As K put it, this is review is not so much about what we ate as it about what we didn’t.
We were in some need of cheering up. There was green moong dal and alu sabzi at home. But I felt like a nice dinner out to fix us up. So I suggested going to Lemon Grass which has come up in place of Pot Pourri at Turner Road.
We went there and saw the familiar face of the waiters from L G’s continental ancestor, Pot Pourri. Some of the old dark wood tables and chairs were the same too. There were a few statues of the Buddha thrown in, acknowledging the new order. A new A C section which was a welcome relief from the heat and dust of Turner Road which the outdoor section was exposed to. The first edition of Lemon Grass used to be where Gloria Jean’s Coffee is now. 2003 I think. That had a little pebbled section in between the tables. Used to have a long queue of guests waiting in those days.
While we waited for our order of round two, the Thai Green Curry that we earlier ordered came. Except it was Red! Off went the waiter, more used to the pennes and pestos and Parmesans of Pot Pourri, to search for this alien thing called ‘Green Curry’.
‘Could I have green chillies in fish oil?’
We were not entirely full and I thought of ordering a beef Mussaman curry usually referred to as ‘yellow curry’. Had a long discussion with the walrus mousched waiter who decided to take over our table from the two earlier guys. This gentleman, used to serving German sausages, was confused when I asked for yellow curry. ‘Orange’ he finally concluded and proceeded to the kitchen.
He came back in a couple of minutes. “Kitchen is closed sir”.
What followed was out of those poverty scenes in films like Deewar, Children of heaven, The Bicycle Thief and How Green Was My Valley. K and I tried to stretch that one bowl of green curry that had been rationed to us. And she without rice, remember? There was a bit of curry left which she passed on to me. I took a spoonful and gave her the remaining spoonful. Then we looked outside at a child and two ladies who were eating and hadn’t finished their portions. I could see us as characters in a Hindi Art film of the eighties. Om Puri and Smita Patil could have played K and me longingly looking at wasted the food at the other table. As K put it, we had appetites, we had money… we had no food. The dinner ended with me finishing off the peanut sauce dip which was on the table. Before we could ask for the bill, our friend, the walrus guy, said, “sorry sir, no desserts today”. I guess this was a dinner which came with a diet plan.
We strolled back home with a lesson on the need to count our blessings. Reminded me of a prayer that I once heard: