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Chelsea Kitchen

A pub must be the symbol of British culture. It's fun to me holding a whiskey glass and watching people. It's funny the English Gentlemen got loosing their reason with amount of alcohol. But it's not funny any more after they cross the limit. Don't let 'em drink too much. It's well known matter in Europe.

In the meantime what do you image as the typical dish of Britain? Fish'n chips, kidney pie or ox tail soup? For me, I choose curry. You see curry fast-food shops here and there in London. Generally it's run by the Pakistanis or Indian. You have many choices for curry. And usually you order rice or Indian bread with it. Of course you can take it out. Well, the taste is not always two thumbs up. But it also rare giving 'em a failing mark. At least curry is much closer to my taste than the kidney of cow.
However if you wanna eat curry every day, Britain must be a wrong place. You should go to INDIA. But I was so tired of super market's sandwich which was completely lost its freshness. After all I was walking on the street of London with hunger. And I was looking for "an ultimate restaurant" where I could have a variety of dishes in reasonable price. Yes, I was a cheap gourmet detective.

Finally I found it on King's Road. The King's Road was Mecca of punk fashion. But the restaurant had no relationship with the punk at all. It's called Chealsea Kitchen. Well, it's a family atmospheric diner rather than a restaurant. A menu was in reasonable price. And it had some similarity to the Japanese diner which I was familiar with. Curry, pasta, sandwich, stake ... every thing was there. You may say "Oh! Come on. You should go to more gorgeous restaurant during a travel." But I think it's quite normal that my taste was based on my daily life in Japan. And in the diner, I felt casual air of London, which was totally different from Japanese one.

The staffs were multinational unite from all over the Europe. A man at the cashier had strong Andalusian accent of Spanish. So he was always chaffed by other staffs. But the accent brought back my memories. He seemed to be pleased when I told him I also had used to be in Malaga of Andalusia long time ago
The waitresses were friendly enough. The warm atmosphere made many fans. Sometime I was brought to my hotel with other customer's car. The floors were on the ground and basement. It's usually crowded with people but not so much as waiting for long time. That's one of the reason I preferred it.
Whenever I stayed in London, I have visited there for 14 years. Chelsea Kitchen is the perfect diner to me.

Mar. 2007

Today's piece
" Imagination " London, UK 1992

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