Le Penjab – Strasbourg, Hector’s First French Curry

Curry-Heute is two years old – today!

It is April 8, Hector is still on vacation, tonight it is Le Penjab (12, Rue de Tonneliers, 6700, Strasbourg). This is a significant date, it is two years to this very day when the first Curry-Heute report was written about the Indien Mango in München. Much Curry has been consumed since then and many words written.

Hector, with the ever faithful Marg in tow had a choice of four Curry Houses that had been encountered in the previous twenty four hours. The Bar Exils has proved to be a Hector Magnet. Le Penjab is around the corner, so the feelings were that the Omens had  already been written.

About four other tables were occupied when we entered around 20.00. A table for two it was then. The menu was quite limited. For Hector it was normal Lamb Curry or Gosht Vindaloo. The latter felt the better option. Marg went for the Lamb Roganjosh, the presence of yoghurt having put me off. I asked the Doris if there was anything else. I also asked if Dry Curry was possible. I was advised that all the Curry comes with Sauce unless I chose the Grill. I was tempted for a moment but then it was a Curry I came for. The thought of Meat and Sauce with nothing else made me order an extra Main Course – the Legume Curry. This was only €2 more than the Side Vegetable dishes. As usual we agreed to share a Vegetable Rice. Here it was referred to as: Saffron-flavoured basmati rice and vegetables.

The Roti and the Nan were both €2.90 each, so instead of two Roti we ordered one of each. This felt logical. What was illogical was Doris asking me if I wanted my Vindaloo to be mild, medium or hot?

The wait was not long and everything came together except the Nan which had to be re-ordered. The portions were adequate, the extra Legume Curry proved to be a good decision. The Rice was very much a portion for one and the added Vegetables were minimal. The Roti was not large but was quite thick. The Nan came quickly and was perhaps the highlight of the Sides, it was fresh, light and fluffy.

The Vindaloo quite simply was not. There was no heat to speak of. There was no Potato. We shall ignore the literal ‘Vin’ part of the definition, but come on, she did ask if I wanted it hot etc.

The Vindaloo was at least well-seasoned. The Masala was the classic below average Curry Sauce – pureed Onion and Yogurt/Cream. . There was nothing bad about the overall flavour, just nothing remarkable. The Lamb varied from tender to chewy.

Marg was enjoying her Roganjosh. Not being too Spicy suits her. The Creamier Sauce she likes too. Marg’s Lamb also varied from tender to being harder to chew. The Legume Curry became a disputed point. Marg found this too Salty and too Spicy, I felt it was again well-seasoned and was definitely hotter than my Vindaloo. Carrot, Cauliflower and Aubergine were the Interesting Vegetables which made up the Legume Curry. To me, this made the whole meal worthwhile, without this I think I would have been writing a much more critical report.  However, venues such as this should really look at what they are serving, they are living in the past if they believe what they serve up is a Curry fit for the Twenty First Century.

The Bill

€48.30. We did have three Main Courses between the two of us.

The Aftermath

Not much chat at all. Indeed, none.

So, where do I go next time?

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