So I had drafted an entry here bemoaning the rice cake n’ sandwich n’ crisp-based cardboard dinners I’ve suffered since arriving here. Not necessarily, I should add, because – as popularly held – the Magyars are raving carnivores (although in all honesty ahuh, they really dig meat and yup, they’re a landlocked country), but mostly due to supermarket anxiety, language problems and timidity. I’m a vegetarian of 11 months standing (yup, I’m one of those squeamish, sentimental latecomers) and with a culinary blindspot and a total lack of cookery imagination and nous, hunter-gathering is a challenge even back in the UK.
However, all that’s by the wayside now since, thanks to some detective work by Joe, we found a curry house just around the corner from our place. In fact, I’m pretty sure it must be phantasmic: it’s a hole-in-the-wall Indian, with a wood panelled interior, neon sign, canteen tables, friendly owner. The menu is brief and no-nonsense (which, in a pretty shallow way, pings my authenticity meter) and food is cooked to order – we spent our fifteen minute wait eyeballing two girls lolling on the next table who split a pappadum and a mango lassi with two straws. The food was straightforward and big and good and, well, I think – at the very least – we can safely say that if Joe ever throws down his pans n’ pinny and refuses to cook, at least I won’t perish from dry mouth.