Mike H wakes on a sofa in New Cross Gate in time to keep the lunch appointment with internet entity Deek Deekster.
Never mind those sneaky Bengali rip-off restaurants in Brick Lane. Further down Bethnal Green Rd I found the place… The plate you are served is something like you’d find yourself being served in Rawalpindi or Lahore… To carry on with the racist theme I introduced, these people are Pakistanis which I approve of as they speak Urdu so I know I'm not being cussed behind my back (Bangla sounds, to any civilised person, like stones rattling around in a can.)
We both order karahi bindi gosht, that is, a beef karahi with lady's-fingers or okra, a great combination karahi to have on the menu, it struck me when I came here the first time. Mike H eats with tandoori naan, Deek orders pilau rice. The waiter plumps down the customary tiny little salad (the size salads are meant to be) and raita, which a Brick Lane restaurant would add £2 to your bill for.
two statistics gleaned from conversation with Deek over lunch
#1: 36 per cent (note: someone who spells out per cent rather than typing % has probably been to journalism school) of women enjoy anal sex (source: a study in the UK 10 years ago). (approximately one-third. another third said they don't particularly mind, another third that they hate it. Deek and Mike H agree that two-thirds odds is good)
#2: 5 million Britons watch Big Brother every night. why don't they read realgem for fuck's sake?
While I myself was already fond of the place, Deek provides an objective and unprejudiced assessment as to the quality of the food and the size of his appetite by finishing about half of the bleary Mike H's portion, which even at the best of times would have left him uncomfortably gorged.
Additional points were earned by the lotas in the toilet… this is for washing your ass after relieving yourself, hugely preferable to the uncivilised Western habit of using toilet paper.
Finally, the endearing ashtrays. Note the four different-sized slots, for whether one be smoking cheroot, cigarette, cigarillo, cigar or spliff.
The decor, too, recalls a modern, efficient restaurant in Pakistan. There is no decor as such, the walls are stark white-tiled with posters with Koran verses on them. The tabletops and chairs are pleasantly gaudy.
Deek and Mike concur in their thorough approval of this eating establishment. Look, you might not want to bring a girl here on a dinner date or anything, but for cheap, solid, well-cooked food from good ingredients in doesn't get better than Lahore Express, Bethnal Green Rd. - authentic Punjabi cuisine, just like it says on the window.