Taj India Restaurant – Bonn, Germany

I had been in Bonn for almost a week with a colleague on business.  We were disappointed with our recent German food experience, but weren’t yet ready to have more Italian.  We soon discovered we each had a curry craving…

A search on a popular review website (who we wont mention here) suggested that we try Taj India; indeed this was rated 29th out of 431 restaurants in Bonn.  We went on a U-Bahn adventure and found ourselves outside around 8pm.

Upon arrival I was slightly perturbed to catch a glance of the ‘Pizza’ section of the outside menu; I have never been to an Indian that serves pizza.  Inside I wasn’t concerned by the almost-80’s décor as I naturally assumed this meant the food would be good.  We chose a table and after a few minutes more than I would have liked, we were eventually given some menus by the Indian waiter.

I looked at the menu and was a little confused; curry yes, but burgers, pasta and pizza too.  There were some vegetable dishes (e.g. Sag Aloo) however this was listed and prices as a main dish – and was served with chips (or rice and salad…)

My colleagues thoughts on the menu were similar: he was desperately trying to fins a starter that didn’t come with chips, however the only dished listed under Starters were Naan, Poppadums and some deep fried stuff.  We decided to await some assistance from our waiter.  We waited.  And we waited some more.  We got thirsty and then we waited a bit longer.  Just as I was beginning to sweat at the lack of beer, the server appeared.

We explained that we were looking for starter portions (with no chips) of their main dishes.  He explained that this was a common request and would not be a problem.

I ordered a portion of ‘Homemade Cheese Samosas’ (€2.50) and my colleague asked for a Lamb Tikka.  Our server enquired if he would like this with chips.  My colleague politely declined and reinforced that he was looking for “Lamb Tikka with some onions and peppers and some nice spices – maybe with a bit of salad – no chips”.  The server once again confirmed this would be no problem.

For mains we each ordered Chicken Jalfrezi along with some exciting sides: Potato in a Curry sauce (this was the closest they had to Bombay potatoes), garlic naan, plain naan and some dhall.  We also ordered two large beers that were delivered to the table quickly.

Our starters didn’t take long to arrive; two large plates were placed in front of us.  One plate had a few bits of lamb, some salad, a mound of spinach and… some chips.  The other plate had my samosas and a single leaf of something green.

My colleague tried the lamb first and declared it ‘chewy’; I politely declined his offer to taste for myself.  The spinach was…well it was spinach.  The salad looked as thought it had seen better days but tasted OK.   I cut into one of my samosas and found lots of potato, some peas and little spice – there was no cheese anywhere to be seen.  The samosas were fine for what they were – but they didn’t excite me enough to finish them.

Mains.  Oh.  I still feel slightly queasy thinking about them. A metal bowl containing the ‘Jalfrezi’ was brought out along with a huge plate of rice.  A Jalfrezi in my humble opinion, should be fairly dry, some onion, some pepper, some chili and some chicken.  This dish simply looked like the sort of curry you would get in a pub on a ‘beer and curry for a fiver’ deal.  There was some chicken, I couldn’t see any peppers (though there was one at the bottom) and there was sauce.  A lot of sauce.

The rice looked OK, although I knew at once that most of it would be left untouched – there was simply too much of it.  The potatoes looked as described; although the sauce they were in looked very similar to the sauce that had been piled on top of the chicken.  The naan breads took a bit longer to arrive but looked pretty tasty when they did.

How things look is one element of a good dining experience, but how they taste is almost always most important.  The curry tasted bland at first (think Korma bland), I couldn’t find any resemblance of any chilli.  The chicken was plain; no spice, marinade or similar.  Just chicken that had less taste than Quorn and sauce that tasted of curry powder.  Oh!  And one piece of red pepper.  The rice had an odd texture that I didn’t like that seemed to make the curry sauce grainy.  The lentils initially tasted inoffensive, however after a very short while they mutated into something else.   The potatoes were the least offensive dish on the table; they had a little heat but not really much taste.

I thought that perhaps the naan would be safe, however I managed only one small piece before declaring that it too, did not taste good.

Throughout all this tasting, I had asked for another beer, which took almost 10 minutes to arrive.

We asked for the bill and despite almost all of our dishes being almost full, our waiter didn’t ask for our opinion of the meal.  The cynic in me believes that he knows how bad it was and so didn’t dare ask.

We paid the €46 bill and without thinking rounded up to €50.  Our server appreciated this and offered us complimentary shots of peach schnapps; I found it fitting that I didn’t like this either; it tasted cheap.

It wasn’t until I got home and looked ta the bill properly when I realised that we had been completely ripped off; he charged us for 3 large beers, despite having 2 large and one small.  All of the starters and side dished had been charged at the full price – i.e. the same as the chicken!

My colleague and I agreed: this was the worst curry either of us had ever had the misfortune to consume.  Indeed – I think this is a contender for my worst meal ever.

My advice?  Avoid at all costs.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

Be the first to start the conversation!

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image

Privacy Policy