Mulk Raj Anand is now on my list. Thank you.
If you ever manage to get hold of a copy, Mulk Raj Anand's 'Conversations in Bloomsbury' is an enjoyable excursion into the Indian writer's life in London amongst the Bloomsbury set, his memoirs of mixing with Virginia Woolf, TS Eliot, Aldous Huxley and all that gang in the 1920's - 1940's.
Veeraswamy's is still around - it was done up a few years ago - but it's part of Chutney Mary's.
Does ?the word "halal" appear on the menu? Is liquor served? Are there any statues of Ganesha or Rama? Any other hints? Choose wisely.
Veeraswamy's, despite its tourist-trap dismissal, if it still exists,?for a hint of the Old Raj, or rather, of the hobson-jobson Old Raj as cleverly conceived for an audience of locals and tourists in London, some seventy years or more ago. And along with that couleur locale deployed for commercial purposes with artful effect back in Blighty, the implied presence though actual absence of those Brahmin students who, in the generation?after Jawaharlal Nehru and Krishna Menon,?would be reading the latest tracts of Beatrice and Sidney and others of the New Left Book Club, while studying, temporarily,? in that same unhurried and as-yet-uncurried?Blighty.?
See the well-known Betjeman poem "With Vikram And Vijay In The Fellows' Garden."
Chutney Mary's for something more recent, and, let's face it, "authentic."?
Indian rice pudding is delicious. If you manage to go to a restaurant (a proper one, not owned by Bangladeshis or Pakistanis), and they have a dish called 'kheer' on the menu, try it. Rice pudding made with cream, pistachio, almonds, and lots of other nice stuff. Although as usual it doesn't taste as nice as the home cooked one. If you have a Sikh friend (as it is primarily a Punjabi dish) ask them to get their Mum to cook it for you to try.
This Indo-English prose that Hugh quotes is recognisable as the standard kind of rhetoric used by Indian Uncles who like to show off their knowledge of the English language in great flourishes and want nothing else than to impress other Indians with their grand eloquence.
I'm sure the Indian cultural pudding will rice to the occasion.