The Masala Empire stands out visually, too. Indian restaurants in Germany often adopt a certain appearance and offer practically identical menus. Joel Vilangappara, has decided to do things another, more modern way. The few folklore items he has chosen are placed very deliberately, pairing them with brilliant illumination and modern design elements. And he’s taken the wonderful decision to divide his menu into dishes from northern and southern India. Added to this are tandoori specialities, a brief list of biryani dishes and a selection of Ayurvedic options. The southern Indian dishes are less known and usually hotter than northern Indian cuisine, mostly with some form of coconut in evidence. Given that the menu has neither pictures nor numbers nor chili icons, you have to engage with the staff. What exactly are drumsticks? What does bitter melon taste like? And what on earth is kovakkai? Portion sizes are on the smaller side, leaving more space to try out more things. The Masala Empire is definitely a valuable addition to Cologne’s gastronomic scene.
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