jewel of india - oslo, norway
Rating: 8 / 10
Run of the mill Indian food is a dime a dozen in Oslo. There are literally hundreds of restaurants charging a premium for rather ordinary food under the guise that Indian cuisine is somehow worth the jump in price. Personally if i'm dying for a fill, I inevitably head for Lahore Dera in Grønland where the food is cheap, tasty and always consistent. However, sometimes you deserve a little tablecloth service, and then the food should reflect the cost.
Perched above Sandaker Senter where alcoholics infected with tristesse sit clutching pints of forgetting watching the trams plod along, lies Jewel of India. Often passed on the other side of the glass following the tram lines higher beyond; but never visited, today was the day to change course and disembark.
The interiors gave way to tables laid in simple decor, waiters smiling with hesitant charm, no garish music, divine smells filtering through from unseen kitchens, windows bright and offering views to accompany your meal. Menu's were laid down, perused, orders given, waiters shuffled to hinterlands, and time slowed to a crawl meandering in and out of dreams awaiting the courses to come.
Being of Southern heritage I stuck with the Chicken Chettinad, my dining buddy choosing a lamb dish. The food was served with steaming piles of rice, the crumbs of pappadoms littering the table with remnants of famished relief. Biting into succulent pieces of chicken, delicately spiced, slightly on the sweet side for my personal taste but within reasonable parameters. The dishes were eaten in quick movements, hardly looking up to witness life passing. Moist, tender, generous portion of meat. Fragrant sauces. Caught in the half-light of intoxication, the room spun in a cardamom carousel.
Fitting to carry the name of Indian cuisine into the derelicts of Oslo's suburbs, and worthy of a trek up the hill for those tired of the well-worn haunts of downtown.
NB: They also have a branch in Frogner.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"