On the day the London 2012 Olympics officially open The Friends of Hector find themselves in Ceske Budejovice in the South of the Czech republic. There is a World Famous Brewery here – Budvar -, and Curry-Heute reported.
Hunger took care of some who as far as I know, headed for the hills. Howard and Mags had retained their hunger sufficiently to join Hector, for the third time this week, in an upstairs venue just off the Main Square.
The Gateway to India (Piaristicka 22/8, 37001, Ceske Budejovice) is a large venue with modest prices. This gave us the opperchancity to try a few things. The Breads for a start were at give-away prices, the Mains ranged from four to five Pounds.
As ever, when one has Curry outwith the UK shores, it is a lottery. It is always hoped that a New Gem will be found, the norm is usually something average or below. The Gateway to India was certainly not average, this was a significant Curry Discovery.
The Menu was not vast, Lamb Vindaloo was Hector’s selection, a choice/test that has evolved through time. The Chapattis were an impressive 20Kc, around 65p. The Keema Protha (Paratha) were just over the Pound mark, why not have both? – one should be worthwhile. Inspired by the Dal experienced in Berlin earlier in the week, the Dal Makhni at about three pounds for a Main Course portion was irresistible.
Mags had set aside her disappointment of last night’s Curry in Prague, she chose the Lamb Mushroom with a Garlic Kulcha and Plain Basmati as accompaniment. Howard ordered the Fish Curry , Peas Rice and the Garlic Kulcha.
We feared the serving of thin Sauce and so tried to convince the Waiter that we did not want Soup, we wanted a Thick Masala. The message was apparently accepted, we still had our doubts. He tried to convince me that the Vindaloo might be excessive on the palate. Hector knows otherwise. In Europe nobody serves a properly Cooked Steak or a seriously Hot Curry.
We waited, There was a group of ten before us, indeed this was a busy venue. At these prices I was not surprised, but the quality of the food was as yet unknown. There was time to go wandering and take in the sheer size of the place, only one of three rooms was open for business.
When the Curry arrived we felt an air of optimism, the Thick Masala was present in all three dishes. I was puzzled to note the Creamy texture, a Creamy Vindaloo? This is certainly a departure from what one might expect, but when there is heat, taste and texture one can only be impressed. The Dal Makhni was served in a Tall Pot, it looked like Soup, however on stirring, the true texture revealed itself, thick and dry-ish. The Breads immediately impressed. The Chapatti was more of a thin Nan than the normal Chapatti, in fact Middle-Eastern. The Keema Protha (Paratha) was rich with ‘bashed meat‘ as described. Howard likes his Peas, the Rice servings were more than adequate.
Excess, in Moderation
Everything was now set for a feast, none were disappointed. The Vindaloo was indeed Hot, but nothing to fear. The Creamy Masala was very rich with a good Onion Base. The Potato and Lamb were well cooked, more Lamb please might be the only negative. The texture of the Chapatti was wonderful, and eaten with the Vindaloo, a treat. The Dal was superb, the Keema Protha was the perfect accompaniment for this. No way could I eat it all, an elegant sufficiency was achieved.
Howard thoroughly enjoyed his meal, though he wished he had been alert enough to order the Vindaloo version of his Fish Dish. On tasting my Masala he realised what he had missed. Howard still had positives in balance for his choice. Mags was well impressed, this was more like it, not her favoured Glasgow Curry, em we are in Ceske Budejovice. She was defeated by the volume and now has a Take-away for tomorrow’s Train to Passau, interesting.
871 Kc = £27.00. We had a Banquet, the food was wonderful.
The Calling Card was well received and the Website explained. This Curry House deserves recognition. I assured Mein Host that I would return, but not this year. Ceske Budejovice is famous for Bier and like München it can also boast a major Curry Attraction.