Saturday, 10 November 2007

Ring of Fire

An old Johnny Cash number and always an appropriate title for a post on curry.

Yesterday we finally tracked down the only Indian restaurant in Skopje but not without difficulty. Their website gives clear directions to get to it (opposite the American Embassy and next to the local zoo) but it doesn't actually say it's moved and has re-located into The Aristocrat Palace Hotel- the opposite end of town. Fortunately the staff at our hotel are well on the ball and put us straight before we set off and we found it without further ado.

I'm not sure why Bombay felt it necessary to move as its new site was really well out of the way and nor why it is sharing room with a hotel (which despite a four star rating is no where near as well placed as our Hotel Square). Perhaps it's a cost issue? It was completely empty when we arrived around 13:00 on a Thursday afternoon. Anyway, I care not for ambiance or window dressing, I go for the food and here we hit pay dirt.

Many familiar items on the vast menu and also some new ideas; we were spoilt for choice. Indeed, it took us so long to decide I feared the waiter had passed out into a korma*...but eventually we selected:

  • Sambhar, a South Indian mixed vegetable soup (sour, hot)
  • Onion Bhaji (fresh onion dipped in chick peas flour and deep fried with a delicious hottish curry dip)
  • Murg Curry (boneless chicken pieces with onion and curry sauce)
  • Bombay Dhall Tarka (boiled mixed lentils cooked with herbs and mildly hot spices, garnished with clarified butter and garlic in traditional Bombay style)
  • Muglai Saag (spinach and chickpeas cooked with light spices)
  • Matar Pulao Basmati (rice cooked with green peas, garnished with golden fried onions and fresh coriander)

Fan-bloody-tastic. Coupled with attentive and yet unobtrusive service, we really had a feast fit for a king/queen and devoured each and every thing with relish and appreciation. Everything cooked to perfection and the sauce for the chicken dish was sublime- I have yet to taste better.

As usual, ktelontour highly recommended and price for two, including soft drinks a reasonable £16 quid. At least a third cheaper than in Britland and two thirds better food.

So that makes it three curries since our departure from the UK- one in Berlin (by far the best), one in England when we visited last Christmas (takeaway and decidedly average) and now in Macedonia, far far better than we could have hoped for. I wonder where the next will be?

*To any foreign readers or non-curry enthusiasts, this decidely witty pun will be lost. Strike that, it's going to be wasted on the majority on here.

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