(Update: Hat tip to David H for coining the name Za-bhat)
While normally I would try to eat at local cuisine restaurants when abroad, I passed by a restaurant called Bembi taking a walk on Carrer Consell de Cent in Barcelona. Billed as a “modern Indian restaurant”, I decided to try them out. Turns out they have a website too, at: www.bembi-barcelona.com.
While not especially expensive, the ambience and décor of the restaurant was pretty good, better than many comparatively priced places in the US
For an appetizer, I tried a “daily special” of masala dosa. A South-Indian specialty, I would say it was passable, but not great. The dosa was too thick, with the consistency of an uttapam (although, unlike a normal uttapam without vegetables, it was not sour). The coconut chutney was solid, but the sambar was a bit watery for my taste. Still, as it should and again unlike many US Indian restaurants, the sambar did have some solid vegetables floating around.
As the main course, I tried the Mangalorean Vegetable Curry along with steamed rice. The rice was cooked well, although they added a bit of oil to the top which is not my preference. The Managlorean Curry, though, was a standout dish. A combination of vegetables in a coconut-milk and tomato-based sauce, the Curry was excellent.
I talked to the manager after the meal, who said he had come over from the Punjab province in India about 6 years back. The chef’s name, Anand Negi, was also ironic given it is a combination of the last names of two of the more famous Indian chessplayers – Viswanathan Anand (the best Indian chess player ever and current World Champion) and Parimarjan Negi (who has the world-record for second youngest GM in the world at the age of 13 years and 4 months).
Amusingly enough, we had a good laugh when he told me that my Hindi and my Spanish is better than his son’s. I then asked how old his son was. His reply? “He’s 6 years old.”
On a 30-point scale, I’ll randomly give them a 22.