Monday, November 29, 2010

Kerala in Munich

After having seen a couple of ads about a new ‘South Indian’ restaurant, which is a rarity in Germany (read, never heard of in Germany), we decided to go there with a couple of our friends to check if we could finally find something other than Mughlai kofta, Chana Masala and Palak Paneer !

As soon as I got in, I was impressed – finally an Indian restaurant with no huge paintings/posters of the Taj Mahal or skimpily clad women doing household chores, instead there were some beautiful statues of Natarajar, Krishnar, Pullayar, potted banana trees (with banana leaves), tasteful hanging lamps and red draperies that did not shout the color. I was even more impressed when I saw Idli, Dosa, Uttapam, Kesari, Tamarind rice, Lemon rice etc. in the menu…I was fervently hoping that it was some franchise of Saravana Bhavan that for some reason did not choose the same name (its silly I know, but hunger can do weird things to you!).

Our German friends were not there yet. So we ordered the usual mango lassi and started looking at the menu in detail to make sure we had some suggestions for our friends to whom we had promised that there was more to Indian food that just Nan, paneer and kofta ! While we were at it, the waiter brought some appalam (the South Indian rice appalam and not papad) and I was once again impressed. The 3 kinds of chutney dips were also a welcome change from the usual mint and mango chutneys that one usually gets in all other restaurants.

Among the 4 of us, we tried a lot of the dishes, so here is a quick run through them
- Uttapam with sambar: Sambar was perfect, Uttapam was decent
- Vada with sambar: same sambar, same perfection, Vada was crisp but needed a little more salt
- Masala dosa: dosa was perfect (how did they get the dough to ferment in winter ??), masala needed a little more salt (I am guessing the chef has high BP)
- Chola Bhatura: Chole was really good, pooris were too hard, I would NOT recommend it to anyone, well at least anyone I like ;)
- Spicy lamb: I was told it was very good
- Kesari: Too dry, very less sugar (was more or less like a German cake - maybe that was the idea!)
- Gajar Halwa: very good (was obviously made before and was just microwaved before serving, if I may add at a much higher temperature than necessary but its winter and I really don't mind)
- Beverages (Coffee, Tea): bad, would never try them again (Indian restaurants in Germany always serve bad coffee but this one even had poor chai and I was heart broken at there being no mention of South Indian coffee in the menu...schade!)

The waiter who served us first was very friendly and polite but the one who took orders for dessert and coffee was quite rude. It was obvious he was in a hurry and the tone he used was always ‘come-on, lets get this over with”…well I am going to give him the benefit of doubt this time.

Verdict: Excellent décor, good food, decent service

PS: As an ardent fotographer, I should've taken pics but like I said, hunger does weird things to you !
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