Gran’s horror as ‘onion bhaji’ turns out to be sink plug covered in batterFebruary 27, 2021
A gran said she was left ‘gobsmacked’ when she found a sink plug in her onion bhaji in her Saturday night Indian takeaway.
The 65-year-old said her grandson discovered the plug attached to a green string and coated in batter in the meal her family ordered from Garam Masala in Bedminster, Bristol.
The restaurant said it is “really, really sorry” and the worker responsible for the mistake has been fired.
The gran, who did not wish to be named, says her family was split over whether to have Indian or Mediterranean food on February 13 so they made two orders from different eateries.
The £17.99 order from the four-star food hygiene rating Indian restaurant was for rice, onion bhajis and naan bread.
She said : “The food from both was supposed to come at 7pm, but the Garam Masala one came before 6pm. That was fine. We could just warm it up when the rest came.
“We’ve used Garam Masala many times before and never had any reason to be unhappy, apart from the random delivery times, but we’ve got used to that. We’ve never had any bad food from there.
“There were potato peelings in the rice which made me wonder what on earth was going on.
“My grandson was Starvin’ Marvin as usual, and trying to have his food before anyone else. He was saying, ‘I can’t cut the onion bhaji.’
“I was saying, ‘It’s fine, it’s just dried in the oven.’ Then I thought – hang on, there’s something black in there.
“When I saw that it was a plug, I was absolutely gobsmacked. I just couldn’t believe it. It made me wonder if someone was not very happy in the kitchen that night.”
The customer said she was ‘disappointed and surprised’ by the response she received when she called Garam Masala to complain.
She said: “I looked back and to my horror my grandson was eating the other onion bhaji. He’s not a very fussy eater.
“When I rang the restaurant and said there’s a plug in there, the manager said that wasn’t possible.
“I was very disappointed and surprised. I asked him to have a think about what he could do, and get back to me.
“He didn’t call me back for over an hour. I called him again and he said, ‘Sorry, I’ve been busy. If you want a refund you have to go through [the food delivery service] JustEat.’
“By the time I dealt with the plug, I’d totally lost my appetite, so I didn’t eat much of my dinner from the Mediterranean.”
She lodged a complaint with JustEat, which she says eventually provided a full refund on Tuesday.
“I didn’t hear back from the restaurant directly, which I was really disappointed about,” she said.
“I could understand they were busy on the Saturday, but I thought I’d hear back on the Sunday.
“I thought they’d ring the next day and ask if everyone was alright, and check no one had been ill – but there was nothing.
“To be perfectly honest, I’ve gone right off the idea of takeaways now.”
The horrified gran reported the curry house to Bristol City Council’s environmental health team who visited the restaurant.
The manager of Garam Masala said the team was satisfied with the restaurant’s protocols when it visited.
He says the employee who did the mixing for the bhajis has been “fired”.
He added: “We follow the procedure and if there is human error, there are things that cannot be controlled sometimes.
“It shouldn’t happen but we are really, really sorry for that. We have already taken the precautions and done all the things that need to be done.
“Environmental health came in and said they are happy with us. Food has never been made in the sink. We make it in a bowl.
“Sometimes we make 50, 60, 100 portions at once. It’s a big amount of onions to mix with ground flour, and when we’re mixing it needs water. Somehow, the plug has dropped in.”
He said he did not call the customer back to apologise because her number had disappeared from the JustEat order system and he would have done so if he had the number.
“She rang me and because I could not believe my ears, I wanted to make inquiries and then come back to her,” he said.
“This is a thing that shouldn’t have happened and I couldn’t believe that it had happened.”