Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mumtaz Indian Restaurant Brussels

Another late night at the project, and another night with no food in the fridge. Thanks to Belgium's arcane shopping hours, there was also no chance of finding an open decent grocery shop. I was meandering towards Boniface in Ixelles, when I turned a corner onto Chaussée de Wavre and found myself standing in front of Mumtaz.

I hadn't had an Indian meal since I arrived in Brussels and I remember asking an Indian colleague about good Indian restaurants in the town. He had recommended Mumtaz to me, but since he is a fairly Europeanised Indian, I hadn't taken too much heed of his recommendation. I did learn however that Mumtaz was the name of the queen for whom the Taj Mahal was built.

However, the combination of hunger, and the busy-looking atmosphere of the restaurant propelled me inside. Once seated, I was left to browse the menu, while looking around the restaurant and the clientele. Like most restaurants in that area of town, you get an overflow from the European district, but it also seemed to be popular with locals as well. The room isn't very large and the decor is a bit dated but it feels comfortable.

The menu was mainly traditional Indian food with some recommended chef's specials. I fancied an achari curry though and I asked the owner if it was possible to get one made for me. He readily agreed (after first warning me that it was a bit strong). Word of warning. This man is chatty and speaks excellent English. He's a great host and very entertaining.

For starters I went for onion bhajee. The bahjee's were quiet nice and generous, but could have been a little more strongly flavoured. The achari arrived looking very promising but it failed to deliver that pickled-punch I associate with achari. If this was "strong", I shudder to think how mild the Belgians must like their food. Spice and pungency level aside, the curry was quite tasty and came in an absolutely enormous portion. I asked for a garlic and coriander naan to accompany the meal.

I like the food. It was really spicy enough or hot enough (to me, hot does not equal spicy) for my liking, but it was well made and executed. However though, I got a shock with the bill. Over €5 for a very normal sized naan. I'm sorry Mumtaz, but who are you kidding here? I would have returned nurmerous times, but you lost a customer.

Total bill including the infamous naan and a glass of rosé came to €28.75.

1 comment

Amy said...

We are looking for good Indian food for dinner tonight and stumbled upon this site. It sounds like it will fit the bill and it is close to the movie theater, thanks.

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