Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Orient Excess

How many Chinese restaurants does a place need? I have oft pondered this conundrum whilst moving about Puerto Alcúdia. Unlike Puerto Pollensa, which is admittedly smaller in any event and has a mere five (one of which, Pascalino, is not the full-blown deal), Puerto Alcúdia and Playa de Muro combined boast at least 15 plus a couple that are Pascalino-esque. (Chances are there are more, but I haven’t done a thorough survey, though it certainly was more but two have bitten the dust.) Given the competition that such a number creates, the ones around the Greasy Mile have all started to offer “Buffet Libre”. Presumably one started, and the others followed suit, thus eliminating any form of differentiation that the first mover might have wished for. Thing is there are these huge signs saying “BUFFET LIBRE”. Now, if I didn’t know, I’d reckon this meant that the buffet was free. Of course it doesn’t mean that. But why not, bearing in mind the invasion of Brits, put up signs saying “PIG OUT AND HAVE AS MUCH AS YOU WANT FOR UNDER A TENNER”. Or something like that.

The tourist has an insatiable appetite for chow mein and sweet and sour, or so it would seem. Overwhelmingly, restaurants offer the mere familiar, certainly for British tastes. Along the Greasy Mile and on roads off, the choice is predominantly grill, pizza, grill, Chinese, grill, pizza. There are notable exceptions, and I am not having a go; Luna Grill, for instance, is one of the most regularly commended restaurants.

I shouldn’t find it odd, I suppose. However, for all the internationalisation of cuisine in Britain, the average-Joe Brit tourist and his family still crave a lump of meat and a side-serving of chips. As also does your average-Hans German tourist. But we Brits are also seemingly addicted to our fried rice and our chicken tikka masala.

Unlike Chinese restaurants, Indians are relatively thin on the ground. Three in Puerto Pollensa. Three in Puerto Alcúdia. One in Playa de Muro, and one in Can Picafort. Anyway, this is all a bit of roundabout way of introducing today’s Restaurant of the Day (which may appear strange, given the foregoing), but it is TASTE OF INDIA for which there is now also a little blog site, linked here.

Where: C/. Astoria, Local 1, near to Bells Disco, and so just off the Greasy Mile.

What: Indian food. What do you think?

When: Every day.

Who: Siraj is head honcho.

Why: Totally transformed. It used to be Agra which, though its reputation for food was good, needed a serious makeover. And so it has had one. And word is that the food is top notch.

Sitcom Quiz: Well, “Bottom” wasn’t too difficult, but the other two were more so. Nigel Planer was in the pretty dire “Roll Over Beethoven”, and it was Peter Richardson who was originally down to play Mike.
Combining Sitcom and Pop quizzes, what was the name of the spoof rock band that comprised Richardson, Mayall, Planer and Edmondson?


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