THE case had been fiendish but I had finally cracked it.

A politician with his hands where they oughtn't to be - one holding a brown envelope and the other holding a broad who ain't his wife.

This one thought he was clever but a bit of shoe leather later and the only hand he was holding was the one on the end of the long arm of the law.

All I wanted was a dark room, a tumbler of Bourbon and some sweet silence.

I settled back into the sofa and lifted the glass to my lips. Bliss.

Bliss that lasted moments before a rapid clicking sound inches from my ear. Slowly I peeled one eye open and there she was, The Moll, wearing The Look.

Her red lacquered talons tapping on the table at my side, I summed up the situation.

Little lady's wearing a fur and a full face. Her beehive is backcombed and her slingbacks are stilettos.

This could mean one thing and one thing only - it's our anniversary and I've been concentrating too hard on other people's love lives to remember my own.

Luckily this year's annual celebration of the best day of the broad's life has fallen on a Monday.

You can always get a table in the city on a Monday so we had our pick of the town.

The Buick fired up and the Moll in the passenger seat we were off.

I had to pretend this was all carefully pre-planned... but how to do it?

We drew up outside Chaakoo Bombay Kitchen and my love was still frowning, her suspicions peaked.

"You remember our honeymoon, darling," I said, hoping the spice of chai and smell of the Irani cafe would take her back.

The frost melted. "You're so clever, sweetie," she drawled, and I knew I was safe. For now.

My luck on the up, we were given a spacious booth tucked at the back of the restaurant where Toots and her sables could spread out. There was also a mirrored wall where she could admire her make up, taking away the pressure for small talk.

The spread on offer comes tapas-style and our friendly waitress recommended two dishes apiece.

It was a special night so we went for the Chef's Cafe Special Curries: Rara Gosh for Toots and and Aloo Baigan for me.

Sliding our eyes down the menu, I plumped for Saag Paneer while the lady groaned in pleasure at the sight of her favourite, Butter Chicken.

Neither of us keen on rice, we ordered one plain and one garlic naan.

Who knew the Moll would be able to stick to Dry January but she ordered a chai while I slurped on a mango lassi. Rarely is chai made properly - black tea blended with warm spices and milk - but this was authentic perfection.

The Moll's Rara Gosh kept her silent as she scooped up chunks of roasted lamb with just the right amount of punjabi spices. The menu called the dish "regal in taste" and it fitted the bill perfectly for my regal doll.

My sweet baby aubergines were slippery and soft in contrast to floury, firm potatoes.

The menu boasted "OMG!" next to its Butter Chicken but that bold claim came true with the Moll salivating in delight at her tender chicken and sweet, spicy, creamy sauce.

The fried paneer cheese in my Saag Paneer came only with the complaint there wasn't enough of it.

"Mmm, Tec," the Moll smiled as memories of our early days together came floating back.

With no room for dessert it was time to hit the road.

And this last minute curry success would make sure I saw the right kind of heat when I got home.

Naan - £1.95

Garlic Naan - £2.25

Aloo Baigan - £4.95

Rara Gosh - £6.95

Butter Chicken - £6.50

Saag Paneer - £6.50

Mango lassi - £3.50

Chai - £2.95

Gulab Jamon - 4.95