Feast for the famished at the palace won’t burst your purse

Copenhagen is becoming a major gastronomical hub for cuisines from all over the world, and over the last decade the number of Indian/Pakistani restaurants has grown exponentially. Situated in the city centre, India Palace is one of the oldest and most frequently visited restaurants of this type, offering a wide-variety of exotic dishes from the northern parts of the sub-continent.

The intricately-designed Indian wooden door, embroidered on a hand-made motif, welcomes you to the restaurant. Once inside, the life-size bronze sculptures and figurines of various Indian gods, and their curvy female companions, make you feel as if you are in one of those mythical, pre-Indus Valley civilisation times. The restaurant’s wall features delicately-etched wooden carvings belonging to the medieval era and the dimly-lit cosy atmosphere tantalises your senses, making it a picture-perfect setting for the dark winter.

True to their customer-care agenda, a waiter serves you with their signature welcome drink, the Mango Cocktail (with or without alcohol). Next you’ll find yourself in a dilemma over the wide array of starters, which feature some of the most famous street foods of northern India and Pakistan. At this point we opted for the help of the always friendly waiters, who were more than happy to help us make the right choices. I settled for the Vegetarian samosa and my partner straightaway the Tandoori Chicken Pakora, a deep fried-crispy delicacy filled with halal-meat and various tropical spices.

Maqsood Hussain, the co-owner of India Palace, claims his restaurant is known for its Butter chicken across northern Europe and enjoys a set of loyal customers from all walks of life. He also added that the spice level of all the dishes can be customised to suit the tolerance levels of his customers.

Being a vegetarian, my main course consisted of a Tandoori naan with the Mushroom bhaji (brown button-mushrooms cooked in a spicy cream sauce) and a bowl of boiled rice. My taste buds experienced an explosion of a dozen enchanting flavours from just one bite of the crispy naan with the creamy and spicy Mushroom Bhaji. To wash it down, I ordered Murree, a famous Pakistani beer, which was recommended by Hussain.  

Meanwhile, my partner indulged in a serving of extra spicy Butter chicken, the Peshawari naan and a glass of red wine to wash it down with.
For dessert, Hussain recommended Kulfi, an exotic ice cream native of the sub-continent. Traditionally, Kulfi is a frozen dish made of condensed milk with a touch of cardamoms and saffron.  

While it is quite common to find plenty of options for non-vegetarians in any Indian/Pakistani restaurant, India Palace boasts some very good options. One of them happens to be the famous and most rare South Indian dish, Madras masala dosa – a salty and crispy pancake-like dish that is served with spiced potatoes garnished with fresh coriander leaves. Hussain also recommended some of his restaurant’s other non-vegetarian signature dishes like Kari ghost (halal lamb meat cooked in butter with fresh herbs and garnished with roasted almonds) and Muttonrogen josh (mildly-spiced halal mutton cooked with tomatoes and green peppers, in a spicy yoghurt sauce peppered with roasted almonds).

One delightful feature of the restaurant is that all the ingredients, including the spices and herbs, are freshly prepared every day. This becomes evident in the rich aromatic essence of every dish served at India Palace.

Even though all the dishes are finely tuned for the European palate, the roots of the ground spices, herbs and other ingredients are very much authentic. India Palace also has a decent collection of both red and white wines and a variety of beers from the sub-continent.  

If you choose not to order à la carte, you can opt for the fabulous all-you-can-eat buffet they offer every day. All of this makes India Palace a must-visit if you are craving excellent cuisine from India and Pakistan.   

India Palace

HC Andersens Boulevard 13, CPH V; 3391 0408

Opening hours: 11:00-23:00;

Cuisine: Indo-Pak

Top dish: Butter chicken;

Price range: Main dishes: 50-100kr; Lunch Buffet: 69kr; Dinner buffet: 135kr