Being a Tuesday evening in Weybridge, I wasn't expecting much. As the ghostly vestibules of 4x4's trundled through the town centre, my friend and I contemplated the restaurants on offer. Set back amongst a row of demure establishments, Hussain took our eye and whispered promises of spice and reasonable drinks prices.
Our reception upon entering was warm and inviting, and the young man that greeted us seemed intent to ensure that we were seated in the most appeasable manner possible. Once our posteriors had been confirmed upon the solid pine chairs, three menus were set - two laying out the denominations of perishable foods and another separate menu listing both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The menus were excellent and laminated.
Being old hands at ordering in Indian Restaurants, my friend and I were unphased by the foreign words and exotic dishes on offer. We ordered 6 poppadoms, two onion bhaji, one naan, one chicken tikka massala, one medium chicken curry, and one pilau rice.
The texture of the poppadoms was unbeatable, and as we cooled them off in the various condiments on offer - dipping them like OAPs at a public swimming pool on a hot day - the sweet aromas from the kitchen wafted through and tempted our senses.
At this point there was no one else in the restaurant.
Our ever-attentive waiter considered the most appropriate moment to strike with the bhajis - and he judged it perfectly. This was the moment where half a poppadom was left on the sharing tray and four minutes after our Cokes had been delivered. The four bhajis were served with a metallic lemon squeezing device which avoided unnecessary pain from the bitter juices that can get into finger cuts. The bhajis were exquisite, and took but 3 minutes to consume.
Back to our poppadoms and I could tell that the waiter was considering the next moment to serve. Eyeing us from the bar he swooped down his hands like a seasoned conductor and began to push the food trolley towards us. This was the point that i noticed the food trolley was also made out of pine in order to match the chairs. The attention to detail in Hussain is unparalleled.
A hot tray was laid down, and the various dishes we had ordered were set upon it. The crockery was individualised with Indian motifs that neither my friend or I could understand but were entranced by. We felt as though we had travelled 7000 miles to a distant land. Just through crockery. As we divided our portions we became excited at the prospect of what was about to happen, and had to take a few seconds to calm ourselves. It seemed as though the music had dimmed and the world was standing still, waiting for the first mouthfuls to be consumed.
In seconds we were exclaiming 'This is the best curry we have ever had' and congratulating our waiter on his close connection to the kitchen. The ingredients were fresh, the meat succulent and soft, the spices perfectly balanced, and the aromas strong but not overpowering. It was simply the best curry served in England at that moment in time.
It only took ten minutes for our plates to be polished off and our waiter to return with the largest of smiles, knowing that his day had been worth it for his happy customers. We were so grateful to him and his hard working team. At this point the restaurant had begun to fill and the atmosphere was rising. All i could hope for was to be majically transported into one of these sentient being's minds so that i could once again enjoy another meal at Hussain's. But alas, i will have to wait until my next visit.
Thank you Hussain. For everything.
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