Slowly the Mirch Masala (Ermou 109, 10553, Athens) is starting to make sense. Sources state it is the Sister Shop of the Indian Masala a few metres down Ermou. Having first seen the Mirch Masala as a Takeaway Only, which it clearly states on the windows, it was established late last night that there are Three Tables, but small and flimsy. They can sit Twelve at a Squeeze. But then there is the Bar which runs along one wall and sits a few more on stools. Here there is a Wonderful Display of Bier including Schlenkerla Rauchbier. Where else can one eat Curry and Drink this King of Biers? I did not identify what, if anything, was being dispensed from the Five Bier Taps.
Marg and Hector entered just after Noon. (They are open until 02.00.) The Girl at the Counter made it clear we would have to order from her at The Till. Cash up front then.
€13.30. No problem with this.
Everything now is back to front
I took Two Menus, large A3 Cards with Three Columns. Chicken was Clearly Listed. Was that it? There was No Way The Hector was having Chicken Curry. A Mix Vegetable Curry it would have to be. I would check. Keema Nan? This suggested Lamb on the premises. Marg fancied no more than a Snack, she had been down for Breakfast. The Indian Souvlaki sounded like a suitable Merging of Genres.
I went up to the Counter. The only Lamb was an Indian Kebab, no thank you. But yes, they had Lamb for the Keema Naan so this should suffice. Mix Vegetable Curry? The last time I ordered a Vegetable Curry as a Main Course was over Thirty Years ago at what is now Mr Singh’s India in Glasgow. There was so much I couldn’t finish it. Hector is long over due a return. Why have I never been back?
Two Chefs were on duty. We were the only customers. The Venue is Large. The Kitchen is Open, we were able to see the Vegetables Prepared in a Wok and then the Curry Sauce added. Very Yellow. From Marg’s angle she spotted a Tandoor. Her Souvlaki would be wrapped in a Naan. A Proper Naan? Potentially.
The Chef was happy to pose, so he is now close to becoming an International Celebrity – Cheers!
The Counter Girl was now The Waitress. She brought a Large Bowl containing the Vegetable Curry and a Wooden Board on which was a Quartered Naan, and the Souvlaki cut in Two Servings. One thing was apparent immediately, we had plenty of food.
The Indian Souvlaki
Chicken Tikka wrapped in a Naan with Greek Yoghurt and Salad surrounding the meat. This is how Souvlaki is served in Hector’s Experience, not the Grilled Skewer served on Bread with Chips which I had to endure on Night One.
Marg wondered if the Yoghurt was actually Tzatziki. She thoroughly enjoyed the Half she attempted. The Chicken was suitably Spiced. The Other Half became a Takeaway. We searched for a Worthy Recipient but the route we took thereafter did not feature One. In the end I had a Nibble on our return to the Hotel. One Bite became Three. Yes, a Worthy Snack.
The Mix Vegetable Curry
How far is this off Hector’s Beaten Track? The Bowl was piled high with Green Beans, Peas and Carrots. The Masala was Onion and Yoghurt-based. There was a Residue of Oil at the Base of the Bowl but this was Minimal, enough to prove the Heritage of the Recipe. OK, far from my Norm, but One could not fault this. An Honest Vegetable Curry, Spicy, Cumin to the fore, and Lots of it!
There was a sign that the Naan was Puffy, not by a Huge amount, but it had a bit of Puffiness. With Garlic Embedded the major point of interest was the interior. If Keema served in Bread in Glasgow ends up looking like Donner Meat, then this is what was expected in Greece. There was no Donner in the Mirch Masala. This Naan had Discrete Minced Lamb. This was better than anticipated. Not the Best Naan by any means, but the Best Bread served in an Athens Curry House this week.
It became very apparent that Hector was not going to finish this Vegetable Curry. Rather than start the Second Half of her Souvlaki, Marg tore into mine. Between us we managed to find the Bottom of the Bowl.
The Mature Lady who looked as if she owned the place was present momentarily. She had gone by the time I presented the Calling Card. What is this? – I was asked. Maybe Young Doris could not read the script on my Trusty Samsung.
The Chef fared better. He had noted the Photos, seen the enthusiasm. He had taken time to ask where we were from. Good touch.
Hector has been here. He ate a Vegetable Curry and enjoyed it. The Naan was also not a disappointment.
However, Chicken only?
Not my idea of a Menu.