Indian cuisine is one of my favourite dining experiences. This is partly due to the “bitchin’ curry high” I get when I eat a particularly hot vindaloo or curry. “Baked” is the only way I can describe the sensation and, since this seems to confuse people, I chalk it up to having strange physiological responses to substances. Mandi sweats under the eyes when she eats acidic and hot food, so I’m not alone in my weird substance reactions.
So it was with great hopes and expectations I looked forward to visiting the award winning High Park Spicy House. To begin with, it has the words “high” and “spicy” in the name. What more could I need?
When we arrived, we were the only patrons in the dimly lit, predictably decorated, clean restaurant. The server was bored out of her wits though and had the habit of making too much conversation with us. Or rather, lapse into a dreamy monologue as she gazed out the window, drawling on about how the boutique across the street is by appointment only and how it looks like the chamber of commerce has planted flowers earlier this year. If she didn’t play the part of the listless, dream-filled truck-stop waitress from a movie so well, it might have been annoying and not entertaining. She eventually left us and started arranging the coat hangers on the rack with OCD precision.
The food was good. Our lamb vindaloo (occassionally spelled “windaloo” on the menu) was not very hot, but flavourful and savoury enough that this didn’t matter. I was willing to fore go the bitchin’ curry high for the evening since I was being compensated with a quality stew. Which came in a deep, narrow copper pot. This is something I wish a few more Indian restaurants could adopt. If you’re at a table where people have ordered two or three different curries, the shallow dishes don’t fit onto the table. We figured we could have fit four of these pots on our tiny table and still had roon for the naan bread. Incidentally, the naan was the most substantial naan I’d ever eaten.
After our meal we were offered complimentary mango ice-cream (which would have been a godsend if the vindaloo had actually been hot) and I was thinking the service was pretty damn good. Then we spent 20 awkward, neurotic minutes wondering if we were going to get our bill and if we were supposed to go to the till at the back to pay or if we should keep waiting. Eventually we couldn’t take the uncertainty any longer and went to the back and paid. It seemed this was the thing to do, though our bill was waiting for us in one of thoseleather foldy things as if she was meaning to bring it to us and she said in her far-away drawl, “You.. would like… your bill … now? This is… it… here.”
Mandi said as we stepped onto the street, “I’ve never felt so relieved to give someone money.”
4 cute copper pots out of 5.