Bangladeshi restaurant in Earley, Reading.
Dressed in white shirts and black neatly ironed trousers the Garden of Gulab staff welcomed me into their restaurant and were able to find a table for one in the crowded restaurant. The customers looked and sounded pale skinned English, the staff looked and sounded more Asian.
My choice was a Balti. I love Balti’s, ever since I started eating them in the mid 1980s in a local Birmingham Sparkbrook restaurant on Ladypool Road. The Ladypool road restaurant I used had no flatware and the staff would treat you as if you were an irritant if you had the afrontery to insult their food by asking for flatware. I learned to eat my food properly, with my fingers.
In the Garden of Gulab I ate my meal with my fingers leaving the impressive, superfluous, traditional English flatware untouched. In Birmingham I was given a thick soft damp heated flanel to clean my hands after the meal. In the Garden of Gulab I was given an individually plastic-wrapped disposable wet-paper-wipe. Functionally sufficient yet lacking the touch of quality that I had learned to enjoy. The food was excellent if disappointingly mild compared to my Birminghan experiences. The balti arrived in an ordinary metal dish, not the sizzling hot Balti bowl that it had been cooked in.
Mumzie doesn’t like Indian food, I think she’d thoroughly enjoy this place and the food.
The waiter bought a complimentary small brandy to my table explaining it was because I had finished my main meal quickly.
Excellent English-i-fied version of an Indian restaurant and charming staff.