Saturday this weekend saw us through another one of Guido’s themed Spanish nights at The Spanish Onion café. You should have come round to join us. There was quite a crowd, but Guido would have still squeezed you in.
This week Guido’s advertising agency (i.e. me) promoted it as an evening of – Squid and Siestas. Guido sends his thanks to a sometime visitor and reader of mine who earlier this month posted a comment with the suggested title. You know who you are – Willym. Unfortunately that meant I had to draw on all of my artistic skills and produce a poster to publicise it. That involved a big picture of a smiling octopus wearing a little sombrero. Just the sort of thing you see every day walking around in places like the Costa Del Sol. As the name suggests, you had to love squid. Salt and Pepper deep fried calamari with a lemon mayo dip for starters. Squid with spicy spaghetti for main, followed by individual pina colada ice cream cornets for dessert. The musical trio, Los Chicos, made a welcome return visit and didn’t disappoint by playing Spanish guitar music loudly and banging heels with much frenzied enthusiasm. If you closed your eyes and sipped some Rioja you could easily have believed you were holed up in some dim bodega in Benalmadena.
Everything was going swimmingly until a couple of our regular customers, Mona with the Big Heart and Simon with the Long Face, decided to attempt their very own interpretation of a flamenco dance. Mona doesn’t actually have an oversized heart but Simon really does have a long face. They are a match made in heaven I’d say. The whole café cheered them on avidly. Everyone was clapping. The only problem was, they decided to do their dance on top of one of the dining booth tables and after a bottle of wine, let’s just say their co-ordination wasn’t what it should be. They made that scene from Dirty Dancing look positively frigid. At one point I didn’t know where to look. There also isn’t that much headroom above the tables in the booths so as they did a wild fandango the pair of them got well tangled up in the overhead lighting cables. Sparks truly flew. It took an out of hours electrician about twenty minutes to unravel them and make the place safe. Everyone cheered again!
“Seriously, it’s moments like that I thank God Giles Coren has never bothered to visit to us to write a food review,” I said to Guido later in bed. I was staring at our, still as of yet, unpainted bedroom ceiling. “Who knows what his pen would inflict.”
“Really?” Guido said, “Right now I can’t think of anyone else doing anything quite like what we are doing in South London. In fact I’m considering dumping Los Chicos and booking Mona and Simon next month instead. I reckon they would be less than half the price but double the entertainment value.”
Guido had a point. As he keeps telling me, in the catering business you have to stay well ahead of the curve.