Why do Indian restaurants have dim lights

Restaurant Haveli: The long way to curry

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In addition to the Heroes' Square, Vienna also has a victory square to offer. It's not so prominent, namely at the far end of Aspern, where the city slowly flows out towards Marchfeld. According to reports, this is a reminder of the Battle of Aspern in 1809 - since then, as is well known, we have not had that much opportunity to look forward to victories. Nevertheless, the Siegesplatz gives cause for unreserved joy, because it is home to perhaps the best Indian restaurant in the city.

The nominal address of the Haveli is Groß-Enzersdorfer Straße 11, since the Siegesplatz cannot be distinguished from it in terms of urban planning, but hardly anyone except Google knows exactly where it ends. It is not that important either, in the suburban area the concept of what is street and what is space dissolves even more than in the inner city, which is hardly more concise, from Karlsplatz to Schwedenplatz.

Subcontinental joy of color

The Haveli restaurant, where you dined in colorful Christmas decorations with all kinds of flashing lights last week, can hardly be distinguished from other Asian stalls at first glance: the tables and seating from the catering outfitter, a few props from home, fit. The guest garden is wintered, but decorated with subcontinental color joy over and over with luminous snakes and seasonal light figures.

Somehow one waits for a Bollywood dance troupe to make their appearance every second - but for the time being they can only be seen on one of the numerous screens distributed across the restaurant. What is also different: the finely woven scent of cardamom, ginger and cumin, cloves and coriander that envelops you when you enter.

Operator Keshar Kumar comes from the northern Indian state of Punjab, his nephew Jass, who picks up the service with competence and mischievous philanthropy, made it here from Afghanistan, where he belonged to the persecuted group of only a few hundred Sikhs.

Elastic crispness

The creamy spinach soup, very fresh, bright green, is quite a revelation in its fragrant delicacy. The chutneys and pickles for papadum lentil bread at the beginning are homemade, the mango chutney with a juicy freshness that is not at all familiar here, great. Batak curry with duck is fruity, creamy, incredibly complex in the interplay of spices with the strong aroma of the bird.

Butter Chicken, a standard of North Indian cuisine, tastes no less complex, the sauce so good that the last bit of it is fetched from the brass bowl with the elastic, crispy naan bread. Also a great recommendation for Haveli Byriani with lamb, a juicy, spicy rice dish, against which even the best of our rice meats has to work a bit poorly. Here, delicious food is cooked in a way that makes traveling from remote districts worthwhile - especially on lead-gray winter days, which you can only survive if you are properly heated. (Severin Corti, Rondo, DER STANDARD, 9.1.2015)

Haveli restaurant
Groß-Enzersdorfer Strasse 11
1220 Vienna

Tel .: 01/210 69 44, Mon – Fri 11 am–2.30pm and 5.30pm – 10pm, Sat., Sun. continuously
VS € 3.50–5.90 HS € 8.50–15, lunch menu (3 courses) € 6.90–7.90

www.restauranthaveli.at

Photos: Gerhard Wasserbauer