I think this could be an English thing, but every so often if I do not have some form of Indian food, I turn into one miserable git. I crave those delectable tastes, spices and fragrances of a good curry.
We tried a couple of places in Japan for their version of a curry, which were ok, very school dinners. The katsu curry consisted of half a plate of rice with the other half with the curry sauce on and then some form of breaded meat alongside, normally chicken or pork cutlet. As I said they were ok, nice lunchtime train station chow.
So these prangs of need washed over me within a week of coming to Hong Kong. It was only time before we made the slow boat trip across Victoria Harbour to Kowloon and the walk from the Star Ferry port to our curry lunch. This route took us past the Peninsula Hotel, the grand old lady of Hong Kong hotels, left up Nathan road, and all the glitz and glam that it offers first time visitors. Soon arriving at the Chungking Mansions. This monstrosity, with its 5 blocks and 17 floors. It’s reckoned over 4000 people live here with a melting pot of 120 languages spoken, and at least a million people pass through its doors every year. Everyone who works there (legal or not) is just after making money. It’s not as dangerous as it once was. It kinda has a small feeling of respectability about it now. I hate modernization.
But no matter what the place is like, it has the best Indian and Pakistani restaurants in Hong Kong.
As we were just changing money we decided to stay on the ground floor, after wandering around the labyrinth of shops selling everything from knock off clothes to knock off cameras we found ourselves in frontt of the Punjab Food Restaurant. A small no nonsense eatery, filled with local wheelers and dealers of the Chungking Mansion family. Plastic tables and chairs adorned its small front. The waiter was a happy smiley bloke, which kinda drew us to it in the first place.
After having a gander at the menu, which focused on all the usual North Indian favourites. We opted for a mutton biryani, butter chicken, a naan and two mango lassi’s.
The lassi’s were as expected, lovely, fruity and refreshing. I mean any Indian joint that cannot make a good lassi, should not be in business.
By this time we were starving. The Butter Chicken, was moist & melted in the mouth it was so tender. The sauce was thick and had a fabulous taste. The Mutton Biryani was pretty damn good. It had a good selection of mixed spices, which made it a delight on the taste buds. Being so good you wanted more and there was not enough meat. The naan was hot and had that tandoor oven taste about it, it was great to soak up the gravy sauce from my chicken.
The bill came to just over a 100 Hong Kong dollars, about £7. Bargain.
Actually just writing this is making me get those curry tinglings again. Luckily there is a Malaysian café just behind this building. So may have to dash out for something soon.
More on that later …….