It may be a very British thing to grab a lager, a curry and then head to a football match. However, an Indian restaurant in Iceland feels like home away from home, because Indian food is second to none in the UK. We arrived at 6pm before the just-got-off-work crowd – perfect for combing the menu and not feeling rushed. My mouth knew what it wanted, something tangy but not too hot. My banker friend made a much more assured choice, plumping for the excellent Murgh Mango Maza. Like Romeo and Juliet coming together in a dish, chicken and mango was a great combination. Mmm. Economical with his palette too, my guest ordered the Peshwari Nan Bread, and the raisins and coconut stayed on the right side of sweet.
I went with a Lamb Gosht Jaipuru, which to quote the menu is: “Lamb cooked in a blend of capsicum, onions, ginger, garlic, and fresh green chillies, simmered in exotic Jaipuri spices.” It’s like reading a well-written blurb of a novel, hoping it lives up to expectations. Here, it did. I was foaming at the mouth before the ingredients even hit the pan,
The unblemished service involved the waitress taking the order and helping the chef cook it. When she’s on Nan duty, it is similar to the satisfaction of seeing your pizza dough rolled, or your pancake flipped. Viewing the chilli and coriander sprinkled on the bread is just too much. She would have been on cleaning-up-drool duty, if I hadn’t have focused on something else like my Cobra beer.
The new chef at Shalimar has just arrived from London. He changes the lunchtime menu daily and the restaurant is already an established midday institution. Shalimar steps up a gear in the evening though, and the comprehensive fixed menu means you can spoil yourself silly with the wide choice. So we headed to the match, patting our wide bellies, gratified.
- Where: Austurstræti 20 Reykjavik 101 Tel.:561 2240