Shalamar of Clapham

July 5, 2011

As a North Londoner, walking back from Clapham Common is a disorientating experience. It’s like a foreign county; wide roads, great flat heaths, people with accents different to mine, and seemingly-popular fast food restaurants I’ve never heard of.

Shalamar is a tiny fast-food restaurant close to Clapham Common tube station, which, as the bag announces, has been open since 1972. The KFC-inspired bag promises “chicken and Jacs”, but what Jacs are, I’ve no idea. A search online brings up just one relevant link – and it’s only someone else asking what on earth Jacs are.

The person on the bag isn’t Shalamar, but the owner, Mr. Shahid Latif. Looking rather like a benevolent dictator from the 1970s, his face beams out like a Middle Eastern Colonel Saunders – looking rather like, according to one blogger on fast-food, “the love child of Christopher Lee, Borat and Salvador Dali.”

It seems a shame that more independent shops don’t produce this type of personal bag – but I suppose, like this example, it must be a bit strange to walk round your neighbourhood and constantly spot your own face discarded at bus stops.