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29 July 2010


This is supposed to be a review of Paradise, an Indian restaurant in South Hampstead. 

With a name like that you're setting high expectations.  Whereas calling a food business that specialises in gluten, wheat and dairy free products OK Foods is an excellent example of expectation management.  

Back to Paradise.  I'd heard so many rave reviews from friends and family, I had to try it.  Might there be a Tayyabs lurking in a bucolic corner of North London?  No, unfortunately not. 

But it is a perfectly decent Indian.  The food was very nice, but pretty standard curry house fair.  The room is airy, the wallpaper is modern flock, the staff are lovely and attentive and the food is tasty.  My vegetable biryani was a very close approximation to one I had at Dishoom last week - and that's no bad thing.  This was a good or at least solid meal.  

That's all I have to say on the meal.  The restaurant is fine, but it's a long way from a must visit.  So why bother with a write-up?  Because I want to parlay into an amusing vignette. 

It's one of those stories that the subject thinks is brilliant, and the rest of the world yawns.  It's my blog, so prepare to stifle.

Father of Silverbrow and I were standing next to our table, waiting for the staff to finish clearing the previous diners' detritus before we sat down.  My eyes wandered across the room to the door, where a tall blond man seemed to catch my eye, smiled and mouthed "four" whilst holding up four fingers to his chest in a Tic Tac moment.

I realised it's none other than spinner almighty, Alastair Campbell, with family in tow and looked behind me to see who he's talking to.  There's no-one there.  I looked back at him and this time, assuming he's speaking to a dullard he says quite loudly "I'd like a table for four please".

The penny drops.  Quick as a flash I point out I'm not actually a waiter, but am also waiting for my table. 

Hilarity and laughter follow.  I gave good tweet, invoking both a current advertising campaign and a bit of self deprecating humour.  I remain desperate for him to reply apologising for the incident (he may have said sorry in the restaurant but we'll overlook that, I want it in writing) so I can claim to be the only man in London to get Campbell to apologise for anything.

I told you it was a brilliant story.  Wakey wakey.

Google Maps

Paradise, 49 South End Road, Hampstead, London, NW3 2QB, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7794 6314


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