It’s Tuesday. I’m cold and I just got £50 in cash that was owed paid back to me.
So I’ve nipped off for a curry on my own at Kadai & Naan on Cowley Road.
It feels a bit self indulgent, greedy and anti-social, but it also feels really good.
I had a friend who would never even contemplate going to a restaurant on their own but every once in a while I really enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I love company and going out for meals with friends and colleagues; but every so often eating on my own is a peaceful, recharging experience that leaves me very fulfilled.
It reminds me of Sam Barnes‘s talk ‘People are Weird, I’m Weird‘ where I learned a lot about introverts and extroverts. Sam took a lot of theory in his book from Susan Cain’s book ‘Quiet‘ (which I’ve still yet to read, but will quite happily talk about as if I am an expert).
Essentially, what I learned from Susan (via Sam) is that Extroverts often get more energy from being around people and noisy environments (or at least they certainly get drained less by such environments). Introverts have a lower tolerance for these scenarios and regularly need to seek solitude and quiet in order not to feel so drained.
“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.”
I definitely feel, I’m on the mixed spectrum of introvert/extrovert. I’m more than happy to wave my hands around on stage and I love it when I have the energy to be a social butterfly; making new connections, trying new drinks and generally living life loud. Yet, I know this is unsustainable for me, thus why I’m often guilty of giving an ‘Irish Goodbye’. Also if more than a week goes by without the comfort of a quiet night, Netflix or Masterchef and the quiet murmurings of my wonderful wife then I begin to get more and more anxious and start to fall apart.
Irish Goodbye – (noun) To depart, as from a bar or pub, without notifying the friends or family you are with.
Weirdly, I find the more I go out, the more socially anxious I become. Partly its tiredness but with excessive socialising there’s a general increase in me wondering ‘what does everyone else think about me?‘ and ‘how do I come across as a person? Am I liked or well-liked or tolerated?‘.
It only takes a weekend working in the garden or binge-watching ‘The Bridge’ for my brain to calm down and answer those questions with: ‘D’y’know what…I don’t give a fuck‘ – which as we all know is the only sane answer to the question ‘What does everyone else think about me?‘.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking ‘ WHAT ABOUT THE BLOODY CURRY? I CAME HERE TO READ ABOUT A CURRY’, so I’ll track back from an exposition of my neurosis and get back to the spice.
So yeah, it was really good – such an indulgent, yet enjoyable experience that made a damp Tuesday into something far more memorable. For my impromptu celebration of being alive, I had:
- Maurauti Chicken – Chicken cooked in ‘Maurauti’; a very rare herb sourced from the Chef’s own village, similar to peppermint, a great winter dish. £8.50
- Garlic naan – £2.25
- Draught Kingfisher – £2.50
The level of spice was just right. I had that warm tummy feeling all day long without having so much chilli that it blew away any tastebuds. The chef made a big deal about his herb and how his was restaurant was the only place in the UK you can get this herb. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I thought it tasted just like any other curry. The chef had obviously spent a lot of time bringing this herb over, but in tasting it, I just got lots of notes of garlic, chilli, coriander – all of which I love… but no special mint – so I just nodded and said it was great.
Which overall it was, personal service, really crispy naan, very tasty curry but nothing mind-blowing. I’m not sure it would top Majliss or Qumins as my favourite curry places in Oxford but I’d certainly return there. I thought the prices were on the high side when compared to the the rest of Cowley Road, but its obviously an establishment that cooks fresh and tasty food with some really interesting options on the menu. If you pick up a takeaway menu you get £10 off a meal for two. I think I’ll definitely take advantage of that and this time return with some company to enjoy a far different dining experience.