London – Cosmopolitan Defined

A Masala Dosa!

If you want to study abroad and don’t want to miss home, come to London.

I am a foodie. I love food. One of my primary concerns when leaving home was missing mummy’s hot home-cooked Indian food. One does learn to adapt though: I can now cook (massive accomplishment) and have found some good Indian restaurants.

However, any residual concerns I had about missing out on an authentic Indian meal were completely eradicated by a trip to Dosa & Chutney. The restaurant is located in Tooting – a major South Asian community – which is an easy 20 minute tube ride from Guy’s Campus. My course-mates and I were amazed: for right from the steel glasses to the menu items’, walking into the restaurant was like being transported 6,795 miles south east (the apparent distance between London and Chennai). We feasted on masala dosa (amusingly described as a “crepe with seasoned mashed potatoes”), idly (“rice and lentil patties”) and chilli paneer – all washed down with Kingfisher Beer. Just writing about it makes me happy.

I’ve probably rambled on about Indian food in London too long. But people from most nationalities could probably do the same about their respective cultures; London is truly a cosmopolitan city. From Chinatown to Malaysia Week, Salsa bars to German pubs; if you have thought about it, London will have it on offer.

I still remember the words of a Turkish herb salesman I met at the 2011 Thames Festival: “You don’t have to be born in the city to be Londoner. London is only London because of the diversity of its people. If you live in London, no matter where you’re from, you’re a Londoner.” He was a wise man. Maybe I should have bought some herbs from him.