Hector has been passing the Jaipur Indian Restaurant (Marzellenstrasse 50-56, 50667, Köln) for many years but has never managed to be Hungry when it was open. The Name – Jaipur – used to mean something very Special to The Friends of Hector, back in the day when Thornbridge (Derbyshire) used to Brew the most Outstanding Ales. As life goes, no more.
Even today the Jaipur was not my intended first Köln Curry, but a text from First Class on the Amsterdam – Köln ICE informed me that Maggie was Hungry, Clive would go to Barabarossaplatz alone to check them in at the Ibis. The Jaipur is the nearest Curry House to the Hauptbahnhof, so it goes.
On entering this well established Venue, one has to admit to being Impressed and even Amused by the Décor. The walls are adorned with a better class of covering than one sees in most Upmarket Indian Restaurants. The Life-size Tiger is something else. Yes, impressive.
I have read some very critical reviews for Jaipur. The reported Indifference by the Staff who have allegedly remarked that as it is Tourists who frequent the Venue, they don’t really care what we think of the Food and Service. I cannot fault the Service at all today. The Waiter offered us a choice of seating area, the Window Side of the Tiger, or the Garden Side. There appears to be a Garden Area to the Rear where presumably people Dine in the summer. Despite Köln being unseasonably warm today, this was not an option. The final Food Preparation Area is behind a Glass Booth the middle of the Restaurant. The Chef nodded in acknowledgement as we passed to take our seats.
Maggie was happy to share a 0.75l Bottle of Sparkling Water at €4.00. The Menu was not Pretentiously Extensive. What one would expect in a Mainstream German-Indian Restaurant was there. A Bhuna Gosht was Hector’s first consideration, but at the last minute I changed to Lamm Vindaloo. I wanted Potato and I didn’t get my Lamb Vindaloo last night in Amsterdam. Maggie chose Keema Matar. I love the Spelling Variations.
There was time to take a few Photos whilst we waited. A second Chef now joined the First in the Glass Booth. This is a Large Venue, only Two other Tables were occupied.
The Waiter brought the order which was placed on stands with Tea-Lights to maintain the heat. Always a good touch, so why the cold plates? The Inclusive Rice was to share. As is the German-Indian Custom, there was way too much Basmati.
At €13.000 for a Main Course, there did not appear to be that Big a Portion. The Lamb was Very Tender and sat in the anticipated Copious Masala. Two large Pieces of Potato provided the required Distraction from the Meat. This was certainly at a Spice Level above the Continental Curry Norm, there was a Serious Kick. There was no real Subtlety of Flavour, but this is typically rare in a Vindaloo anyway. Yes, the Curry – Hit the Spot. But still, an Average Curry.
Maggie’s Mince and Peas looked Strange from the start. This Dish is usually served Seriously Dry so why the Lake of Whatever it was. I was permitted a Sample. Maggie knew she would not finish hers so this Portion was more than adequate one concludes. There was an Unexpected Taste that emerged from the Mince, Maggie thought it was – Beef Stock. Hector even went as far as naming the brand. In Europe it would probably be Magi. (For the record, Hector does not buy any produce from the Nestle stable.) We were amused.
€40.00. Exactly as Anticipated.
The Calling Card was accepted with a degree of Puzzlement. Maggie saw the Waiter show it to his Boss. Some Interest was observed. So, maybe they do care.