want to eat in the flat."

"Why do you want to eat in the flat? We could eat here. It's nice here.  It's nicer than eating in the flat, I think."

Warming to theme and with incontrovertible logic I thought.  Repeated it to get point across.

"Don't you think it's nicer sitting here in the sun looking at the boats instead of eating inside in a small poky flat?"

Furrowed brow from Partner.  "We don't like eating out.  You won't enjoy it.  It will be dear."

"No it won't.  It's the same price as the takeaway."  Actually I didn't know what price the take-away was, ie I didn't know if there was a reduction. Maybe not, there isn't always.

"I want to eat here."  I said.  Therefore end of discussion as far as I was concerned.

"Well, when was the last time we ate out?" says Partner suddenly trying to convince me we should eat out.

"And it's really nice sitting here isn't it?" he says persuasively.

"I've just got paid too, so there is plenty of money," he says generously.

He turned into the parrot and repeated this mantra a few times while I sat there doing the goldfish routine.  After a while I remembered how to speak.

"Why are you trying to convince me?  It's you that doesn't want to eat out.  I want to eat here."

"No, no, I think it would be really good ......blah blah" parrot mantra again.

So ate out we did. And have done since repeatedly. The take-away has lost out. The food at the restaurant is better anyway.

I can recommend the Maharaja on Queensway Quay. Lots of veg curries, choice of rice dishes, different nans, some interesting starters, good salad, and an excellent pickle tray. Average price including a couple of drinks - £20-£25.

And a great view too. Starting prices of the flats overlooking the marina with the same view - around half a mill (sterling). Worth £20-£25 for a lovely meal out.


The Brat Pack said...

I can just imagine this conversation, it makes me laugh! Do most of the restaurants there allow dogs?

I'm trying to plan a February or March trip over but am quite dismayed at the American Dollar. :(

Tasha & Eva said...

Sounds perfect. I love to dine outside with a view. Especially near water. I'm always happy with a good meal, a great view and sound of the water. Reminds me that I need to work on Doug again about moving somewhere else. Preferably near water.
"They" are considering allowing dogs in the outdoor areas at local restaurants providing the business applies for the appropriate license. We would definitely frequent those businesses. Probably an ugly view but still time spent out and about with the dogs.

Yes, I said dogs. Announcement will be made soon.


Cassandra said...

I wondered if they had Parrot and Goldfish on the menu, after reading this post!

Very funny, had me laffing out loud.

Do you know one day the cat from the Chinese restaurant in the town was found in our garden.

After checking the identity badge on his collar, I telephoned the Chinese restaurant.

"Do you have a Cat?" I asked.

"Cat?!" came the reply,

"Yes, a CAT" I repeated, doing the typical English thing of starting to talk very loudly and clearly.

"No, no, no, no, we no serve Cat, we no cook Cat, only regular meats" came the horrified reply.


"ooooooh yes, our Cat is missing, please to bring it back to us if you can". Replied nice Chinese voice, totally relieved they were not being asked for Cat Chop Suey.

I am loving your tales!

Cassandra - Queen of Suburbia.