“Welcome to Misery’s West Indian Restaurant”
If you ever watched The Real McCoy that will mean something to you. If you have no idea what I am talking about here’s a taster so the rest of my post means something to you.
I recommended O-Tower to my sister amongst others on account of the fact it had amazing reviews on Trip Advisor – and rightly so – we had a whale of a time!
I don’t know why but we loved the demeanour of Sheila – the owner. We had a table of 18 including the birthday girl – my sister Elisha.
MOST of us turned up on time – but Elisha was awfully late (story of her life!). 1 hour 15 mins late. Yeeeah.
I don’t blame Sheila for being annoyed at this – but honestly she didn’t seem that bothered. The menu is small but all the Caribbean faves are in there. Curry chicken, Jerk chicken, Oxtail, Curry goat, Fish and Orville’s (the head chef – the only chef – in fact the man of the night) special chicken stuffed with sweet potato.
Here are a couple of the dishes. Unfortunately I didn’t do the rounds to snap everyone’s food.
Crab claws starter at O-Tower. They were great – and plentiful! I could have probably shared this with someone else…
Dawn’s Curry Goat. You’ll have to get past the point of expecting Masterchef wiped dishes – you’ll only get that if you go to the likes of Mango Rooms or Cottons – oh but you’ll pay the price with food quality…
Don’t ask for anything that isn’t on the menu as you will get a look of distaste.
You better listen to Sheila when she’s reading out the specials as if you have to ask her again that will make her mad.
Don’t order a drink and then change your mind once she’s written it down as that will anger her too!
The best quip of the evening was when my cousin Arral asked for Soursop Juice and then asked to change it after Sheila had written it down. He giggled because he had changed his mind but Sheila said “no no come on now. This isn’t funny. Stop being silly you’re a grown up”. Might I add that my 20 odd year old cousin was sitting next to his MOTHER when Sheila said this. If you could have seen the look my Aunt Claudette gave her. Well! We all howled with laughter when my auntie Samantha said that she might ask for some ice for her drink. “Good Luck!” We all cheered on. We were looking forward to some drama unfolding before our eyes. I asked for some hot sauce, which I got! Woohoo! When Sheila brought it over she gave it to me and said “There’s no hot water in the tap. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?” I looked perplexed for all of ten seconds then realised it was her unique way of telling me that the sauce was HOT!
So the food. The food is good. Better than good – it’s homely. Other reviewers on Trip Advisor commented that “it has its moments” and Orville can be a little heavy on the salt. My friend Dawn commented that her curry goat was too salty. It didn’t taste too salty to me but there was a strong presence of Chinese five spice.
My Oxtail was fantastic. I love oxtail. The flavour was exactly how it should have been. The portions are BIG! I was able to take some of my oxtail home. The quantity of rice was a little small compared to the food. I also loved Sheila’s honesty. Two people ordered beef and she came back out and said that she only had one portion left. She said she could have split it between two people but she wanted to be honest. I liked that. Dawn ordered coleslaw. When everyone had their food and the coleslaw was still absent she asked Sheila if it was still coming. Sheila simply replied “Oh. No. He didn’t do it” followed by a half hearted “Sorry”.
When all was finished we paid and left a lovely tip because we had truly enjoyed ourselves. Honestly the service was so blunt and strict – we kind of liked it. There is no way we would ever allow ourselves to be spoken in such a way (except perhaps by our parents!) but somehow it felt perfectly acceptable coming from Sheila. Why? I can only assume that although short – she has a certain infectious disposition about her. I have never been to Wong Kei but of course I’ve heard about their service. How can you not? They are infamous for having service so bad – it’s good. O-Tower is stepping up the ranks becoming a venue as famous of Wong Kei for the service aspect.
After we had sung happy birthday to my sister and she had delivered cake to Orville (Sheila had declined on account of her being as big as a cake herself – NOT TRUE!) Sheila came over to our table and stood in front of my sister, just looking at her. My sister looked at her, smiled and said “are you ok?” Sheila replied “No”. Then she ever so slowly bent down wished my sister a happy birthday and kissed her on the cheek.
How can anyone fault someone like that?
Thank you to both Orville and Sheila. Orville your food was fantastic and you are very talented to cook a faultless feast for 18 people.
Sheila your demeanour is astounding. I’ve never met an owner / maitre d / waitress like you. I’m so pleased I found O-Tower on Trip Advisor. I will be back. Soon xO-Tower Caribbean Cuisine 60 Tower Bridge Rd, (Bermondsey) London SE1 4TR 020 7394 9204