The Criteria to select the Curry-Heute were simple. The Restaurant had to be in the vicinity of the Grand Place/St. Catherine, had to be seen to have scored well on Other Media Sites, and most importantly, be open at Lunchtime. Bombay Inn (Rue de la Fourche 38, 1000, Bruxelles, Belgium) ticked the boxes.
Located opposite Beer Planet and not far from Toone, our Favourite source of Kwak, this would be easy to find again if the food merited doing so. However, Hector has low expectations of Belgian Curry. Bombay – suggested a possibility of Indian as opposed to the plethora of Nepalese Restaurants in this country masquerading as such.
There were Six Diners already in situ as I entered at 12.30, a good sign. Who eats Curry at Lunchtime? Who drinks wine and Belgian Bier at Lunchtime? The Locals evidently. A Half Litre of Sparkling Water for Hector. Meanwhile Kenny had already established himself at Brasserie Cantillon, plenty of time today for that.
Greeted on entry I was shown to a Table for Four in the Heart of the Restaurant on the opposite side from everyone else. I estimated the Venue sat around Fifty in reasonable comfort. Brightly decorated, all the Omens were looking Favourable.
The Menu was very Traditional, Curry-House Traditional. The Language of Curry is International so only the Meats were given in Three Languages. Agneau for Hector today.
The Saag Awala almost tempted, then I noticed the description of the Bhoona looked enticing. Cooked in its own juice, they claimed the sauce would be thick like Praline. The Avoidance of Soup. I wasn’t taking the chance with Bread and so asked about Rice. Later I did see a Naan fit for One being brought out, it looked Fine. Vegetable Rice? I was steered towards Fried Rice. It has Peas. Rice and Peas, am I in Italia once more?
A Basket with Two Poppadoms was placed on the Plate Heater in the middle of the Table with Four Dips. One Poppadom had embedded Cumin Seeds a positive feature of Poppadoms in Europe. I concentrated on this one and ignored the other. Plain Chopped Onion was a bit, em Plain. The Mango was out the same Jar as everyone else’s as more than likely was the Lime Pickle. The Latter had Bite.
These were cleared and a Large Bowl of Rice and a Smaller Karahi were placed on the heater which was now lit. More Rice than One Person could eat, it did contain Peas, and Carrots and bits of Green Capsicum. Fried Egg was also strewn through it. Chinese Fried Rice. This at least had help avoid the prospect of No Interesting Vegetable. No Problems with the Rice.
The Lamb Bhoona looked most appealing. It was indeed Very Dry, in fact where was the promised Thick Masala? Some Oil was collecting at The Base, just the way I like it. Eight decent sized Lamb Pieces were contained in the Mix. This was very much a Mix. I could identify the Large Pieces of Onion and what I hoped was Tomato, alas as I spooned the Curry on top of the Rice, it revealed an Array of Capsicum. Here we go again.
The Lamb was Tender and Sufficient in Quantity. There was no Kick from this Dish whatsoever and Seasoning had been totally forgotten about. In terms of the Lamb and Minimal Masala this Curry had the basis of something worthwhile. If One was a Regular here, or arrived having read this Blog, I’m sure they could Spice up the Dish and make it more impressive.
The Dreaded Green Vegetable
Just how much was there? Lots, and More. The Capsicum was piled up in the corner of the plate. In the end I wondered if I had been given Capsicum Curry. The Menu had not stated the presence of this unwelcome addition. I probably ate One in Four of the Red – Ballast – and None of the Green, I hope. Imagine trying to enjoy Bier with the aftermath of Green Capsicum all day.
Still, I ate Heartily and was certainly Fed for The Day.
I have had a lot worse Curry than this, especially in Belgium. This had potential.
€19.35. This was more than I was expecting. I suspect there was a Charge for the Poppadoms which I did not order.
The Calling Card was given and accepted graciously.
Hector entered Brasserie Cantillon at exactly 13.30, the arranged time, having walked the stretch. Dr. Stan was there too.