Hector has tried on many occasions to actually eat in this award winning restaurant. The Kamasutra (Weyerstrasse 114, 50676, Köln) is not open at weekend lunchtimes, and on the evenings is packed out. Having met the owner earlier this year I at least secured a takeaway and had some good banter whilst waiting for it. Today was my best chance, a Monday lunchtime.
Four other diners were present as I took my seat, two more couples entered subsequently, so business is good. A young Doris with a rather high pitched voice (is this the equivalent of how a German Holiday Rep speaks?) gave me the drinks menu and the midday menu. I could find nothing stimulating on this menu and so asked for the Abendskarte as was suggested at the tail end.
Written in English and Deutsch, I was aput off by the proliferation of Capsicum. I have see enough of the green sweet vegetable in the last two days. Hector wanted a Curry which was guaranteed not to contain Capsicum. The Saag was an obvious solution but back in February I was disappointed by the near absence of Spinach in the serving.
Madras or Vindaloo?
I decided to risk taking a step back in time and ordered the Madras Gosht. Doris verified that this would be Scharf, that was a good sign.
Moments later three Complementary Poppadoms and three Dips were presented. It was explained that as I had ordered from the Evening Menu I was entitled to this gesture. Or perhaps this was to appease the other diners who were not.
The Poppadoms were small-ish however, three was too many as it turned out. The Mango was tasty but the Yogurt Dip stole the show. This was wonderful, creamy Yogurt and I suspect home-made.
Back to the 70’s
The Curry came with enough Boiled Rice for two. The Rice was adorned with carved Carrot slices in the shape of Elephants and a Heart, nice.
I have been positive enough
The sight of the Curry worried me instantly. Half a dozen pieces of Lamm in a thin brown Soup. Still, the flavour could be an experience. Sadly there was none. At least this was not the dreaded Bisto-Curry. The Masala had minimal Onion, was excessive in quantity and no matter how much of it I ate, nothing came through flavour wise. Strips of fresh Ginger had been added, these had flavour. The Carrot slices had flavour, so it was not my taste-buds at fault. A small bowl of extra sliced Green Chillis had been provided, just in case. These were added. Some cooked Vegetables may have rescued this meal, perhaps the Ginger Strips were indeed meant to be the Interesting Vegetable?
I told her that I could not describe the problem in Deutsch, only in English and so we changed to suit the diner’s comfort. To save repetition I shall cut to the repeated conversation with the Main Doris who appeared from behind the scenes. She had no English. Too thin, lacking Onion, no flavour was what I was trying to put across. She told me this was a Madras not a Vindaloo. I had to convince them both that Spice was not the problem. I used the term Suppe pointing at the very thin Masala. Garam Masala was then uttered, this would explain everything. If this was the sole basis of the Masala then not much imagination had gone in to the meal’s creation. There was no sign of Cinnamon, Cardamom, fresh Coriander, or heaven forbid – Methi? What is Methi? Sorry, I did repeat myself. At least my near Spinach-less experience in February did contain some of these more aromatic ingredients.
I can think of no good reason why any restaurant would serve a Curry with this level of blandness at this time. Once again Hector recalls how good the Vindaloo is at the Moti Mahal in Amsterdam. Curry is not just about Spice, and anyone who still thinks that should be sent homewords to think again.
€19.00. This is a bit steep for Hector but one has to accept that this is an upmarket establishment. Yes there are table-cloths, and each glass is wrapped in a ribbon. Red Ribbons adorn the tables themselves. The place has been tastefully decorated, a pity this did not apply to the food.
On payment I showed the photograph of Mein Host from the previous visit. He is the owner, I was told. I think I knew that. Doris Senior took the calling card and disappeared at a rate of knots to the rear of the building where I suspect the Kamasutra houses its laptop.