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14 May 2009
With my current famine of female company I went for the next best thing and got Toy Boy to come along with me to review Dockhead's premiere Indian restaurant, Mumbai.
Toy Boy - or Jimmy, as my son much prefers to be called - isn't always up for coming out with me but I promised him I wouldn't get drunk and dance.
Mumbai is small and intimate and, going by the constant full-to-the-brim carrier bags leaving the premises to be delivered to your door, a big regular with the locals for take-away.
As with many Indian restaurants there is an air of calm when you go in, like entering an ashram. Sitar music gently floats around and spiced aromas waft up from the kitchen. I wanted to get into position and meditate.
Papadums were set before us with an array of pickles and dips, and as we tucked in two large bottles of cold Cobra - that wonderful Indian lager specially concocted to accompany curry - were poured. Young James, a game boy who is ever willing to dive in before testing the waters, soon realised he preferred the milder mango chutney to the fiery lime pickle and had to gollop half a pint of Cobra to cool his burning palate.
The menu carries a wide selection of dishes ranging in price from £4.50 to £10.95, all with mouth-watering descriptions. For starters we succumbed to the temptations of the Tandoori Malai Chops, which I found a little overcooked, and the King Prawn Butterfly which was spot on. A good start.
As me and the son discussed the credit crunch, the NHS, Michael Moore documentaries, his computer course, the last girl he slept with and getting out of debt, the restaurant slowly began to fill up with couples.
Myself and the boy had gone for two of the chef's specials as our main courses: Lamb Badam Pasanda (a personal favourite) and Chingri Hara Piaz. And how could we resist that when it is described as, king prawn, lightly seasoned with spices and herbs, cooked with onions, green curry leaf and garnished with coriander?
The lamb was definitely special; tender and succulent in a great sauce, while the prawn dish, which hit the table in a blaze of colour, was one to remember for next time.
We both felt quite full now but when the waiter put a dessert menu on the table we agreed that there is always room for ice cream. The small selection included those frozen bought-in desserts that do the perfect job of refreshing the taste buds after a lot of hot spice, so we had a Funky Pie and a Vanilla Fudge.
After those we were completely done in and really could not find room for coffees.
Mr Miah, the man in charge, came and said hello and posed for a few photos just before we left smiling and satisfied. Mumbai is a good, solid local Indian restaurant that has stood the test of time. It is consistent in quality and I predict it will remain a firm favourite in the area for many years.
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