- Food & Drink
Normally my lunches are leftovers or optimistic combinations of whatever I find in my fridge, cupboard and pasta bucket. But sometimes I just go to bed or wake up lazy (or both) and can’t be arsed to Tupperware up something nutritious. It makes me feel rich and decadent.
There are lots of places near my office where I can pick up something warm and tasty, but my favourite place to go when I have decided to take charge of my gourmandising is Kastner & Ovens. They have the most amazing array of cakes – like a WI stall in heaven – and if I want to feel virtuous I go there, buy something vegetarian and no cake. It’s how I show that I control the food, the food doesn’t control me. I then spend all afternoon gorging on holiday sweets from the Table of Treats, but that’s another therapy session.
On my last visit I picked up an aubergine and potato curry – a large portion was £5.50 (I had to go for the large portion. There’s virtue and then there’s just crazy masochism). It was a fragrant, coconut-based curry that was spicy rather than hot and there was plenty of rice to mop up any burn, should you feel it. The chunks of potato were cooked to perfection, but not all the aubergine pieces were. Every so often I’d bite down on something that squeaked, an experience that ought to be restricted to dogs and their toy bones.
It was a small flaw in a dish that otherwise had me eating spinach with occasional real enjoyment (until I remembered it was spinach and wondered why I’d ordered something with quite so much spinach in it, then remembered the virtue) and celebrating the return of the sultana to curries. Sultanas in curries are brilliant. They’re little plump morsels of sweetness and they bring joy to the table. When you’re cooking your next meal, ask yourself: ‘What could some dried fruit add to this dish?’ The answer will almost always be happiness.
I like Kastner & Ovens. It saves me from absurd pasta salads, and one day I’ll go in there and go wild in the cake aisles. Until then, roll on the faux virtuous lunches.