diamond geezer

 Sunday, September 11, 2005

Taken away

Here's a six-month-old photograph of Mam's Fish Bar, Bow Road's premier takeaway establishment, with Mam herself staring out through the glass from behind her deep fat fryer. She ruled over an unfeasibly salmon-hued takeaway, in name a fish shop but in practice a kebab dispensary. If you wanted slightly charred flesh or a tray of grease-dripped chips, Mam was your woman. Her warm and genuine smile beamed out from beneath a shock of red wiry hair, swept back and piled high on top of her head. You could sit and eat her fatty produce while sat at one of the cheap and nasty tables bolted to the floor along the far wall, perhaps sprinkling each trayful with thin weak condiment dripped from non-brandname bottles. I never went in myself, not since her battered cod disagreed catastrophically with my digestive system, but the local teenagers and the minimum waged worshipped daily at her temple.

And then two months ago, without warning, Mam's Fish Bar closed down. It wasn't long before the old shop was hidden behind shiny new black shutters, and workmen could sometimes be seen inside installing gleaming new cooking equipment beneath big metal extractor fans. But there was no food on sale, until yesterday. Where once was Mam's shabby sign, now shines a startling illuminated slogan declaring The Thrill of the Grill. The fish and kebab silhouettes have been replaced by four gleaming red chilis, and two big red posters scream 'Now Open' to slightly more upmarket passers by. Everything's seems just too clean, and much less amateur. You just know that the previous owner would have written 'nOW OpEN' in thin red marker pen instead, probably on a page ripped out from a faded notepad, and spelt at least one of the words wrong. The new menu also looks much more professional and has substantially 'upgraded' in content - with cod and chips replaced by jumbo king prawns and chickpeas, for example, and steak and kidney pie vanishing altogether. But the biggest change of all is behind the counter. The new staff all look as if they're fresh out of school, standing there in a row beneath corporate red baseball caps, eagerly doling out grilled meat to the weak-willed consumers of Bow. But of Mam herself there is no sign. She's sold out to a Kebabish franchise, presumably in lieu of early retirement, and her presence has completely vanished off the face of E3. I shall miss her siren smile staring out from behind the glass, attempting to lure me in from the pavement for a 90p bag of chips. But I won't miss her fish.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream