Happy Diwali to you! If you’re not sure what Diwali is (tsk, tsk), shame on you. Now head over to this Wikipedia link and read up. Let’s celebrate the Hindu Festival of Lights by talking about my favorite food of all time, shall we?
I’ve been an Indian food lover since I was 8 or so. I have fond memories of drinking lassis at Haandi, our local restaurant, and stuffing my face on jingha masala. Yum city. Moving to Buenos Aires was a challenge at first as I couldn’t seem to find Indian food anywhere. Luckily there is a pretty good representation now and several restaurants from which to choose. There’s even an Indian grocery store tucked away in Belgrano. Win!
Here is a shortlist of great spots for a curry fix in Buenos Aires:
Bengal – My all time favorite. José and I had our first date here, and since we live just around the corner, eat here almost once a week. The menu is half Indian, half Italian; this really bizarre combination works well since the two cuisines aren’t mixed in any way. Rich, steaming curries, perfectly spiced (the chef is Indian) and accompanied by fresh chapati. With an extensive wine list, five star service, and a cozy location in Retiro, Bengal isn’t your typical neighborhood curry spot. But it’s definitely worth it.
Arenales 837 – Retiro – 4314-2926
Taj Mahal – Ignore the Bollywood movies on numerous flat screens and waitresses dressed up in some incongruous uniforms (and purses?), because Taj Mahal knows what’s up. The best aloo ghobi of life is made here, people! The menu is comprehensive and the flavors are complex and well-balanced. You really can’t go wrong here. The service can be iffy, but with the Club La Nación daily 20% discount (40% on Tuesdays), your right to complain is silenced. There’s even a creepy palm reader in the back who will predict your future. A fun spot to go with friends in Palermo. *Update: Apparently Taj Mahal has lost its mojo – a friend went last night and suffered through horrible service, screwed up orders, and NON-spicy food (the biggest offense of all). I will be investigating these claims myself and might have to knock old Tajy down a few pegs …. Sadly enough. *
Nicaragua 4345 – Palermo – 4831-5716
Tandoor – Set on an inviting corner in Barrio Norte, Tandoor is a cozy but elegant restaurant with quality Indian food. Their website is insanely informative and has English and Spanish versions. It’s a great lunch spot and also makes for a nice dinner date. Portions can be small, but the excellent service makes up for it. They even deliver to all of Capital, which is perfect for those nights when you want to inhale curry all by your lonesome as you watch yet another SVU marathon (or is that just me?)
Laprida 1293 – Barrio Norte – 4821-3676
Delhi Darbar – DD is run by dudes who are related to the Chef at Bengal (they’re also in with the Taj Mahal people. Indian mafia?!) Since it’s located downtown, it’s best for a quick lunch or break from the office. The set lunch menu is a good deal and the decor will remind you of those tiny holes in the wall that you’re used to back home. They also do delivery and it’s worth trying: they always come in pairs and for some reason look terrified when they hand over the food. The spices are well developed and it’s an authentic Indian meal.
Delhi Darbar – Viamonte 359 – 4894-0778