25 | Jul | 16

Hugh Thomas

The Last Supper

Let’s pretend you’re David Cameron (bear with us). You’ve lost your job as head of Britain, your home’s being repossessed (put the kettle on – the movers are on the way), and you are – for the moment at least – one of the country’s least favourite people. What do you do next?

Order a curry, of course. The gossip was that, for his final meal at 10 Downing Street, our former PM rang up Kennington Tandoori and asked for the usual. Providing ‘the usual’ involves a gluttonous array of Hyderabadi Saffron Chicken, Kashmiri Rogan Josh, Nasheeli Gost, KT Mixed Grill, Chicken Zalfrazi, Saag Alloo, Saag Paneer, Palak Gost, rice, naan, and veg samosas. As suppers go, Henry VIII would be proud.

As if on cue, Observer critic Jay Rayner has reiterated the general unimaginativeness of ‘last meal’ requests. Coincidence? Perhaps, though considering people have been asking for boring food since Jesus’ last rodeo, maybe it’s some kind of tradition. Or anti-tradition. Whatever.

But we could be reading this wrong. Maybe this all boils down to one thing – the allure of comfort food, and what it means to us. It brings us back to our childhood. It elicits a memory by reminding us of another one. And whether it’s our last meal before we’re 40, our final supper before we get hitched, or our concluding dish to a life well lived, we just want to feel like everything that comes next is going to be okay. And guess what? Street food plays out that role pretty well. Just look at Well Hung’s 28-day aged steak flatbread, Hot Box’s spicy pork ribs, or Blu Tops’ ice cream sandwich.

We don’t often feel like saying this, but don’t worry, Davie – everything’s going to be okay.