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Tooting is blessed with an abundance of Indian restaurants, but the smart money seeks out this vibrant branch of the Kerala Group chain. Decorated with huge murals of palm trees, sun & sand,
RKB is not a venue where subtlety is a priority, & the jollity of the setting happily spreads to the customers. Basic high-street curries are available for anyone who wants them; they’re cheap,
perfectly serviceable & served with a smile. However, diners in the know choose the rather more exciting house specialities. The kitchen here has been celebrating the cooking of southern India,
& more especially Kerala, for years, & its dosais & idlis are well worth sampling. Try too the Kerala fish curry, tangy with cocum (fish tamarind). Prices are low; standards generally
26 October 2012 - Radha Krishna Bhavan: Tooting curry blog election specialâTogether, we can help make sure that every family that walks into a restaurant can make an easy, healthy choiceâ- Michelle ObamaWith America soon heading to the polls to choose the next US President, we decided to pay homage and cast our own vote on one of Tootingâs favourite curry venues â Radha Krishna Bhavan.In a true-to-life tribute to American politics, we have decided to pass some ignorant yet powerful verdicts over the culture of others, namely the Indian food industry of Tooting. However, this week thereâs a twist. In an encomium to the two-party system, we have offered a balanced debate, one that, for the first time, pits the vigour and resolve of the Tooting Curry Blog against rival budding reviewers to determine who really is giving you the most bang for your bhaji in the Bec to Broadway blogging battleground.Disclaimer: All rival comments are quoted verbatim, but not necessarily in context. The Tooting Curry Blog reserves the right to twist and spin interpretations in its favour.Infrastructure (Venue)Andy Hayler, author of the London Transport Restaurant Guide and a guest critic on each series of BBC's Masterchef: The Professionals has said, âThis establishment (previously called the Sree Krishna) is an old faithfulâ.We say - Mr. Hayler, you're entitled as a critic to your own opinions, and to your own blog, but not to your own facts. Sree Krishna is in fact a separate entity to Radha Krishna Bhavan as any knowledgeable fan of Tooting cuisine should know. However, we will forgive your geographical confusion as you were no doubt distracted by the alluring interior within. As Chris Morrison rightly points out âThe palm tree beach wallpaper is really enjoyableâ. Similarly, Square Meal state, âthat , RKB is not a venue where subtlety is a priorityâ and we concur - the 1980s are calling to ask for their interior design back.Not only is the dÃ©cor lively, but so too is the atmosphere. Our very own Tom Scrimgour was quick to point out the âgood vibesâ, a far more subtle and respectful observation than Kath Dyerâs: âa lot of Asian customersâ¦got to be goodâ.In general, a colourful and pleasant surround. Our verdict â 8/10.First Term (Starters and Sides)PoppadomsKing Prawn PooriChicken wingsGarlic Parotha X 2Pilau riceI think one anonymous Google User hit the nail on the head when he said âi like those mini pizza sticks there relly good for my belly great evreything plese order the mini pizza sticksââ¦.but, seriously (and more coherently), we agree with the sentiment.London Eating may have exaggerated when they said the puffed poori breads were outstanding, but nonetheless, our King Prawn variety were a nice, subtle opener, albeit with all the filling in one and not the other. Better still were the chicken wings that offered a great diversion from the usual carb-loaded suspects, with a tangy, peppery glaze, complimented by caramelized onions.The Garlic Parotha was so good Tom ordered a second. The rice and poppadoms were standard, but Tomâs laying the blame for some next day repercussions on the onion dip (and strangely not on the fact heâd had two curries in two days).Consistently good â 7/10.Second Term (Curry)Erachi UlathiyathuKerala Chicken CurryâIâve had better microwave curries from Tescoâ â âAshleyâIn TCBâs opinion, this has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign. More accurately, as one commentator on Trip Advisor points out, RKB serves âvery good Keralan foodâ.Once again, we question the judgement and taste (in more ways than one) of other critics, namely juratedudley, who thought the curries were bland and thought it appropriate to make a âjokeâ âat the expense of minorities: âMy boyfiend [perhaps an appropriate typo] made a joke about how many so called ethnic restaurants try to make the food as bland as possible to the English/European clientelleâ.We, here at the Tooting Curry Blog, on the other hand, are more tolerant and tasteful, and thoroughly appreciated the restaurantâs Keralan specials. In this respect, we echo Ashley Nickels who recommends the Erachi Ulathiyathu â lamb deliciously spiced with pepper, chopped coconut slices, coriander and chilli. Likewise, the traditional, Keralan chicken curry was up there with the best on the Broadway. 8/10The Working Class (Staff)Attitudecounts says, âthe staff were excellent, they showed great professionalismâ, and London Eating are spot on ââThe service is brisk and efficient, but you can have a relaxed meal out here (unlike, say Mirch Masala, where they rush you in and out).âThe service at RKB is probably the best weâve experienced so far, much more consistent, polite and disciplined than others on the high street. 8/10As an aside, in the spirit of the election, we at TCB would like to take the time to campaign for greater gender equality in the Tooting restaurant industry, as the majority of jobs seem to be for men. Can't we find some women that are also qualified? We are going to reach out to a number of groups, Mitt Romney-style, and see if they have any binders full of women to help us in our crusade.The Economy (Value For Money)âGreat meal, I had king fish ,good service and buzzing atmosphere, all for Â£12 per head including wine, what more can you ask? - coinshooterWhat more can you ask, you say? We ask for the same value, as you, as unfortunately we didnât get it from RKB on our visit! The final bill came to a whopping Â£62.65 between two.Immediately we lost value from the non-BYOB policy, but in general the dishes were just that couple of quid more here than elsewhere. Whilst we acknowledge the food was of a high standard, relative to neighbouring venues it still didnât quite justify the price tag. Many others have said Radha Krishan Bhavan is good VFM, but unfortunately from our visit we have to rate poorly. 5/10SummaryâThe better version of Sree Krishnaâ â who knows, we shall hopefully see soon, but in general, donât let the few extra pounds on the bill put you off piling them on your waistline at RKB.One reviewer says âOh how I miss you! This is the only reason I miss Tootingâ. Whilst it saddens us to read such a blinkered view of Tooting, we can see why many love and keep returning to Radha Krishna Bhavan. Some of the best food weâve sampled, in a lively, welcoming setting; well worth a visit. 36/50And so we leave you with some final words of wisdom:The choice you make this November will shape great things, historic things, and those things will determine the most intimate and important aspects of every Tooting life and every Tooting family. This is an election about Tooting and it is an election about the Tooting family. All elections matter. This one matters a great deal. Over the years of our nationâs history, choices our fellow citizens have made have changed the countryâs courseâthey were turning points of defining consequence. â Mitt RomneySee what others thought:
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Not only is the décor lively, but so too is the atmosphere. Our very own Tom Scrimgour was quick to point out the ‘good vibes’, a far more subtle and respectful observation than Kath Dyer’s: ‘a lot of Asian customers…got to be good’.In general, a colourful and pleasant surround...
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