I never met Abdul Latif, a Bengali-born Newcastle restaurateur who died just a few days ago, but I wish I had.
Best known as the inventor of the Curry Hell, one gets the impression Latif was a tremendously cool dude. Then there is the fact that, judging by his Telegraph photo, he looks almost exactly like yours truly.
His death, apparently from a heart attack, was said to mark the end of an era. “Our annual Christmas curry (table for 57 booked every year till 2012) will never be the same,” lamented one customer, “without the Lord telling us to be quiet, charging us too much for our beers and then letting us do a conga through the kitchen.”
I found some choice comments on Boing Boing Latif post. DUALITY writes,
He was a friend to the guys and a gentleman to the girls.
Which sounds innocent enough. SHAUN adds, relatedly,
A funny, funny guy .. even if he did keep hitting on my wife.
Gentleman indeed. Let’s hope Latif winds up in Curry Heaven.