…so this is mostly going to be about curry. I was on my own in Stratford last night, in the rain (it was gorgeous this morning, but it was pretty miserable yesterday). What else but some free internet at Encore bar (I had to fight to get a seat at the bar, and all the tables were taken) followed by a takeaway back on my cosy boat?
Encore was quite nice. I’d’ve preferred it a bit quieter, but it was 6pm on a Saturday night and it wasn’t overpowering. Bar service was pretty quick and one server in particular was very attentive and helpful about the wifi service. The beer there is ok- I had Doom Bar, which then went off tap so I followed it up with a Reverend James- but not as good as the Butty Bach at the Cape of Good Hope. They offer O2’s free wifi service so I passed 90 minutes or so reading about other people’s adventures on Facebook, and similar superficial things like that. It was… soothing, and I needed to be soothed last night. Then I was ready for food so I strolled along the road to the nearest curry house or kebab shop- whichever came first- which turned out to be Thespian’s Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant on Sheep Street.
I’d cleaned the chimney. I’d swept up. I’d shopped. And I’d driven a long way. I was hungry and with a couple of beers inside, I needed chilli and garlic- and I got them. I ordered Tarka Dal and Chicken Roshun, asking for the latter to be hot rather than medium. The server took my order efficiently, advised me to have naan rather than rice (as I had to choose- even I couldn’t eat both) whipped off a 10% discount, possibly because I was on my own, possibly not, then told me to come back in 15 minutes. The restaurant was literally three minutes’ walk from the boat, so I went back and dropped off the shopping, prodded the fire back into life, and went back to collect the food. The door was opened for me and as I appeared, so my bag of food arrived from the kitchen. Perfect timing, which both I and my server commented. I didn’t open the door for myself again, wished and was wished a pleasant evening, and went home. Lovely service and very quick- and the food was LUSH.
The tarka dal was soft and slightly sweet and deliciously creamy. The spices came through really nicely and the soft, sweet, charred naan was a perfect accompaniment. The roshun was a new dish to me, thick tomatoey sauce with whole garlic cloves and, as requested, plenty of heat. I alternated between the two dishes with the naan and the whole meal was absolutely delicious. No pictures, I’m afraid- the battery/inverter problems mean that in the evenings lighting on the boat is very low!
After I’d finished I discovered two free poppadoms in the bag. I couldn’t have squeezed them in anyway, because I finished far more from greed than hunger and was stuffed, but I thought it was a nice touch. I’d definitely recommend Thespian’s and would go there again for a meal or a takeaway next time I’m in Stratford.