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Munich’s maharajahs – eating Indian in Munich
Everyone knows one, everyone has one and everyone thinks theirs is the best: your go-to Indian!
But a capital city can be as unnavigable as the streets of Mumbai, and with such a huge amount of choice when it comes to Indian restaurants, the decision isn’t always an easy one. Especially when every second locale is called Ganesha, Mumbai, Little India or New Delhi…! To say nothing of the décor: sparkling napkin holders, walls painted anything from blue to dark red, perfectly ironed table linens, ruched curtains, Hindu figurines, waiters in tails – is it all part of an urban design concept? Not exactly! Indian restaurants are often a smorgasbord of styles that don’t mesh well and that can almost make you feel lost in the all the chaos.
No wonder, then, that many of us now prefer to order in – although there are many Indian restaurants out there that are real hidden gems!
But maybe it’s all a little like India itself, with its long and multifaceted history and all its colours, scents, aromas, cultures and dialects. You have to work your way through, have to do a bit of investigating and dare to try. Some things aren’t always as they appear at first glance.
In order to help you through the exotic confusion of flavours, we’ve prepared a few tips regarding good Indian restaurants in Munich and the surrounding area:
Suhag in Munich
Suhag, which has the same owners as Sangeet, recently opened its doors for the first time in Giesing. The Dinu family already stands for good Indian cuisine with its other eateries, setting the bar for the entire Indian gastronomic scene in Munich.
The locale is right by the S-Bahn stop St.Martin-Straße and we recommend making a reservation not only on Friday and Saturday evenings but weekday lunchtime as well! The décor is characteristically discreet with red tones dominating the colour spectrum.
The menu is long and enticing, with exotic variations as well as old favourites. Our favourites: Vegetable pakoras with four delicious dips to start (€5.90) and a garlic naan on the side (€3.90).
The mains offer a real cross-section of the Indian subcontinent: whether chicken or lamb, duck, fish or vegetarian, there are all manner of masalas, tandooris and biryanis. And our insider’s tip? The dahi ghosht, cooked lamb in a mild and delicate yoghurt-curry-almond sauce (€16.90). A treat for anyone who likes it a little less spicy!
And you can round off the meal with a glass of mango lassi (€3.90) or kulfi, milk mixed with maize and pistachios (€4.90).
Best Indian Restaurants in Munich
Ganga specialises in dishes from northern India and is conveniently located in Munich’s well-connected Glockenbachviertel. There is a kind of coherence to the design: lots of red (a given), dark wood and ornate golden pictures. The Thali only costs €11.90, inviting you to take a quick taste.
As previously mentioned, Sangeet, like Suhag, is run by the Dinu family. Unlike the more recent Giesing addition to the family, Sangeet is located at the centre of Munich on the Odeonsplatz and offers the quality and choice that is characteristic of the Dinu restaurants.
#3 Maharani in Ottobrunn
Maharani in Ottobrunn is always worth the short drive. Above all, this little restaurant wins customers over with its own clay oven in which the cooks conjure up the most delicious tandooris. Although there is as good as no foot traffic, a reservation is almost always a must for the evening. What was once an insider’s tip is now public knowledge!
Dhaba has two sites in Munich: in Belgradstraße and on the Münchner Freiheit. The latter stands out for its accomplished design concept, a sleek website and of course phenomenal food! The lunch menu is particularly attractive here, making a detour from work or a day of sightseeing absolutely worthwhile.
(There are more restaurant tips for Munich on the Munich travel blog notyourcomfortzone.com )
But what to eat?
India’s cuisine is colourful, spicy, tangy, exotic, aromatic and this makes the choice of dishes at an Indian restaurant enormous!
Alongside the variations involving chicken, lamb, duck and fish, there are just as many vegetarian or even vegan alternatives. You can have your food baked, fried, raw, mild and spicy. There are fiery curries, creamy soups, hearty stews, fresh salads, tender meats and all manner of warm and cold appetisers… A wild, tantalising medley! So, what to choose?
- Thali: Ideal for those who have difficulties deciding, and for everyone who just wants to dive straight into Indian cuisine and experience an explosion of flavours! If you order a thali, you’ll get a platter with a selection of small dishes from the menu, allowing you to really get your money’s worth. Often, there are thalis for two or more people so that you can share a platter, or even purely vegetarian thalis!
- Naan: Indian naan is a flatbread that can serve as a side for the mains or be enjoyed as a starter in its own right with a selection of tasty pastes and sauces. A real delight here are naans that are filled with garlic or cheese!
- Paneer dishes: Paneer (sometimes styled panir) is an Indian fresh cheese, albeit one that is harder than the ones we know here in Germany. It is unsalted and its consistency is reminiscent of tofu. Beloved dishes involving paneer include, for example, palak paneer (a milder option consisting of cheese and spinach) as well as mattar paneer (with chickpeas and tomato sauce, spiced with garam masala).
- Tandoori: This is the classic, although there is some confusion about whether the name refers to the typical red spice mixture or the method of preparation! In good Indian restaurants, chicken tandoori will also imply the preparation in a special oven.
- Biryani: Originally the name for a Persian rice dish, biryani is now widespread throughout Asia. Fried basmati rice is a typical element of these dishes, served with a selection of meats, nuts, onions and raisins.
Well, are you hungry now? Then there’s no time to waste – head down to your new favourite Indian place in Munich!
(And did you know that there’s a counterpart expression for ‘bon appetit’ in Hindi? Sometimes, a meal will be dished up with the word “lidschiye”, which means “Feel free to serve yourself!”) It’s a pleasure!