It looks as though The Laughing Buddha has finally stopped laughing. The Chinese restaurant, which is next to Chapter Two seems to be closed. The sign says for refurbishment works, but I’m not sure. It seems like a bit of a coincidence that both places are shutting up shop at the same time… Maybe Chapter Two are expanding into the Buddha’s space? I hope it isn’t closing, as I never even got a chance to go in there – I’d always intended to but never quite had the right moment.
Tag Archives: take-away
So, much like The Dacre Arms, The Spice of Life is a lovely place, just outside Blackheath. I had to investigate, after seeing so many positive comments about the place, on this blog, and on loads of other web sites. Comments along the lines of “this is my favourite Indian restaurant, I’ve been going there for fifteen years, etc etc”.
So off we went on Thursday evening. And it wasn’t empty, but it was quiet. It was smaller than I expected, but very welcoming and friendly looking.. To be honest, the decor looked as though it hadn’t changed since the mid eighties, (which matched the music nicely). But who cares, because the food was absolutely first rate.
Delicious and light, not too fiery, a really nice blend of flavours. We’re not meat eaters, so can’t comment on that, but the saag paneer, and vegetable dopiaza were lovely, along with some pilau rice, a chipati, and some yoghurt. Great stuff.
They also had a very mysterious looking orange sauce with the poppadoms. When we asked, we were told that it was the chef’s own invention, and that it was based on carrots. And the whole lot came to £25.60 including drinks for two people. The only downside is that they don’t deliver (but you can pick up a take-away).
260 Lee High Rd
London, SE13 5PL
Google map here.
I might have to reappraise what I wrote about the Village Deli back in May… After today, I’m not sure I’ll be heading back. It all started well enough, with the idea of getting something to eat there before catching a train. When we’d bought our food to take-away, I realised that we still had 15 minutes before the train was due.
So I asked one of the staff there if we could sit down with our food. He said of course, so we did. Then a very grumpy lady came over and loudly told us that she was very sorry, but we couldn’t possibly sit there, as we had paid to take away. Which was kind of embarrassing, and made me feel like some sort of furtive vagrant sneaking into their shop to sit down…
I completely understand that by law the place has to add VAT on to our order if we choose to eat in, so I offered to pay the difference. Mrs Bugle was busy fuming by this point. So we finished our (rather dry) spinach and ricotta thingy, and got up to leave. I asked how much we owed her, and she announced £2! Two pounds in VAT?! I’m sure our two spinach things didn’t cost more than £6, and by my reckoning, two pounds means that our food must have cost £11! I questioned it (hell, I’d already lost any chance at getting out of there without embarrassment), and was told that it was “because we sat at the table”, whatever that means.
It’s not so much the money, as the way it was handled… Maybe she was having a bad day, but as Michael P pointed out in the comments in the previous post about the Deli:
Every time I leave the Deli, I swear that I will never return. Although the service is just about passable during the week, I am almost always left to hang for a sapping period of time at the weekend. And there’s about as much chance of getting a smile as there is getting change from a tenner.
True indeed… If I’m turning this blog into one long whinge-fest please tell me. I do like Blackheath really!
Strada is probably in danger of becoming the current decade’s equivalent of the Berni Inn. They seem to be ubiquitous, cheap, and very popular. However, unlike Berni, the food is quite tasty. It isn’t going to give Chapter Two or Buenos Aires a run for their money, but if you’re knackered after work, and can’t face cooking, it’s perfect for a takeaway.
I know it’s a big evil chain etc etc, and I should probably be endorsing Blackheath’s own Sun Bo, or one of the slightly nondescript Indian restaurants, but they don’t seem to get my custom as often.
Vegetarian tip of the day – they don’t do mushroom pizzas, but they have a special code-phrase that enables a mushroom pizza… “Cotto with no ham”. Last time I tried this, the waitress told me that it was a bit silly to order a ham pizza with no ham, and it would be cheaper to make it from a margherita with extra toppings… Then she checked it, and agreed that the Cotto sans cotto was the cheaper option. The asparagus risotto is nice too.
From their site:
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 12noon till 11pm. Sunday 12noon till 10.30pm.
Telephone: 020 8318 6644
Google Map here.