A few doors down from The Kings is the Tandoori restaurant The Biplob. As a self-confessed Korma lover (I know, it’s a crime) I seldom partake in the Indian and Thai dishes which is why, as I entered the busy front room, I tried to avoid eye contact with the staff. From the second I shuffled through the door knew what they were dealing with.
We were seated downstairs in a room where modern wallpaper prints and traditional ornaments set a modern, chilled, tone in an environment better known for making people hot under the collar. Sat down I gingerly took the menu of the waiter and after a lot of debating I was persuaded to opt for a Bhuna. The menu described it as medium hotness and in choosing it I’d avoid the risk of having the chef spit in my Korma. The tall one was more adventurous, opting for a Vindaloo and a bottle of white wine to share.
The first source of bafflement came when we were handed the bottle of wine in an empty bucket. We looked in the bucket for the ice, under it and around it but there was none. Bottles of wine aren’t cheap when dining out; you’d think people would by now know wine buckets are not there just to carry singular bottles. Despite this I maintained my cool in preparation for the hot curry coming my way.
The Bhuna surprised me. Despite being listed as medium hotness it was surprisingly mild (certainly no hotter than a Korma). Personally I have no complaints over the lack of heat produced by the meal, I lapped every mouthful of lamb and rice. But why was it so mild? Are all Bhunas like this? My companion was equally surprised over my calmness as he sweated through his Vindaloo. While I sipped on the warming wine he glugged down pints of tap water. At one stage I wondered whether the waiter had told the kitchen to put all the spice from my dish into the tall one’s. At the end of the meal we both toyed with the idea of sharing a dessert but unfortunately by this time (about 8/8:30) the staff were a little off and we weren’t given the option to browse. The rip-off after eight mints given with the meal would have to do.
In the wise intellect of Google, the name Biplob means “serious-minded, responsible, and stable”. Unfortunately the dining experience at The Biplob failed to evoke any of these feelings. Don’t get me wrong, the mild Bhuna suited my delicate palate just fine but at the same time the warmth from staff (and indeed the food) just wasn’t there for me. If it’s for a work do or if a friend invites me, fine, but otherwise I think I’ll be sticking to Sainsbury’s chicken korma for one.
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