Curries in London and Ruhlman in Chicago

NY Times travel has an interesting article about the changing face of Indian food in Britain. I found it especially interesting because I didn't really pay attention to the Michelin releases and I never realized London had 4 starred Indian restaurants. I was also a bit surprised to find out that Cinnamon Club wasn't amongst the ones receiving stars. I never put much stock in the idea of "posh" Indian food, but at the insisting of others, I went to Cinnamon Club, thinking I'd hate it, KNOWING I'd hate it, but left amazed at how unique it was and how tasty everything was. I've since seen a lot of reviews for the place and it seems people have a very love/hate relationship with it. That meal probably beat out a meal at Claridges as the best of the trip.

Anyways, to bring this back to Beijing, Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines, but it also seems to be one of the most in need of representation in Beijing. Either you pay up bigtime or you're stuck eating dishes that are too heavy in the yogurt and strong curry sauces that seem to be masking the quality of the ingredients, especially when it comes to their lunch buffets. I'd say that Tandoor (located in the Zhaolong Hotel) is by far the cream of the crop, though its far from the cheap meal that Americans (and especially Britons) relate to Indian food, a party of four can expect to spend around RMB 600 for food that's not much better than your local curry house back home. Indian Chef in Sanlitun is alright, but that's about it for recommendations in Beijing. I'm not (though some are) a fan of Raj and I haven't tried or don't like the rest. So do you disagree with my assessment? Know of a great place for Indian food in Beijing? I'd like to hear from you...

For those of you in Chicago, if you're looking for a way to get excited despite the snow today, the famed Ruhlman will be talking with one of our fair city's top chefs (and one of the best in the country), Grant Achatz, tomorrow at the Steppenwolf Theater. Tickets are available and will run you $15 through the Steppenwolf website. It is sure to be a lively discussion and a very enlightening afternoon. I'm disappointed I won't be able to make it and would love to hear from those who are in attendance, instead I'll be spending the afternoon in a decidedly uncultured (and some would say disheartening) way, at the United Center watching the Hawks.

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