Panjab – Freiburg im Breisgau

Hector had done some research before embarking on the eight day April Tour of Schweiz/Deutschland/Frankreich. Twelve venues popped up on Google for Freiburg im Breisgau, most of these may well have been places selling Curry Wurst when foot was set on the ground. The Jaipur was easily found in the heart of the city, but we don’t want to go there. Panjab (Turnsee Strasse 13, 79102, Freiburg im Breisgau, Badem-Wurtemberg, Deutschland) had the only positive report in the English language. Here is a report in more detail than the Reader may find in any language.

The leg work was completed yesterday, the Panjab was located with ease. The tactic was to return this evening as there was uncertainty as to to the extent of business closures on Pessach 2012. Arriving at 20.10 the place was stowed. We were invited to come back in an hour and made a reservation to comply. A quick Hefe Weizen at Der Kaiser around the corner passed the time. The anticipation was building, how many German Curry houses are ever found to be this busy, at any time?

Returning with the punctuality befitting our Host Nation our table awaited. The menu came, Butter Chicken for Marg, Bhindi Gosht for Hector. As Rice was inclusive this was the only way of guaranteeing an Interesting Vegetable apart from ordering a Veggie Dish. (But I did manage this last week at the New Karahi Palace, Glasgow.) A Roti and a Butter Nan were the Accompaniments. We had seen the size of the Bread on offer and knew one would not be enough. A Vegetable Pakora was also ordered as the main portions did not appear to be too generous.

The Panjab was emptying with each passing moment. Our meals arrived, the Breads, the Curry, and enough Rice to feed a family of four. No Pakora: ‘I forgot.’ said the waiter. Well, did he actually write anything down?

By this time I did not care. The Bhindi Gosht looked the part. The portion size was decent, the Lamb was cut into smaller pieces than at home but not Bradford-small. The Masala was quite thick with a hint of Cream but not so much that it suggested blandness. The Roti was on the crispier side of the norm and dripping wet, good. The Nan came in two rolled pieces, butter? – where? Maybe it was the Roti that was buttered, what was written?

The first Dip revealed a more than competent Curry. I had asked for it to be Hot, it was and not excessively so. A small side dish of something was set before us, I assumed this was to add an extra kick as is the German way, but this turned out to be Pickle. There was no obvious single flavour from the Masala but it was truly pleasant. The slivers of Ginger which topped the meal were testimony to the fact that this is a contemporary outlet that has not sat on its laurels. The Okra was also served in thin pieces, their presence did not dominate, it was the Vegetable Accompaniment I was looking for. The Lamb was tender and of sufficient quantity to confirm that was indeed a very peasant meal. Hector was happy.

Marg’s Butter Chicken had a major task to impress. The Tomato in the Masala was very visible, Marg described the dish as Tomato and Fruity. The Spice content was minimal so this may have suited. I have to report that Marg enjoyed her meal, it was not as outstanding in terms of Butter Chicken served at her favourite venue, Mother India’s Café, Glasgow.

By the end we had cleaned the Curry Bowls, demolished the Breads and left half of the Boiled Rice. This was a waste, but how much Rice are people expected to eat?

The Bill

€36.00. The Pakora had not been charged for, good. A fair price.

The Aftermath

On offering my card it was questioned as to why a Glasgow Curry Website would have a German name. I showed my Homepage, I was immediately asked for a second Calling Card.

The waiter also asked if I wished to sign the Complaints Book. I declined. It took a moment to work out why it had been offered. The invisible Pakora!

Who knows when, or even if, I shall ever return to Freiburg im Breisgau, if ever I do, I shall return to Panjab, but make a reservation first.

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