Today is the Third Anniversary of The Launch of Curry-Heute!
This was always going to be a day of Celebration. April 8 is the Anniversary of the Launch of Curry-Heute, it is three years since the first posting – The Indian Mango in München. As the name of this Blog intended from the outset to report on Curry from an International Perspective, it is fitting that today Hector reports from a new Venue, Krakow, in a New Country – Polska.
April 8 2013 is also our Second Day of Five on a Holden Tour. Ricky, The Man from Bradford, has been trying to get us all to come to Krakow for years. The morning was set aside to visit Schindler’s Factory which was not even on my radar when I first visited Krakow in 1992. There was most likely no Curry Houses back then either, now there are maybe half a dozen or more around Stare Miasto, the Old Town. With a piece of Google Map to hand I had marked one off the map, hoping to track down the one which had the most favourable reports.
The Schindler Factory is a Museum documenting the History of Poland before introducing the anticipated era covering The Holocaust. Coffee in the Factory felt appropriate after Marg and Hector completed the tour. Schindler, who History has written as a Hero despite his nefarious activities, always gave his workers a good lunch. Clive and Maggie arrived just as we were finishing the coffee. It was just after they joined us that I received a text from Howard – Mrs T is immortal. I read out the text – She’s Dead! – I exclaimed. Who? Was the obvious reply. Given the ambivalence towards the Iron Lady, there was a Strange Sensation at being at this Historic Location. Schindler deserves to go down in History as – The Hero. As a Scot who presented himself on the Labour Market between 1979 and 1981, I have little respect for Britain’s first Lady Prime Minister. In that time time Job Vacancies simply evaporated.
I sent a text to Robin immediately, to apologise for not being able to meet him for a Bier Today. We agreed more than a decade ago that the moment She was no more, we would go straight to the Pub. At 16.00 Polish time, in Omerta, I proposed a Toast – To Arthur Scargill.
In the meantime there had to be Lunch. Walking up through Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter, the sight of Restaurants with Hebrew Script planted one Food Type in my mind – Falafel! I tried three places, no luck. The fourth venue on the street turned out to be the Bombaj Tandoori (Krakow, ul. Szeroka 7-8), Falafel would wait, it was time for Curry-Heute! Marg had Coffee and Cake in her mind and so stayed at the previous venue.
The room of the Bombaj Tandoori was not a big one, though stairs went somewhere, perhaps there was another business operating from the same address upstairs. There would be a dozen Co-Diners, a good sign. The Waitress showed me initially to a small table for two at the window then asked if I would prefer the adjacent table for four. I took the Comfort Option.
The Menu did not have any of my favoured Punjabi Dishes, this could well be a true Indian Restaurant. The Prices were all expensive for Poland but still less than what would pay at Home for a Curry, Bradford would still be Cheaper. I then realised that for the first time anywhere, The Fish was three quarters the price of the Lamb. Maybe this should always be the case.
So Fish Masala it would be, I asked for Minimal Masala and Medium to Hot. This appeared to be understood, though there was consternation about the Spiciness of the Curry served to a group of four whose female complement was evidently not coping with what they had been brought. Peas Pilau was the chosen Accompaniment, I did not see Chapattis and I am apparently going through a Rice Phase again.
The wait was a decent time. The aforementioned group of four were served after a table of six. A young chap had by now been given the table I declined. This place was doing business. The Trusty Samsung was updating me on The News, the Jokes started to arrive by Text. Have people prepared these in advance? Adam Boulton’s timely and solemn Obituary for Sky News was not just cobbled together in the previous hour. The Tributes all rolled in, the Dignitaries all had to make the usual noises. Jo Public clearly had other ideas, as did an MP from Bradford.
The Curry immediately impressed. There was about six decent sized pieces of what could have been Salmon, hard to tell, but by the Texture and Density this was my conclusion. The Brown (Yay!) Masala was on the Thin Side but was thankfully not excessive, the message had got though to The Kitchen. Not surprisingly the Fish Flavour was pronounced, however, the Masala had its own Unique Flavour, certainly a New Experience. Occasionally a Cumin Seed exploded in my mouth. The Rice indeed featured Peas but was a bit on the Stodgy side. Paella Rice was what came to mind, so with the Fish, Perfect! A bit more Seasoning (in a Fish Curry?) and this could have been Outstanding, overall it was a Pretty Decent Curry.
Marg returned to fetch me just as I was finishing, she knows how long a Curry takes.
42.40 PLN, around £8.50. This included the Sparkling Water. A Good Feed at a Favourable Price.
The next Restaurant we passed in Kazimierz sold Falafel…
It was soon time for the 16.00 Rendezvous, there was a topic of conversation that dominated. We were all of one mind, seven of us whose origins include Aberdeen, Strathclyde (as was), Yorkshire and West Sussex.
Ricky, The Man from Bradford was a bit miffed that he had not been invited for a Curry-Heute.
It was only when I had time to take stock that I realised that the Bombaj Tandoori was in fact the required Curry House located off my map.