Secret Indian

Price: $180 HKD (2 people)
Rating: 7/10 

One thing i've learned in Hong Kong is to not be too surprised, especially when it comes to finding good food in strange places. When a canadian friend of mine (and all round India enthusiast) recommended a 'secret' indian place she knew about in Tsim Sha Tsui that WASNT in Chungking mansions, I had to see how it stacked up. 

She wasn't joking about the secretive aspect of the place either. You go up to a locked apartment door on street level, and then wait to be buzzed in. A walk up a set of fairly dodgy looking stairs and you're confronted with a small door and a bright sign - Branto: Pure Veg Indian Food. Yep. we were definitely in the right place. Open the door and you're led into a suprisingly large dining room, with the only other people dining being fellow indians. Oh, and a bollywood drama on tv. Both good signs. 

Generous serves of typically indian condiments were placed on the table, a super spicy anise relish, a mint sauce, onion and the dark brown one - I can never remember what it is? 

My fellow food lover, claiming she wasn't feeling too hungry ordered a Masala Dosa ($44 HKD), the absolute hugest rounded crepe i've ever seen. This is very different from the Malaysian style Dosa that i've seen served in Kuala Lumpur. It was served with two spicy curries and a coconut concoction, which I tried, and was delicious. 

I on the other hand got the largest Gujrati Thali ($74 HKD) i've ever come across, consisting of 5 curries, yoghurt, coconut pudding, 5 sheets of roti, rice, a samosa and a small serve of masala cake. The whole dish was crazy big, but definitely not unmanageable. I enjoyed all the curries except for one, which was very cheesy and not all together that tasty. I also found the roti to be a bit chewy and stale. The other curries were lovely, well spiced and true to Branto's name, entirely vegetarian. The daal especially was delightful. 

We also had a masala tea, and a very well made mango lassi. So, thumbs up to branto. How does it compare to some of the veteren curry houses in Chungking mansion? Well, about the same I suppose. The benefit with Branto is that you might not be stabbed on a stairwell in the ghetto that is Chungking.