Friday, 28 March 2014
I felt like an Indian meal last night and the Indian Palace, at Avenida Noelia Afonso, happened to be within five minutes' walk of my accommodation.
It was about seven thirty and I'd already had the customary restorative, viz. the Tanqueray.
The Indian Palace is not suitable for those who are unable to climb a flight of stairs, because this establishment is about twenty feet above street level.
There was only one other person in the restaurant when I darkened their door, a girl who was preoccupied on her mobile phone.
I chose a table and was brought their menu. Incidentally, all the tables have a bottle of red wine, which is taken away when patrons are seated; a minor idiosyncrasy perhaps.
Initially I ordered a fizzy orange, though quickly changed my mind when I noticed that they had Lassi, so I opted for the mango lassi.
Thereafter the predictable chutneys and chapati arrived, followed closely by my lassi, which I did enjoy.
It was slightly akin to a yoghurt drink, I imagine.
As usual, I had onion bhajis as a starter. Although I scoffed them down swiftly enough - I was hungry - they lacked flavour or spiciness; and that's coming from somebody who generally prefers their Asian cuisine on the mild side.
They looked rather lonely, devoid of a garnish, too.
If there's one dish I am well acquainted with, it has to be Chicken Korma and pilau rice.
This came with the peschwari naan bread that I'd ordered.
The Indian Palace's naan was thin and crispy; so thin, in fact, that it's a wonder they managed to squeeze any sultanas in!
I wonder if it had been kept heated in the oven for too long. I prefer my naan hot and moist, twice as thick as this one, filled more generously with dried fruit and almond or whatever.
The sauce, however, which is so fundamental, was bland. Before all you aficionados and connoisseurs of Indian cuisine insist that korma sauce is bland, this one was blander still.
Even Tesco's standard korma has more depth of flavour than the Indian Palace, alas.
It was all perfectly acceptable, though not my greatest Indian feast.
The bill was about €20.