Last night we were supposed to go to a wonderful Italian restaurant in Nashville, Maggianos with our friend Nick but its so wonderful there was a forty-five minute wait so being hungry we decided to go on an adventure and look down West End Avenue for something else. It transpired that Bombay Palace was literally the next block down so we decided on that, Nick never having Indian before.
It was busy but we got a table, or booth, the one by the window. It was like being back in Cardiff, the Himalaya on Wellfield Road. In the screenplay of Jackson Woods I wrote in a scene set in the Himalaya, and in the window seat that looks out to Wellfielde Road.
The food was the closest I’ve had here in the States to what we have in the UK – I had a Lamb Madras, very close, Cathy had the Lamb Passandra which was quite different, more like a curry, and Nick had the chicken Tikka Masala, again quite close. The menu included a lot of extra dishes that we have in the UK, onion bhaji were different, no popadoms, papads instead, naan bread same.
Chinese is different here too – chow mien for example, and the curries. I guess they cater for local taste? Ingredients too must be a factor although nowadays I doubt there are many you can’t get anywhere.
I shop at an Indian grocery store on Nolansville, and can get most ingredients there – you can also get Bounty chocolate bars there too! The Indian or international store at the Farmer’s Market has ginger beer too, real ginger beer, but it’s a bit pricey and you have to watch the best by date.
If you haven’t tried Indian I encourage you to do so, there is such a variety of choice in dishes and something for everyone – mild, medium and hot curries, rice dishes, dry chicken (Tikka), dishes with spaces, (rogan josh I quite like, Tikka Masala, Jalfrezi) – they spell dishes slightly differently here too.
The Indian I first went to as a kid was the Raj Dooth on Mackintosh Place in Cardiff. My dad used to go there every week day for their lunch special. He and his business partner David were addicted, and when David went on holiday to Spain he made them make up a huge pot of tikka masala to take with him in the car! This was in the early seventies. I remember though their cook telling me that it is the region of India or Pakistan that determines the actual recipe of each dish, which explains why the same dish can be so different in individual restaurants.
I can though highly recommend the Bombay Palace on West End Avenue if you’re in Nashville. (it’s next door to a shop called The Cutest Little Shoppe!).