The Taj Mahal (Rue Godefroid 31, 5000, Namur, Belgium) was the second Curry House Hector encountered in his first hour in Namur. The prices here looked more reasonable. No doubt, by the end of the week, both shall be reported.
Hector sat as ever, The Lone Diner, or perhaps on this occasion The Last Man Standing. Another table were engaged in the process of ordering Curry-Heute, I surveyed the menu.
The lovely waitress approached and soon realised that I had not just strayed in off the street, I was here to eat Curry. The menu was so bog standard I would have walked had this been a Curry House in Scotland. ‘We do not have Curries like England.’ I was supposedly assured. ‘I am from Scotland!’
Mein Host appeared, of African/Middle East origin I supposed, I was later assured he was Indien, aye right…
Again he repeated that I would not find the same Curry as in ‘England’. Now this is peculiar. The Menu was a clone of any high street Curry House from thirty years ago, the same old tired dishes. So, just how poor were these?
‘There is no Lamb.’ Now this was not a good thing to tell Hector, fortunately by this time I had focused on the Fish: No. 37 – Royal Bengal – ragout de poisson de moutarde, pommes de terre, citron, coriander fraiche. ‘I will cook you the Fish myself and give you Chapattis’ Mein Host assured me as he took the order. The lovely Doris was perhaps no more. ‘There will be a fifteen minute wait.’
I was given my normal Sparkling Water and a Poppadom. The latter was so stale I could not finish it. Plenty of time to make the above notes. The staff must have sensed something, they kept approaching me for assurance that all was well. The occasional clandestine photo and and intense note taking may worry them more at the end of this report.
The meal arrived, an elongated plate of Fish in the thinnest Masala I have seen….since Bamberg? There was no sign of the Potato, a slice of Lemon sat atop the presentation. Exactly how much Onion had been pulped to make hte Masala? The two ordered Chapattis had never seen a flame, how white can you serve a Chapatti?
The customary dip of the Chapatti into the Masala…. nothing. This was very poor indeed. Don’t ask me what Fish it was never mind the last the last tree in the boulevard. Hector knows Curry and this was at the poor end of the scale.
Another lovely lady asked if I was enjoying the meal. ‘I am eating.’ was as much as I could honourably give away. There was nothing wrong with the meal, it was freshly cooked, there was a sense of Spice. It just did not do anything to enhance the reputation of the Indian dish called Curry.
I had hoped for a Curry.
€24. Now the Fish itself was €16. So much for ‘I shall give you some Chapattis.’ This was way overpriced. How much was the Water? Perhaps a reality check is required. If they know they are not serving the quality of Curry produced in the UK then this is an admission of inferiority. Why can the good people of Namur not be presented with what even the proprietor might recognise as Curry?
A description of the Non-Curry events of the day is at Bier-Traveller.com