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

Monday, January 21, 2008


But with a business like this
There's an gnarly downside

Urban Turban – it’s a fun name eh ? It’s like the title of a sitcom, probably starring Hardeep Singh Kohli (you know, the guy with a turban - he’s fun he is). Puts a smile on the face. Nothing like a bit of fun. Shame then that I was all funned out by the time I left Urban Turban - 45 minutes later and £45 lighter - the new restaurant from Michelin starred Chef Vineet Bhatia,. A more cynical and efficient way of parting punters from their money I have yet to encounter.

A friend once said that one of the scariest phrases in the English language is “Indian Tapas” (actually I would put this below “Cheap Sushi” but above “Our Special Sauce”). The Desi Tapas Platter was a tray of six small cones filled with food of indeterminate…well it was just indeterminate. There were bits and bobs in various hues and colours which tasted vaguely Indian in origin. Unfortunately, a taste that hung around like an unwanted guest for the rest of my night and which my fellow tube passengers got to enjoy whenever I burped. The only thing recognisable was something called a Chicken Lollipop – recognisable only because I remembered it from the menu - which I think even Micky Ds would have been embarrassed to sell.

I looked around at my fellow diners perched awkwardly on small stools at small tables in a room which was like the overflow area for a particularly tacky nightclub. Were they having fun ? Given their strange shell-shocked, opened-mouth look I didn’t think so. I turned my attention back to deconstructing my first course only for my next one to turn up on the overcrowded table.

It’s a long time since I’ve had a Biryani. What I do know about Biryani is there are many variations on the theme. What I didn’t know there was a version made with a few dry cubes of Lamb and a large amount of rice. Well, I do now. Relentless and unforgiving, if you like eating lots of rice but not much else this dish is for you.

HS is a black and white kind of guy – things are either very, very good or they’re very, very bad, I’m your shades of grey type of person – some call it fence sitting – but I can usually eke out some positives from a given meal. But this time I was beat, I really hated everything about this place and was more than happy to get my bill and get back to civilisation ASAP.

Sometimes I think we get the restaurants we deserve. So what has Notting Hill done to deserve Urban Turban (great name by the way) ? For fuck sake I only have so much time on my hands to write these posts, you know.

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Blogger RD said...

Thanks for helping me avoid this disaster. I had just read about it and was going to give it a try...

In general, I agree that when one sees the phrase Indian tapas one should run for the hills. But have you been to Imli? Actually think the food there is not bad, and it's pretty good value. Good pav bhaji, the aubergine masala is nice, and the coriander vadi pretty nice.

Cheers, BB

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 9:05:00 am  
Blogger mightyv said...

I've been here and it was terrible. Give it six months and hopefully we'll have a better restaurant there instead.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 4:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I had read your review and skipped this place. Weirdly the naan was good, but all the main course curries were a disgrace. A cynical, money-makin exercise.

Andy Hayler

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 12:08:00 am  

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