After attending their first-ever hosted “Bollywood” themed pool party and buffet event not far from Indian Village restaurant in Udine at Club Sunshine, the owner himself (Viki) and his family asked me to come in the following Monday night with some close friends to try his formal restaurant to see how good his families traditional menu of Indian cuisine, spices, and unique basmati rice was. He also wanted to share with me his mission to share Indian culture through food to the local Italian and American populations. How could a foodie like me say no to that? Let me share with you what I got the inside scoop this past Monday night with four other local Americans also living here in Aviano.
Saturday night from 5-11pm was the pool party and that alone was awesome! One heck of a time with Indian dance, music, buffet foods, drinks, pool etc….all the basics for a darn good time, and of course, my stylish turban was worn all night to look the part!
2 days later, myself and 3 other adventurous Aviano Foodies made a road trip back to Pavia to make the 1-hour drive to the restaurant venue to take up Viki (the owner of the restaurant) on his invite. By 745pm we were rolling in for the start of a great evening of food, culture, and Indian heritage.
We were seated at a massive, gorgeous table with four other Italians from the pool party for a family-style dinner. It was really quite nice to share the dinner with local Italians (who spoke some English and me some Italian) to truly share in one another’s presence and our mutual love of the vast Indian foods set before us.
We had quite a spread of outstanding traditional Indian food to try out all night long with several appetizers, classical spicy based sauces, raita cracker, naan bread, meat entrees, veggie entrees, Tuscan red wine, and prosecco. Look at these images to see just how amazing the spread was.
I only wish you could smell and taste it all yourself as the pictures hardly do justice to the experience the other two senses would allow you, trust me!
We all agreed that the unique Indian only spice we all craved but often found hard to find in Italy was found here at last! The pickled vegetable blend used with the crispy light raita crackers hit your tongue nicely with its particular strong heat and kick. The tamarind sauce was a perfectly sweet, pungent contrast to use with the same crackers or on the chicken, shrimp and vegetable pakora appetizers as well.
Then we got hit with the big plates one after another. First several steaming bowls of Viki’s own brand of premium Basmati rice from the Himalayan foothills come out. This will form the base of which to serve on top of for what is to come next. Tender chicken tikka masala, succulent fish curry, Dall tadka (yellow lentils), Chana masala (chickpeas), Mutton Kadai (Lamb), Aloo Prantha (butter chicken) and several warm baskets of both cheese and garlic naan bread from the tandoori oven with an aroma to die for besides being delicious on its own. Ideal for mopping up the wonderful sauces all the entrees were served in. Passing the dishes around the table was quite an experience of not just culinary and gastronomic pleasure but of cultural exposure and participation. I loved every minute of it!
On unique fact abut the family is that Viki also owns and runs a major EU production and export business for premium Basmati rice and Indian spices, making his menu a true extension of 2 staple ingredients of Indian cuisine not just at Indian Village but to 1000’s of other retail locations and restaurants around Europe as well. He sells his rice and tells that unique story on his website found here at Royal Partap Rice Mill.
As much as I can and will continue to rave about the food here, I’d be remissed to not note to the spectacular decor and ambiance of the venue as well, Dorned from the outside in, top to bottom, Indian culture, art, colors, decorations etc…line the walls, tables, ceilings and floors of the restaurant. Painting, sculptures, tables, chairs, art, incense, music, all of it! Get transported from NE Italy into the world of India. Truly adding to the vibe of the venue as you smell, see and taste the true roots of India. Viki and his wife (Ninto) are very kind people who welcome you in with open arms, eager to share their food and culture with anyone. You come for the food sure, you will leave having found not only that but so, so much more.
Phone: 0432 675073