Thursday, 25 October 2018

Veeraswamy's.



Eating out in restaurants, when I was very small, was a rare occurrence.

My father had a favourite German restaurant in Soho where we would occasionally eat, otherwise my only other true gastronomic experience was at Veeraswamy's, off Regent Street.

Veeraswamy's was (and still is) one of the very best Indian eateries outside of India. Founded in 1926, it has maintained its exceptionally high standards to this day.

I must have been about 6 or 7 when I ate there. I remember it as firstly being a haven of peace, just off bustling Regent Street, and secondly a palace of exoticism, with waiters in turbans and Indian Raj-style finery. It was pure theatre.

Unfortunately the one thing I don't remember about the restaurant was what I ate; but I do remember finding it all wonderful.

Lady Magon has just returned from a shopping trip to London and the South Coast, and where did she and No 1 son Kimbo eat..... of course, at Veeraswamy's.

No Raj inspired finery and turbans these day, but the same, if not better, standard of cuisine. Lady M enthused about the food for days. I'm just sorry I wasn't there to have enjoyed it with her.

I love Indian food. Other than the quality and simplicity of Mediterranean cuisine, Indian definitely ranks amongst the best.

It's not cheap, but if you're nearby; try it. For a lover of Indian food, it's a once in a lifetime experience.  You won't receive a discount, but just say 'Cro sent you'.


31 comments:

  1. Dad’s favourite was the Trochadero.... on one occasion I was shown by a waiter, how to eat spaghetti properly with a spoon and fork.... but, that one has vanished now.

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    1. I remember the name, but don't think I ever visited. I think the whole complex closed.

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    2. Yes it did... my father was very upset about it!!
      Kept banging on about "people don't appreciate real quality until it has gone!"

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  2. What a wonderful experience that must have been for you as a young boy.

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    1. It was. I went with my mother after a Christmas shopping trip in Regent Street. I remember the contrast between the crowds and the calm being wonderful; as well as the food of course.

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  3. I don't remember ever going out for a meal as a child.! ( In Leicester) I guess the budget wouldn't go that far, and it just wasn't something people like us did ! How times have changed. Your Veeraswamy sounds wonderful !

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    1. It certainly wasn't something we did regularly. Probably mostly before Christmas when we went shopping in London.

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  4. There are very few genuine Indian restaurants in Britain. Most of them are Bangladeshi and serve fake Indian food. The word 'Pasanda' for instance, means 'I like very much', or so I am told.

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    1. I used to go quite regularly to one in Albemarle Street, off Piccadilly, which was always littered with celebs. It seems to have now closed.

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    2. 'The Standard' in Kensington was/is good.

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  5. Like Frances, I don't remember ever going to a restaurant in my childhood.

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  6. I went there some 50 plus years ago. Wonderful experience, how different from the High Street Indians of these days.

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    1. I still rather like the bog-standard High street 'Indians'; as long as they are clean.

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  7. When we were children now and again we would have a meal in the dining room of the Te Puke Hotel. It would always be quiet and spoke in hushed voices. The waitresses were always young Maori girls, probably on some working scheme. My father always sent his thanks to the cook! It was plain fare, roast meat and three vege, custard and steamed pudding sort of stuff but so wonderful in those surroundings.
    I'll put the Indian place on my wish list. Who knows. Still nothing but greek around here. I love Indian, and chinese

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    1. More and more I find Indian food to my liking. I do like Chinese too, but not in the same way.

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  8. My favourite food is Indian. I now go to the Indian restaurant on my own. I have been eating Indian food since I went to live in Newcastle in 1971. I was also given teaching of South Indian cooking from a man who was visiting the city and I typed up his thesis at the time. He did not expect to have to pay me, but that is another story. As a family, like others here, we did not eat out in restaurants. Our food out was always fish and chips.

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    1. The more I cook (and eat) Indian food, the more I like it. I tend to go for the very simple peasant dishes that ordinary Indians would eat. Apart from being delicious, they also have the effect of being very good for you.

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  9. Ha! My earliest restaurant memory was also at an Indian restaurant. I can still smell & taste the dhal - it's been my benchmark for dhal, always. My brother was very young -he wore a miniature safari suit and I remember him solemnly "reading" the menu upside-down, so I must have been about 6 as well. Still haven't been to India, in spite of the romantic remembrances.

    How wonderful your restaurant still lives on!

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    1. I'm a big Dhal fan. I make them all the time. Cheap and delicious.

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  10. Like one or two of your followers above - I don't ever remember eating out as a child - now I rarely eat in (to make up for lost time?)

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    1. I should think you now eat out more than most!

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  11. I remember eating cod and chips with buttered white bread and peas in a tea room as it was called. The waitresses were in black dresses with white pinafores. You could out the panoramic window on the first floor and see the sea where the fish lived.

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    1. I discovered Indian restaurants when we moved up north!

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  12. For a restaurant to last all those years, it is remarkable. It looks beautiful and I can understand that it was its décor and ambience that you remember as a boy.

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    1. I was brought up in a small village south of London, and seeing these Indian waiters dressed in exotic finery certainly left an impression.

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  13. You know, we're having a three day stay in London soon. We might just take your advice.

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  14. Son cooks wonderful Indian food and last night he made
    Beef Kofta Curry, spicy meatballs in a chopped tomato sauce.
    I am so lucky to have children who love to cook.

    cheers, parsnip and badger

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    1. It's such a satisfying cuisine. Quite simple ingredients, and very exotic spices.

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    ReplyDelete

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