It’s safe to say that the wheels started to come off at Khai Khai around the end of the main course, when our barely eaten food was greeted by the question of was it too spicy. On the contrary, I explain, it barely tastes of anything at all, with one being a foamed cashew milk and the other being cream of tomato soup. What comes next is an explanation from the front of house that neither are actually spicy dishes, which means that he either thought I was delicate or a total moron with the opening question about spice. He completes it with a description of how they were made. I know how they do it, I also have the Dishoom cookbook at home. I absolutely did not say aloud. I’m not that much of an arsehole.

The Dishoom reference was an obvious one from the second we booked. One look at the menu and it’s clear that they occupy a similar space of approachable Indian curries and small plates, albeit with the USP of ‘smoke play’, which sounds like a tag line for a bingo hall full of ageing council estate women. We set to work on pappads with nondescript chutneys and then cocktails, including a martini so light on booze I had to check it was from the right section of the menu.

The starters are okay. A mutton seekh kebab is a little damp but has decent flavour, whilst the chickpea chaat needs little more for texture than the brittle, marginally undercooked, chickpeas. The sev is too fine and melts to a paste, so much so that I throw on the pappad crumbs to save it. But those mains, please never again. Butter chicken has three good chunks of charred poultry and one sliver of fatty tissue, set amongst Heinz’s finest that lacks the depth of flavour of what I get in my own kitchen, whilst the Khorma of cashew milk, asparagus and mushrooms is just really very bad. Like impossibly bland. There’s some passable black dhaal and a crispy naan that should never have left the kitchen. The table across from us are talking very loudly about the mountains of Patagonia and have ordered chips. They clearly knew where the ballast was coming from.

We get the lecture when we just wanted the table clearing, and a bill of just under seventy quid when we wish to cut our losses and move on. Much later that evening after vermouth in the excellent La Gamba, beers in River Brew Co and Free Trade Inn, and wine at St Vincent, we went for snacks in the impeccable Broad Chare. It was here, over the most perfect pork scratchings, cheese croquettes, and cauliflower fritters that I describe the latters curry mayo as “pokey”. “Pokey is fine” Sophie is quick to reply, “especially when you’ve just eaten a curry that doesn’t taste of curry”.