Looking for India in London

May 06, 2014

This post is a continuation to my previous story of spending a day in London. Click here for that whole story.

The rest of the day was spent wandering at Oxford street and, unfortunately, ruining everyone’s afternoon when I made it my life’s mission to find a fantastic Indian restaurant. It was a recipe for failure from the start. I didn’t know any good restaurants in London, but my craving needed to be satisfied and I was hellbent on Mom loving Indian food once and for all. In retrospect, I was the one who betrayed the ‘go with the flow’ plan of the day.

When we were told there was an incredible Indian restaurant very close to Oxford street, I followed blindly and by blindly I mean I got us completely lost. We walked far more than we needed to and had to ask for directions constantly. But I couldn’t stop now. I had made everyone skip our scheduled meal with the group so we could have a nirvana-like experience with Indian cuisine. I had to find the place and an hour later I did. 
Tired, thirsty and starving we arrived at the place, but the embarrassment had only begun. The restaurant was beyond fancy with a narrow hall with an elevator in the end took us to the restaurant on the second floor. Everybody stared as we were seated and given steamed towels to clean our hands. One look at the menu and I began having a mini nervous breakdown. No plate on the menu was cheaper than 30 quid. Not even the appetizers.

This was the furthest thing from the idea I had in mind. I thought we could enjoy some curry and naan bread accompanied by acceptable customer service, not break our wallets at a high end place where the waiters have immaculate detailed uniforms. My breakdown led to frustration tears in the bathroom and me making everybody uncomfortable, even the maitre'd.

 My family continued to reassure me, telling me we didn't have to stay at all, and to my utter embarrassment we did leave but not before several waiters, even what appeared the manager asked us if we had found something wrong with the service. From their perspective, it did seem we became quite unsatisfied in a matter of a nanosecond. What was I suppose to say, though? 'You are too good for us?' No, no. We conjured up some sort of excuse and the apologized once again on our way out.

Still feeling defeated and utterly stupid, Mark tried his best to cheer me up and so did everyone else. We ended up eating in an Argentinian restaurant nearby and while it wasn’t Indian, it was still really good. With every bite, I felt better and got over my obsessive, highly dramatic moment.

I do hope someone out there read, who has tried a great bowl of curry, will understand that my reactions were not uncalled for. Sometimes you just have to have curry. And instantly. We all payed the price.

Back at the hotel, my roommate asked me why I had missed dinner with them. I told her we were in the search for some restaurant and it ended strange to say the least. I asked her how her evening had been and she said the food had been surprisingly delicious. They had stuffed their faces with curry and naan bread at a very cozy Indian restaurant.

If you have ever wondered what irony is, that day it slapped me square in the face.

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