Bringing a wallet-friendly flavour of India to Indre By

As legendary Café A Porta in Kongens Nytorv closes its doors, so open those of its neighbour. Since the closing of Restaurant Bali in 2011, Kongens Nytorv 19 has undergone a facelift and total renovation at the hands of Samina Babar, who this summer opened her second restaurant under the name of Indian Flavours.

The original Indian Flavours can be found on Jyllingevej in Vanløse, and Babar has spent the last eleven months transforming the new city centre location into a restaurant where tourists and locals alike can stop by for ‘the taste of India’.

After having spent three years in England where pretty much every Thursday was chicken tikka masala night, Copenhagen’s Indian culinary offerings were dire − both for this reviewer’s wallet and taste buds. A meal for two at most Indian restaurants in this city easily winds up being 600 kroner, and you’ll be hard-pressed finding a decent onion bhaji on the menu.

You can imagine, then, my delight upon entering the new Indian Flavours, a centrally-located and family-run restaurant that promises authentic Indian cuisine at affordable prices. My companion and myself were greeted with smiles and “their best table” when we arrived for lunch one Thursday. We were guided to a corner window table looking out onto Kongens Nytorv − a prime spot for people-watching (which that afternoon offered German tourists with maps and backpacks and black-clad Danes leading bicycles interspersed with some more entertaining characters).

Indian Flavours truly holds up on their promise of a price-worthy menu, offering both buffet and an a la carte option for lunch and dinner. Their lunch buffet, at only 69kr every day of the week, is priced to rival the affordability of their soon-to-be-neighbour McDonald’s, and yet nothing could be further from a greasy food fast chain than this.

Indian Flavours’ cosy interior boasts an East-meets-West décor: high decorated ceilings and classically Scandinavian-panelled white walls alongside royal-red, colonial-style plush chairs and colourful Indian artwork make for a peaceful, homely atmosphere that makes the bustle of the Metro construction outside feel a million miles away.

Having sampled the buffet on an earlier visit (many, many helpings of the beef curry were consumed), we opted to try dishes from the a la cart menu, starting off as any Indian meal should with poppadoms and chutney. With this came a mango lassi − a yoghurt-based fruit drink that cooled my throat after the deliciously spicy hot mint chutney.

For appetisers, we received fish and prawn pakoras, the Indian answer to the increasingly popular Japanese tempura. The prawn one had a perfect thin coating of batter, flash-fried and crispy, yet I was still able to see the pink of the prawn.

Our main course consisted of spiced basmati rice, garlic naan and three curries: butter chicken (a bestseller from their Vanløse restaurant), lamb korma, and home-made goat’s cheese in spinach and peas. As my companion raved about the zesty korma, I couldn’t get enough of the spinach from the southern region of India, which was beautifully creamy, mild yet flavourful.

With a belly as full as mine, I was relieved when my server offered me the option of a chai tea instead of dessert. This isn’t the sweet, cinammony lattes you get at a baresso, but a spicy, freshly-made broth that can warm the coldest of hearts.

Part of the Indian Flavours dining experience is that of taking a journey: from the cold, Copenhagen sidewalk into an Indian haven, where the journey continues through the cuisine, with dishes from the entire region on the menu.

Babar, who can be seen behind the bar or greeting guests dressed in a beautiful sari, was herself born in Pakistan to Indian parents and came to Denmark aged 18. This international amalgamation stretches onto the plate, with many of the recipes originating from Babar’s own mother.

Flavours from throughout India, Denmark and Pakistan intermingle to create a truly new and exciting dining experience − one that can be yours starting at just 69kr per sitting.

Indian Flavours
Kongens Nytorv 19, Cph K; 33213 4848
Open: Mon-Fri 11:00-22:00,
Sat-Sun 11:00-23:00
Cuisine: Indian
Top Dish: goat’s cheese in Spinach
Price Range: lunch buffet: 69kr pp, dinner buffet: 125kr pp