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Finding a Taste of India in Dalian

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Most of the foreigners who live in Dalian know about the many coffee shops, pizza restaurants, and Korean establishments. Many don’t know that the city has Indian food on offer. While the choices might not be extensive, they are there and you should check them out.

Finding a Taste of India in Dalian
Photo: xinmeili

1) Abashi CurryView In Map
Many in Dalian don’t even know about this fine-dining Indian restaurant, which is too bad because the food is great. In order to give you a better idea about the restaurant let me tell you of my own experience eating there.

I walked up the steps to Abashi Curry, taking in the large elephant nose draped down the front of the restaurant, and opened the door. I immediately saw a thin Indian cook rolling out some Naan bread behind a thick glass window. The hostess greeted me and as we walked toward the back of the restaurant the distinct smell of curry rose up from the various half-eaten dishes splayed out on tables throughout the restaurant. I sat down in the booth and as I waited for the waitress to bring me the menu I soaked up the chatter of content customers and the neatly displayed Indian pottery. The atmosphere gave me a feeling of unexpected contentment.

The menu offers a large assortment of yellow, red, white, and green curry dishes. Some of the more unusual curry offerings are: Mushroom Yellow Curry, Chicken Dopyaxa Yellow Curry, Butter Chicken Red Curry, and Aubergine Potato Green Curry. There are also four types of Naan bread: Cheese Naan, Kashryiri Naan, Lacha Parantha Naan and Garlic Naan. They also have some none curry dishes like Potatoes and Spinach, Indian Daal, Seafood Biryani Rice and Chicken Tika. The average price for the curry dishes is 35 RMB, the average price for the Naan is 18 RMB, and the average price of the specialty dishes is 40 RMB.

I ordered my dishes and then leaned back in the plush booth to wait for the lead chef, Bswani, to come over and give me some more in depth information about the restaurant. After a few minutes Bswani came over and we discussed the brief history of the restaurant. He told me that Abashi Curry opened in 2007 and that it’s owned by a Japanese man. Baswani himself moved to Dalian from Nepal in 2007 to help open the restaurant. (I know to the more inquisitive, this brings up a slew of questions like: How did Bswani and the Japanese owner meet? Why does a Japanese man live in Dalian and own an Indian restaurant? And so on. Unfortunately this line of questions went beyond the scope of this article, so I didn’t ask them.)

After Bswani went over the history of Abashi Curry the conversation moved to more current topics, such as what his favourite dishes are. While Bswani likes the Chicken Tika Masala, The Butter Chicken, the Indian Daal, and the Garlic Naan, his favourite dish is the Taranga Seekh Kebaabs.

Bswani also discussed the ingredients he uses in his dishes. Most of the names of the ingredients he described went over my head, but the one thing that I took away from this part of our dialogue is that the restaurant imports all of their spices from India to ensure all the dishes have an authentic Indian taste.

Soon Bswani had to go back to the kitchen shortly after my food arrived only for me to scarf it down. After I finished, I walked over to the bathroom with one thought in mind: A few years ago I read in a book that to the subconscious part of the brain, the food and the service in a restaurant aren’t the most important things. The most important thing is the cleanliness of the bathroom. In other words people will keep forking their money over to a restaurant with average food and average service if the bathroom is sparkling. 

I opened the bathroom door and felt some trepidation, after all it was still a restaurant in China. As I walked in I was happily surprised to see it was clean and fresh.

In review, the staff at Abashi Curry is friendly, the lead chef is nice and humble, the food is delicious and the bathroom is clean. I’m not a restaurant aficionado, but from my novice perspective I’m giving Abashi Curry an A.       

Add: 35 Yanan Lu, Zhongshan District, Dalian (ten minute walk from Zhongshan Square)
地址: 大连市中山区延安路35号
Tel: 0411 8280 0620, 135 9181 3281
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-22:00

Finding a Taste of India in Dalian
Photo: hotel.info

2) Zhongshan Hotel BuffetView In Map
This hotel is the largest Russian Hotel in Dalian. On the 38th floor of the Zhongshan Hotel there is a large all-you-can-eat buffet that costs 129 RMB per person.

The majority of the food offered in this buffet is Russian food, but there is also an “Indian Corner,” which consists of different Indian dishes prepared by an Indian chef.

I had been to this buffet three times in the past and the Indian section was always extensive and very good. In fact every time I went, I ignored the Russian food and stuffed my belly with the Indian food. Unfortunately when I went to the buffet this past weekend the “Indian Corner” had shrunk down to four dishes: Curry Potato with Cauliflower, Curry Beans, Lamb with Potatoe and Curry, and Lamb with Chicken and Curry.

I wish I could tell you why the Indian section has shrunk, but the manager of the buffet didn’t want to do an interview with me and he wouldn’t let me talk with the Indian Chef, so I don’t have any answers.

If you don’t mind combining Russian food and Indian food this is a nice buffet. Perhaps when you visit the Zhongshan Hotel the Indian section will be back in full swing.

Add: 38 F, 3-5 Jiefang Lu, Zhongshan District, Dalian
地址: 大连市中山区解放路3-5号中山大酒店38楼 (近青泥洼)
Tel:0411 8281 2888
Opening hours: 11:00-14:00, 17:00-21:30

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Keywords: Indian food in Dalian non-Chinese restaurants Dalian Indian buffet Dalian ethnic good Dalian

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2 Comments ( Add your comment )

1
comment|29457|0
Mark Azavedo

Both these restaurants only offer something with a slight resemblance to South Asian (Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani) cuisine. Please don't get any ideas that you are eating anything like "the real deal". That said, since the chefs are from the Indian sub-continent, I can only assume that they have modified to Chinese tastes - so all may be well!

At the Zhongshan, which I love, the prevailing flavour is of mulligatawny, an Anglo-Indian concoction that servants used to make for their colonial masters ie watered-down Indian food. I do , though like this place, with its wonderful views from the evolving 38th floor the huge selection at the buffet (so you can eat Indian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Japanese and Seafood). No need to ask your date what she likes, what allergies she has - soemthing for everybody. The pastry chef is brilliant!

At Abashi, the restaurant space is pleasant. It looked to me that naan breads and grilled/tandoor dishes were the best bet.

Jul 11, 2012 19:24
2
comment|29458|0
Mark Azavedo

Oops, no edit function:

"revolving"
"something"

Jul 11, 2012 19:27

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