Monday, July 07, 2008

Betty's Birthday Meal

So we booked a table at a Soho restaurant for Saturday evening. Not realising Saturday was Pride London Day. As opposed to London Pride Day which would attract streets of Keith Flett lookalikes.

We walked through Soho as the party was winding down. Or was it winding up for the night to come? Well, we walked through Soho in a bit of an alcoholic daze, unfazed by the bloke pissing against a wall and the broken bottles underfoot. In the restaurant, we sat at a window table so we could see younger people drinking, chatting, kissing, hugging, punching and littering. A glass or a bottle was thrown at the restaurant window. I felt bloody old.

At 9.30 precisely, the street cleaners came and removed all the rubbish from the street. A little later the fire brigade turned up to sort out a gush which was making a bit of a river of one side of the street. They came, they went and everybody carried on doing what they were doing.

I'd chosen the restaurant from the Time Out Guide 1998. Back then, Phill Jupitus was a regular. The food was supposed to be decent and the portions were meant to be large, plenty enough for a man of Jupitus' girth. Of course we didn't see him there and no wonder, for he would have needed ten main courses as his starter.

We left the restaurant, unsatiated, and walked back through the partying crowd, just avoiding stepping in a drunk young woman's vomit. We missed our train by 30 seconds. With half an hour to kill we went to the nearest pub where they graciously relieved us of £9.50 for two glasses of wine.

We stepped off the train the other end and my stomach was demanding more food. So into the kebab shop it was for a nice hot portion of chips. While we were waiting for the order, a very unusual family got out of a cab and joined us at the counter. Dad had a head like a violent billiard ball and big earrings. Mum and the kids looked like they'd stepped out of a 1973 holiday camp. This was obviously the climax to their night out. Kebabs and chips to take away.

They seemed to be regulars. All it now needed was Phill Jupitus to walk in to make it the perfect evening.

He didn't.


  1. You should have come to Shepherd's Bush for an Aussie Pie and a snakebite.

    Now that's eating.

  2. I hope the snakebite's made with Aussie cider.

  3. Aw, I miss Soho *nostalgia*

    You sneaked that past very quietly! Belated Happy Birthday, dear Betty!

  4. And I was always jealous of your metropolitan lfestyle.
    I'll just settle for provincial portions.

  5. Best stick to the kebab houses of Kent then! How unfortunate Betty's birthday treat didn't go quite to plan.
    Might be an idea to update the Time Out guide.

  6. Weren't you slightly worried about a possible Jupitus encounter?

  7. If you had to choose between Cilla's fish and chips or the kebab shop on Corrie, which would you pick?

  8. Annie - Betty's still younger than me and looks even younger.

    Kaz - You never get too little with a curry. Sometimes you get just the right amount but usually it's too much. The stew I had on Saturday was all sauce!

    Istvanski - The trouble is we only go out in London once every ten years. My previous Time Out Guide had pictures of New Romantics eating.

    Murph - I was half hoping he'd be there as an addition to the times we ate next to Roy Wood then Paul Shane. I was hoping he'd be a loud mouthed big head, too. But he's probably very nice and shy in real life and concentrates on savouring every mouthful.

    MJ - That's a tough one. I think I'd choose the kebab shop as chip shop chips tend to be on the soft side. I'm not sure I'd go for either the fish in the chip shop or the kebab in the kebab shop. I wouldn't mind a pickled egg or two, though. So I might have to go to both establishments.

  9. You could get a pickled egg at The Rovers.

    And a packet of pork scratchings.

    And have a good look at Beverley Callard's breasts.

  10. A few pints of Newton & Ridley's and one of Betty's hotpots and I'd be like a pig in shit. Bev's bazookas would be an added bonus.

  11. I only realised it was pride when an all-female couple with their dyed hair and rainbow teeshirts got on the tube. One year I ended up standing next to a guy with a chain-mail jockstrap. And one year one of my straight colleagues accidentally ended up in the Pride march as he ambled along Regent Street.

    There's a nice hummus bar in Soho which would probably be more filling.

  12. I love hummus but my digestion hates it.