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 the delectable tastes, spices and fragrance of a good curry, as some other people I know.
We tried a couple of places in Japan for their version of a curry, which were ok, nothing to write home about. They consisted of half a plate of rice with the other half with the curry sauce on and then wot ever meat on top, normally breaded chicken or pork. As I said they were ok, nice lunch time train station snack.
So these prangs of need washed over me within a week of coming to Hong Kong, so we made the slow boat trip across Victoria harbour to Kowloon. The walk from the Star Ferry port to our curry lunch took us past the Peninsula Hotel, the grand old lady of Hong Kong hotels. Turn left up Nathan road, and all the glitz and glam that it offers first time visitors. Then before our eyes lays the Chungking Mansions. This monstrosity is 17 floors high with 5 blocks. They reckon over 4000 people live there with a melting pot of 120 languages spoke there, 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.
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 we saw a few places at the back. So looking at wot was on offer we decided to head for the Punjab Food Restaurant. A small nonsense eatery, filled with local wheeler 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.
We had 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. Really fruity and refreshing. I mean any Indian joint that cannot make a good lassi, should not be in business.
The food arrived, thankfully as by this time we were starving. My Butter Chicken, was moist & melted in the mouth it was so tender. The sauce was thick and had a fabulous taste. Lina’s Mutton Biryani was pretty damn good. It had a good selection of mixed spices, which made it a delight on the taste buds. Although downside, not enough meat for my liking. 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 …….