It’s fast becoming known as ‘Currygate’ – the moment at which pop star Lily Allen took on Labour leader candidate David Miliband over his choice of London’s best restaurant. The exchange on Twitter was prompted by Miliband Senior’s decision to pick Camden’s Masala Zone as the best restaurant in London.
Asked about the best meal he’d had in London, Miliband replied; ‘I had a fantastic takeaway from Masala Zone in Camden recently. When you spend lots of time away from home, which I am at the moment, it’s a rare treat to stay in, relax and enjoy a curry.’
Tweeting about the interview, Allen laughed at the idea that the Camden curry house was so great. ‘The best meal he’s had in London was at, wait for it, Masala Zone…yeah right…I’ve eaten there myself and while the food is perfectly nice, I very much doubt that it is the BEST meal you’ve had in London.’
Taking up the challenge, Miliband responded on Twitter saying; ‘I said Masala Zone because they do great takeways. But am going for an event there on Monday if you fancy joining us…’
That didn’t wash with Allen who, after wondering whether Miliband was getting free curries for mentioning them, finished the exchange with; ‘Why did David Miliband cross the road ? To get to the middle…….#VoteEd’ Although Twitter was briefly alive with tweets debating which of the two Eds currently battling it out for leadership she meant, Allen later clarified that with a final tweet ‘Milliband, obvs.’ A point which made Miliband’s younger brother Ed enter the fray with a tweet which read; ‘lilyroseallen thanks for the support. Adds much needed cool to my campaign!’
The whole affair in a dabba got Hot Dinners thinking about other politicians' favourite restaurants in London. A quick trawl through t'internet came up with the following:
In a feature by the Guardian a few years ago, Nick Clegg said his favourite restaurant was Borough Market’s Brindisa. Diane Abbott more recently picked Suffolk seaside town Aldeburgh’s Fish and Chip shop as her eaterie of choice, but has been on the record before as saying Stoke Newington’s Yum Yum ‘serves the best Thai food I’ve tasted…I eat there all the time.’ Vince Cable told an interviewer this year that 'the masala dosas at Woodlands near Leicester Square are as good as any'. And although as Mayor, Boris Johnson presumably wouldn't reveal his favourite London restaurant now, back as mayoral candidate, the then Spectator editor who'd presumably had more hot dinners on expenses that most, did a Miliband, saying; 'My favourite restaurant is my local, a Turkish place called Pasha on Upper Street in Islington. They are friendly guys serving fresh food. When the wife and I get a minute to ourselves, it's the perfect hideout.'