Curry!

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The Batgung Editorial committee met for lunch recently at a new (to us, at least) curry restaurant, the "Bhet Ghat" at 151 Jaffe Rd in Wanchai. Their signs say they serve Nepalese and Indian curries so, thrill-seekers that we are, we stuck to the Nepalese selection. The fact that the menu item for one of the dishes we chose wouldn't be any more specific than "Red meat", and ended with the description that it would "exercise your gums" should have warned us off. But that time the curry-house bravado had set in ... "How hot do we want it ? Ho, ho, ho...."

I won't be ordering it again, though it was definitely interesting to have tried. Not so interesting that you need to try it -- you can just take my word. Turns out the main constituent was dried water-buffalo meat. We wondered if it was part of a government campaign to stop traffic jams on Lantau, but it had been flown in specially for us from Nepal.

I'll happily eat there again, after all I guess that is how dried water-buffalo is meant to taste. Though next time we'll stick to the tried and tested Indian favourites, maybe adding just one from the Nepalese list for the story-telling opportunities it provides.

MrB

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Mr T replies:

Well, I liked the dish in question a little more than Mr B did, and I must admonish him for neglecting to mention that it was *sun*-dried water buffalo meat. That adds a touch of class, if you ask me. I agree, however, that once is quite enough.

Fun little place, though, and the other two dishes we had were excellent.

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So you don't fancy dried water buffalo? Where else can you go for a good curry? Here's a list of possibilities from the Batgung and some of their readers:

From Mr B:

  • In TST I'd recommend Branto's in Lock Rd in Tsim Sha Tsui, introduced by Mr T. It's vegetarian only, and the number of Indian diners there show they are doing something right. [To find Branto's, it's easiest to go up Lock Road from Peking Road. Branto's is at 1/F., 9 Lock Road, on the left-hand side of the road. You need to ring a buzzer at ground level to get in the building. There's a fairly large sign, and the buzzer is clearly marked.]
  • In Causeway Bay there's a cheap and cheerful Indian Restaurant on the corner of Russell Street and Percival Street -- the corner closest to Sogo. I can't remember the name, but look up at the signs and you'll see it, up on the first or second floor. They don't have a liquor licence, so BYOB. [A reader adds]: The Causeway Bay one is called Aladdins. Quite good but they confuse things by asking when you ask for, say, a madras, whether you want it mild or hot. I mean, madras is madras and part of the fun is finding out if the place is a hot curry place or not.
  • In Wanchai, the International Curry House seems to be slipping, so Jo Jo's Mess on Johnston Rd is probably the safest bet.

From Mr T:

  • Considering that most club food I've had in Hong Kong has been indifferent at best, I was very surprised recently when having lunch at the United Services Recreation Club (on Gascoigne Road in Jordan) to find that they've got really excellent south Indian food on offer -- including dhosas, idlis, and so on. If you know anyone who's a member, try to wangle an invite!
  • I've had the lunch buffet a couple of times recently at Gaylord's in Tsim Sha Tsui. Great food, although not especially cheap. Address is 1/F, Ashley Centre, 223-225 Ashley Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui.

More recommendations from readers:

  • I always go to JoJos in Wanchai or, for lunch, a hole in the wall place called Shokra Kebab or something like that just down from the walkway between Lockhart and Hennessey ($35 for a chicken curry and rice).
  • Try the Shalimar Club in Causeway Bay. Used to live in Dragon Rise building about 5 years ago and ordered from there frequently. Its address is Flat B4, 1/F., Dragon Rise, 9-11 Pennington Street, Causeway Bay.
  • I still like good ole Gunga Din on Wyndham Street....
  • There's a good Indian vegetarian restaurant called Woodlands on Mody Road in TST (close to the new KCR station). The address is Room 5-6, G/F, Mirror Tower, 61 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. It's basic but cheap!
  • More upmarket is the Tandoor, close to Lan Kwai Fong (3/F On Hing Building, 18-20 Wyndham Street, Central -- Tel: 28452299).
  • Quite like The Curry Pot in Wanchai/Stanley. Also a fan of Bombay Dreams in Hollywood Road.
  • Veda is great, but more nouvelle cuisiney than traditional curry house. Still can't beat my old 1989 fave of the worryingly named 'Deep Mess' in Chungking Mansions though. Not sure if it's still around.
  • There is one in Tsim Sha Tsui called Afghan Café. It's on Lock road. You have to take a teeny elevator to get to it but the butter chicken is the best I've had in Hong Kong. [Batgung note: this one is good. It's in the first building on the left as you go up Lock Road from Peking Road.]

Comments

Branto's on Lock Rd has

Branto's on Lock Rd has great South Indian fare (excellent masala dosas) and other Indian dishes (pav bajhi is great) with a nice small buffet lunch on Tuesdays.

Curry lunch in Shatin

  • There's a good Indian  restaurant called ASRA indian restaurant in Shatin (Shop15,1/fl.,shatin galleria,shan mei street,Fotan, Shatin) very close to the Fotan KCR station exit B.Visit website www.asra.com.hk.
  • This restaurant is famous for indian kebab & curry. I've had the lunch  a couple of times recently there . Great food, although not spicy.