After craving Indian food for what felt like months on end, I jumped at the idea of going to a nearby Indian restaurant recommended by one of my friends. And of course, because great food always tastes better together, I brought along a fellow foodie. It was 18:30 on a long June evening as we walked up to the front door of the Taste of India 1030, on Marxergasse. This is the second location for the Taste of India, and the original was first opened in 2011 by founders Jhand Kulwant and Nandha Tarsem Singh on Margaretenstraße 34.
The surrounding streets had fallen quiet as the business crowd had gone home, and you could smell pungent spices wafting out from the kitchen. Inside, the whitewashed walls offset vibrant terracotta archways and green casements, the floor decked out in black and white floral tiles; painted gold statues adorned the windowsills, giving off an exotic vibe. Large windows lighted the premises, with further illumination coming from lamps hanging over the tables; along with the semi-open floor plan, the overall effect was bright, cheery and spacious.
Greeted with a smile, our waiter kindly let us pick our table as there weren’t many guests yet. We chose the outside patio, with its solid white high-backed wooden benches, black tables and pastel colored chairs. Planters filled with a gorgeous array of flowers ran along the sides, with strings of colored lights decorating the borders. The table setting was simple yet pretty, with a napkin folded into a flower-like shape and a candle lit as soon as we sat down.
Still mulling over the menu, after a few minutes a complementary plate of three types of chutney and two poppadums’ (a round and crisp type of flatbread) were served alongside our drinks – Jasmine tea and chai Masala – which arrived in two large cast iron pots. More people wandered in, soon filling the patio on this gentle summer evening. A family of four, two men and a group of four friends were all seated at comfortable distances, adding a pleasant buzz to the serenity; a friendly dog sat patiently on the floor next to one table.
Spice Up Your Life
The menu was full of all different types of authentic Indian cuisine, with what felt like never ending options, ranging from appetizers like samosas to Lamb Biryani. You could opt for both meat or vegetarian in almost every category, all reasonably priced, with entrees from €12-20 and everything eminently sharable. We chose the Luckhnow Chaat (homemade potato cakes with white peas, tamarind chutney and yoghurt sauce) to start; with the potato cakes hidden under a blanket of sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, it oozed comfort food feeling. And that was only the beginning.
For our main dishes, we chose the Thali vegetarian (Sabzi, Dal Makhani, Shahi Paneer with naan bread) and King Prawn Bhuna, tossed in garlic, peppers, fresh coriander with special herbs & spices. Each dish was extraordinary, with the various flavours matching seamlessly. The Tahli vegetarian allowed you to explore your taste buds through the five different dishes. One of them, was a surprising small mango sauce that added some light sweetness to the meal. The king prawns were cooked to perfection, soft and buttery with eat bite. Naan bread of course, had to be ordered and was perfect to dip in the creamy curry. The meal gave us so much variety, to the point that it was hard to finish.
As the sun set, we ate slowly to make it last, savoring the evening. No one, in fact, seemed to be in a hurry, and the other diners followed their meal with another round of drinks as the colorful string lights were switched on. A well-hewn pairing of good food and Gemütlichkeit – Indian style.
Clearly a place to enjoy an evening out, the restaurant has been turning heads with its northern Indian cuisine and we could now see why. The service, atmosphere and cuisine of The Taste of India gave us a memorable evening. Although next time, we’ll make sure to skip lunch.
3., Marxergasse 19
Tue-Fri 11:00-14:30 & 17:30-23:00
Sat, Sun & Holidays 12:00-23:00
(01) 710 69 99