Wandering through Soho (London), I decided to treat myself to something a bit different for lunch. I soon stumbled across Bone Daddies. Not being au fait with these things I had no idea what this place actually was (restaurant? clothes shop?), but it looked pretty cool. My ears quickly picked up on a few guitar riffs emanating from inside and peeking through the windows I could see a plethora of men with beards, women clad in skin-tight pre-distressed jeans and thick rimmed black spectacles to boot. Oh, and they were eating – it seems that Bone Daddies is a restaurant after all.
I stepped in. This was exactly the kind of place I was looking for: different, funky, a bit pretentious and fun. The first thing I noticed was the music was much louder than I had anticipated. Was I really this old that loud music is bothering me? Yes, it appeared I was – it was lunch time after all. A smiley-faced waitress sprung up in front of me holding a clipboard with some brown paper clamped to it, which I presumed was the hipster-style menu.
“Hiya!” she beamed
“Hello, do you have anything for vegetarians?” I asked.
The smiley-faced waitress’ smile dropped at the corners. We peered at the menu together, our eyes tracing down past all the meat-infested gourmet treats on offer “Mushroom ramen. We have mushroom ramen” she said, almost apologetically.
“Is that all you have – are there any other veggie options?”
She looked at the menu again, her face resembling a student looking through an exam paper.”No only the mushroom ramen”. Her smile had now gone.
“Well, erm, I’m not a great fan of ramen, and mushrooms, well…hmmm…” I started to turn towards the door.
“The mushroom ramen, it’s really really nice” The smile had returned and she became more animated and enthusiastic “I’m a meat-eater and even I love it. It has asparagus and tofu and three types of mushroom. It’s really good, always gets great reviews”.
“Mushroom ramen, great reviews, really?”
Won over my her smiley-faced-enthusiastic-clipboard-holding charms I ended up taking her recommendation. And am very glad I did. It was probably the nicest ramen I’ve ever eaten, packed full of succulent vegetables, and, who knew mushrooms could taste so good?
After sitting down I was given a rustic looking bottle of water and a steel cup, much like the ones you see in India. Yes, a bit pretentious, but I liked it, and the steel cup reminded me of the steel cups we had at home when I was a child. Looking round I noticed that a few people were wearing plastic disposable aprons embossed with the Bone Daddies logo, evidently to stop splash back from eating soup noodles.
By now my head was slowly bopping to the contemporary rock soundtrack being blasted through the restaurant. I accidentally caught a waiter’s eye and he bounded up with a big smile to ensure I was ok. Very friendly, great music, cool venue. I was enjoying myself. I sat back and started to read from my book (Be As You Are, David Godman’s fantastic compilation of Ramana Maharshi’s teachings):
Question: How is the ego to be destroyed ?
Ramana Maharshi : Hold the ego first and then ask how it is to be destroyed. Who asks this question ? It is the ego. Can the ego ever agree to kill itself ? This question is a sure way to cherish the ego and not to kill it. If you seek the ego you will find it does not exist. That is the way to destroy it.
I looked up, my ramen had arrived. From the first mouthful to the last it was fabulous, and I managed not to splash my clothes despite not wearing a disposable apron. A girl sat down next to me and tied back her hair as soon as she placed her order in readiness for the splashing of ramen-eating. The smiley-faced waitress from earlier checked to see how I was doing and was happily vindicated with her recommendation. All in all, I had a great time here. Why don’t you pop in if you’re passing by?
If you have any recommendations for where I could next eat lunch, or what I could read, please drop me a line below