So we went the Moon Light restaurant in Brick Lane. It calls itself an Indian though there’s a definite Bangladeshi influence. They have a great sign:
The waiter was incredibly intrusive but so exuberantly and naively so that it was impossible to take offence. I learned for example that he had recently married his cousin. And it was only at the wedding that his parents told him that they were also cousins. Way too much information, dude.
The food was fine, a very good lamb biryana, a less good prawn balti, and there was a starter on the menu that I’d never seen before or even heard of, so obviously it had to be ordered ‘Biran Mas – Bangladeshi rhui fish gently spiced and lightly fried.’
That described it well enough though I had to wait till I got home to look up what rhui is. Apparently it’s a kind of carp (sometimes called Ilish or Hilsha) and it was great, though if you’d told me it was a piece of cod I’d have believed you.
As you see above, it came with what I think of as a standard-issue Indian restaurant, salad the kind you can get in any every Indian or Indian-related restaurant in Engalnd. They always look much the same, which is to say very unappetizing, and as far as I can tell nobody ever eats them. They come out from the kitchen and then get taken back again. Do they get thrown away? Doe they get recycled? Does anybody know or care?
But I wonder what the waiters and chefs in these restaurants think about it. Do they think the English have a strange, mysterious and ritualistic attitude towards salad. They think it’s not meant to be eaten, it’s just meant to be there. Like a raddish rose? I haven’t seen a raddish rose for years, though I do think I might have eaten one once, but I don't really remember.