Cliché or not, we Bradfordians love curry. We’re brought up on it. We’re weaned on it. My grandma used to tell the tale of my dad taking her and my granddad for their first curry in the 1970s (the one, the only Karachi in Bradford). She described eyes streaming with tears from the unfamiliar spices, but oh it was good. She could eat curry every day she would say. Now the spices are commonplace, normal, comfortingly familiar. You are a social pariah in Bradford if you can’t take a nice hot curry. (As Joanne knows, spending her early twenties eating omelette and chips in Indian restaurants. Tragic. She was eventually converted)
Rome however, isn’t noted for its foreign food. There are notably fewer international restaurant than in other capital cities. Mainly because Italian food is so good. Italians are justly and famously proud of their food. But also, in general, rather dismissive of other foreign muck.
On a rare visit to one of the few Thai restaurants in Rome, the complaints and mutterings of Italian friends was telling, “Why couldn’t we just go for some Italian food, some nice roast chicken and potatoes?” or, “If we wanted something different we could have had Sicilian or Tuscan?” Scandalous as it is to say, and for my Italian friends to believe, I miss food more than anything else. So when my friend Veejay introduced me to Indian Fast Food, I knew I’d found a little piece of home.
|Via Mamiani, 11 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele|
Rather like the Karachi, its outward appearance is, to say the least, nothing special. This is a very Roman tradition too, never trust the exterior of a trattoria, the best places to eat often don’t like to advertise the fact. In this case, rustic is not quite the word. Plastic tables and chairs, food served on plastic plates on a tray. Water is drunk from plastic cups. But the food. I almost cried the last time I went in; the smell of a good curry too much for my homesick senses to bear. Starters of samosas, pakoras with raita, followed by a choice of two curries, rice and rotis and chai tea to finish. All for a bargain 12 euros.
|spinach curry with roti, chick-pea curry and rice.|
I cannot recommend it enough. But only for those who appreciate real food and nothing else. And I always forget that eating with your fingers and chapati/roti is normal in Bradford, but perhaps not so much in sophisticated Rome, but too hard for me to resist.
Full is not the word.