"It's not much but it's ours"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007



I was once in a meeting at a well known publishing house at a point in my career where it was becoming clear to me and them that my future lay elsewhere.

As I sat there with the great and the good, bored out of my skull, the MD began to draw matters to their natural conclusion and wound things up with the appropriate “any further questions?”

I am not sure what came over me, but I put up my hand and said “yes, why don’t hookers kiss?”

Let’s just say that the rest of my time at the blessed home of the paperback was spent under somewhat of a thick black cloud.

For some reason I always think back to this when I walk down Rupert St.

It is hardly the smartest street in town. Dodgy pubs, a few of those bars where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry co-o-ola, ladies who offer but probably couldn’t give you a good time and a few stores where helpful young men can advise you how to shove increasingly large items into your or your partner's rectum without a visit to A&E.

But, cross over towards Chinatown and, on your left, you come across Rupert Court, a small alley that has little to recommend you examine its, er length apart from the fact it houses one of the best little Malaysian Cafes in London.

C&R has been there for as long as I can remember and, for as long as I can remember it has been good enough for people to happily stand out in the street, with its piss and vomit perfume, and wait for a table to become vacant.

In part it’s the pricing, with few dishes coming in at over £6 and, in part, it is the quality with freshly prepared dishes which probably deserve that dreaded word “authentic” arriving in sizable portions and in rapid time.

A perfect choice for a quick supper tonight.

We managed to grab the last table for two which was just as well as the queues began to grow after that and I would have just walked away. No noodle test this man (with apologies to Lennox Lewis)

Service was as idiosyncratic as ever and it took a few requests to get menus and then to order. But, once we did, the food arrived in five minutes and in no particular order.

Hainanese Chicken was pretty blah, and the fact we wanted the chicken on the bone seemed to throw them because they came to check twice to make sure. Not quite sure why, ordering chicken on the bone is hardly like ordering dog intestines. Harmless enough but hardly worth the grief of getting it ordered.

Better was the Char Kway Teow which pressed all the right buttons with nice meaty prawns and crisp beansprouts and, at £6 would make a perfectly passable meal in itself.

Satay and small deep fried chicken wings arrived last and both had a pleasing enough little chilli “pop” to them that I considered ordering another portion. But, that was never going to happen. The moment we mopped up the juices on our plates with the last of our excellent buttery little roti canai, the table was cleared and the bill plopped down with little ceremony.

I was having one of my all too rare “dry” days, so stuck to water and some of that rather sickly Malaysian Milky tea. My chum had a single beer which, with service, brought the bill to about £34. In am sure that in KL you could have the same meal for about 15p, but in London, this represents pretty good value.

Well, I still don’t know why hookers don’t kiss, but I am pretty certain that C&R represents the best quickie you are going to get for £30 in this part of town.

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