South Asia In Shoreditch

Once past the rather gruesome tale of Tippoo’s Tiger*, my curiosity provoked a ségue later that week to South Asia via Shoreditch. I knew about the preponderance of curry houses in London, but had avoided them because I thought such dishes might be a bit intense for my delicate digestive system. Nevertheless, though I’ve never been to India or Bangladesh, the post-war British-flavored ambience of the Shampan Curry House in London’s Brick Lane was what I imagined the streets of these countries might be like. The softly lit room with linen tablecloths and elegantly set table service were most inviting, as were the wait staff in crisp white shirts, odd short neckties and black satin vests. Carefully balancing multi-plated trays, they bustled back and forth to the noisy, packed dining room; yet their expressions remained strangely serene. It almost seemed as though they were listening to the music of  sitar and tabla while waiting on a Sultan in the perfumed gardens of the Taj Mahal. Exotic aromas of fresh onion naan, bhaji and metter paneer were enough to convince me that if the food smelled that good, it had to taste even better. And I was not disappointed. Still, I couldn’t help staring at one of the waiters in the shadow of an order for a large party as he seemed to become something else altogether…

*see post of December 13

Other images from the Notes From The London Underground series may be seen and purchased as gicleé prints at http://www.magiceyegallery.com.

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