Monday, January 28

Indian dinner with Friends

On Friday's I have a ritual of waking up around ten, walking a couple blocks to the local newspaper stand, buying the freshly printed El Pais newspaper and then tearing it apart only to pull out the weekly cultural events guide On Madrid. With this gem of information, I mozy down to Martin's Cerveceria on Santa Engracia, take a seat at the bar, and read about ongoing and upcoming concerts, films, theater performances, art museum exhibits and the best restaurants, shops, bars, clubs, etc while eating the fluffiest tortilla espanola in Spain accompanied by a tall class of freshly squeezed Zumo. It's my perfect morning.

Now, while I was skimming the pages last week, I found in the COMER section a lovely review of a new Indian restaurant in town. Let me start off my saying that I've been to about 3 or 4 Indian restaurants so far since I've been here. None of them are exceptional and the majority of them can be found in Lavapies which is the ethnic neighborhood where you can literally walk five blocks and see nothing but Indian/Pakistani restaurants (you know you're in a Pakistani restuarant when you find beef on the menu). They're all quite cheap and frankly the food reflects that. It's fine for a quick lunch, but if you're looking for the good stuff, you have to do some research. So, back to what I was saying, I found a great review of an Indian restaurant that opened only six months ago, it's called Indian Aroma (Ventura de la Vega, 6: Metro Sevilla). The article said, "Sabras que elegiste un buen indio si te encuentras ingleses comiendo alli" and that at Indian Aroma "Siempre haya britanicos". The article also printed a lovely picture of the elegant candlelit dining room complete with gold statues and paintings of Vishnu and Shiva, dim lighting and yellow washed walls. A most intimate and cozy atmosphere, just where I want to be.

So last night, me and some of my pals met at Indian Aroma for dinner. I reserved a table for six at 9:30 (the average time Spaniards eat dinner). We started with some Indian beers, King Fisher and Cobra, and then began to flip through the very ample menu. Let me just add that Enrique had never had Indian food before tonight and so this was a kind of special occasion for him in that it would be his first time sampling the world's most savory, exotic cuisine. So we ordered some Onion Bhaji, Vegetable and Chicken Samosas and Chicken Tikka to start. It was all so beautifully colored and presented. Enrique seemed to be pleasantly surprised. Then we each ordered a main dish, most of us some variation of curry with either lamb, prawns, or chicken. When the food arrived, we all passed around our plates, had a little of everything, and shared some fantastic aromatic rice and garlic naan. Mmmm, it was great. At least a 9 on my 10 point scale of perfection. Indian night was therefore a success, though did I mention we were the only people in the restaurant... it was kind of nice actually, we could talk a little louder and had a little better service. For any of you that come out and see me, I'll be sure to take you here.

Me, John, Kate, Kassmira, Keith, Domingo and Enrique