I am still seeking a good Indian restaurant in Cardiff. Last night I went with the lovely Ann to the Juboraj, as I'd been there before and remembered the food being good.
I had, somehow, forgotten completely about the service, which was refreshingly bad. There is something entertaining, even cheering, about rubbish service. So much effort these days goes into pretending to like customers that it's refreshing to see a more stripped-back, minimal approach.
As we sat down, they demanded to know what we wanted to drink. The menu wasn't helpful. It recommended "a range of beers brewed specially to complement our food."
This turned out to be Cobra.
They didn't have a soft drinks menu. And were cross when I asked them for one. "Lemonade. Coke. Orange Juice."
When neither of us wanted to order rice, the surliness increased. "You will have one portion pilau rice," we were told.
While we waited for our food, they started hoovering the restaurant. All around us were lonely businessmen on invisible dates. They were all staring blankly into the space where their date would be, if they had one. They even appeared to be listening, sadly, to silent conversations, very attentively, while sadly moving their food around their plates.
The food was quite good, but arrived with a surly plonking-down of dishes, a shoving aside of plates, and a wearied sigh when we asked for more drinks.
Then we made our fatal mistake. We had quite a lot of food left over. And, as the Juboraj has a thriving take-away business, we wondered if it would be too much trouble to scrape our leftovers into a take-away box.
The waiter actually sneered. "All of it? That'll take a while."
And it did. After 20 minutes, we gave up.