Going for an Indian...

07/20/2009 - 15:35

We all come to Italy for different reasons; sometimes food and wine etc to the fore. Occasionally however we crave for a return to the good old English fayre, a good Indian meal!We've found the solution close to home; in Pagliare del Tronto (AP) we've discovered a pizzeria; run for many years now by an Indian family; that every Tuesday evening offers a genuine Indian meal with all the trimmings!At 'La Locanda Sonamour' you can enjoy a true Indian nosh, carefully prepared and served by owner Kumar Narinder and his family, including lots of tastes of their traditional dishes. The only requirement is that your group is at least 4, no top limit; and that you call the pizzeria the day before to book. (0736 898021). If your group (4 Minimum for the Indian meal) includes people who would prefer a pizza, they that's fine by Kumar.If there's only 2 of you, then let me know, and Jean and I will make up the 4 with pleasure!


Andrew, it sounds great.  If I'm ever down your way will certainly let you know and give it a try. Things can work the other way though.  Was taken to an Italian restaurant in Formby, Lancashire recently - the menu looked authentic.However it soon became clear that not one member of staff spoke a single word of Italian

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I remember one particular evening many years ago in Liverpool. I'd finished late in a sports competition, and together with a bunch of other competitors went towards the town centre to find something to eat. We chanced upon an Italian restaurant where the waiter did everything to help us albeit in 'pigeon' English. We ordered, and waited to be served, only to hear a real row emanating from the kitchen, with plenty of plates and pans etc getting bashed about. Our waiter charged out of the kitchen followed by an irate person who we presumed to be the cook; the waiter throwing his apron in the cook's direction, and giving him a mouthful in a Liverpool dialect that would have put John Lennon to shame before storming out and slaming the door. We did actually get something to eat; the cook apologised that we had had to suffer the scene, and we didn't pay!p.s. If you're ever in the Manchester / Salford area, my cousin's husband has an excellent Italian restaurant (he's from Pisa originally) actually with a Fiat 500 in the foyer!

Can I just ask you WHY you want to eat Indian food when you visit Italy?Are you Indian, missing the food from home - like someone from Scunthorp missing fish & chips, perhaps?Just enjoy the local food, for heavens sake. It's fresh. It's tasty. It's far, far better than an English onion bahjee and chips, I can assure you. Sahib. 

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dear SahibJust for info; we've lived in Italy full time for 7 years now, both in the North East (Lombardia) and now in Le Marche, and have maybe even tasted and enjoyed certain Italian dishes that you wouldn't know even existed! I can however fully empathise with the thought that visiting Italy you should also include trying as much local fayre as practicable. Searching out the various sagras can be a great source of local delicacies, and that is in fact what we often do. Occasionally however a good old nostalgia trip doesn't do any harm, and although when we lived in UK we almost never ate Indian food, we find it simply a bit of fun to 'go for an Indian', as do some of our Italian friends. I imagine they look upon this as a way of a. excluding Indian food from their future menu plans; or b. broadening their horizons.In the same theme therefore the constant importing by visiting relatives of Branston Pickle; HP Brown Sauce; Heinz Salad Cream and Baked Beans should be 'awf' the menu. I even know of people who bring packs of bacon and packets of Cornflakes when visiting Italy. They often quote that "Oh I know you can get them here; but somehow they are not the same....". For you and me probably a load of old cod's wallop (from Scunthorpe with an 'e') however each to their own...Punka-Wallap.s. we also recommend that should people require a 'full English breakfast' that they should book their holidays in Rimini as there you can wash it down with a few pints of 'Watney's Red Barrel' before staggering up the street and tiddling in alleys 'a la English'.

In reply to by Andrew

Have you tried MacDonald's in Italy? My advice; don't!We once tried them in an emergency , and if that's American food, then having tried the Cowboys we can't be blamed for trying the Indians...

Most of our visits to Italy have been short breaks in many, many locations.   We always look forward to the food and do enjoy it.  However, after a few days we start to find the menus repetitious.  Is it true we need to find good local restaurants and then give them notice of our next visit so a more elaborate meal can be prepared?  I read this tip in an Annie Hawes book.  The trouble has been that we have not been around in any area long enough to do this.  It will all change soon, as we are coming to Italy on Friday to sign the Rogito and, hopefully, get the keys to our new apartment.  We will still be holidaying in Italy, but our location will be more fixed from now on.  Looking forward to trying good local menus.

I think firstly you need to define the type of meals that you are looking for, and to be honest we've found that going to a trattoria is far more satisfying food-wise than visiting a top class restaurant. Again, it depends what you're looking for. Most trattorias will have a menu, but will often suggest locally sourced home made local dishes that are particularly related to the season. An example of this may be asparagus; some places will have it on the menu, or even as part of a pizza topping, and often the more scrupulous waiter / cook / owner will actively disuade you, as it's not fresh because it's not the asparagus season, so they rely on tinned / preserved / frozen. To Italians the seasons are sacrosanct in the same way as Italian gardeners follow the phases of the moon.Another tip may be to try and strike up a friendship with the owner / waiter / cook (sometimes one and the same person). When they know you are visiting regularly they will often not treat you as a 'one off visit' tourist but instead as a reliable local. We've found a local trattoria that we can walk to; treats us like family, and we eat very well indeed (both good appetites - sound country folks). After identifying those items that you don't want to eat (in our case - tripe) put yourself in his/her hands. Bit like going to your 'local' in UK. Building a network of these sorts of contacts is great fun.Be also aware that being a waiter is almost an art form in Italy; young people attend a specific 'Upper' school to learn catering arts, and waiting at table is considered a very prestigious job. I doubt you will ever be asked to vacate your table for the second sitting! Try to find out the dates of local festivals and national holidays. Often in Italy these are a great excuse to eat out, and local places particularly can be very busy and difficult to book at the last minute. Can recommend however New Year's Eve in particular at the local. Starts as usual at about 8;00 p.m. and finishes eventually! Leave the car at home though!In these establishments don't be surprised if the table next to you - full of locals - gets different dishes to those offered to you. This isn't necessarily preferential treatment; just a case of using up the fresh stuff, and when it's gone it's gone. Useful phrase also; unless you're a real wine buff - 'vino alla spina' - draught wine bottled by themselves or in a jug (no cork etc) from local sources. Usually very cheap but certainly excellent quality.Just out of interest - where will you be moving to?

In reply to by Andrew

Our holiday apartment is in North Tuscany, Lunigiana.  We have read reviews of good places to eat in the area, Bagnone, Filetto, Crespiano etc, and have tried some of them.  Sometimes there has not been a menu and we have been offered beef/pork/chicken etc, and it has come just like that , grilled or roasted, not as part of a particular dish.  I think that's what we are looking for, local dishes.  We have tried the chestnut specialities of Lunigiana (quite nice) but again, the same thing is offered every time in every place.  We want what mama cooks at home please.

Kay Parley.......... when many of the Italians go on holiday to foreign countries, eg Mauritius, Thailand etc, then they look for Italian restaurants, so what is the difference here, that we cannot go and try again the full range of cooking that we can get in the UK. I order Thai ingredients, when I want a change from the repetitive menu that seems to be in every menu. Each to their own, so if you think Italian is the only food worth eating, then that's your choice. Variety of cooking is the spice of life!!!!

Eating out in Italy for the average 'working person' means a daily visit to a local restaurant, trattoria or even an 'albergo' that will provide a ''working mans fixed menu' - that is a set price menu with some coice. But DO look out for places that advertise -usually on a board outside - "MENU FISSO"  or (a little more expensive) MENU TURISTICO" . If you go to eat a 'menu fisso' you will not get a menu, but they will tell you what is 'on' that day. Normally it will consist of:1. Choice of three pasta dishes. Usually one tomato based, one meat/sausage based, and one maybe with fish or  vegetables.2. Choice of three 'main' dishes. These can be anything from arrosto to bistecca to brasato, or maybe bollito misto etc.3. A table where you help yourself to a choice of 'contorni' - vegetables, salad etc. OR they will tell you if there are any cooked veg on the menu that day (e.g. spinach, potatoes, carrots)4. A choice of  250ml of wine or water. (more per person is usually extra)5. Coffee and/or a liqueur are not usually included in the price.Most places advertise the cost of their basic 'menu fisso' outside. Up here in the Valtellina it can range from €8 to €14 - but the beauty is that everything you are served is cooked fresh that day! The menu will be different the next day because of their regular customers. There is one place in the village next to mine which is very near to a small industrial area which includes a large aluminium producing plant. They do two sittings  - as is the norm everywhere - one at 12.00 for 'blue collar' workers and the next at 1pm for shop and office workers. This formula works really well as it fits in with workers standard breaks. I NEVER go for a menu fisso at 12.00 simply because I probably wouldn't get a seat. So I usually amble in about 12.55 when the first sitting have finished and the second is still at work. OK - I might have to wait for my table to be reset - but I have a table. They do two '70 cover' sittings and all for  €12.00 oer head.  Just to make you smile, before you have your coffee they will often plonk a plastic drink cup full of ice cream in front of everyone and say ' on the house - enjoy!'  Oh sometimes though - it's a bit of home made cake instead.Don't ever hesitate to ask what the menu fisso is for the day - even if you don't see a sign. As Andrew says above - bottled wine is often (by Italian standards) expensive - so I usually order 'vino bianco,  sfuso - leggermente mosso'. This is a local medium or dry white wine that is very slightly fizzy - a bit like a prosecco, but NOT sweet. A quarter (250ml - glass and a half) of  that is in the price of the fixed menu or if ordering 'alla carte' can cost as much as €1.50!   I eat there maybe once a month - but even so - I still miss an occasional chicken biryani, lamb dansak or rogan josh! Mind you- I miss fish and chips from the 'Pea Bung' or 'Steele's' in Grimsby too!    

One thing I miss is the range of spices I was able to get in the UK and not here in Italy, that enabled us to make our own Curries.There's plenty of herb choice Oregano,marjoran, etc etc, but I'm buggered if I can get hold of Fenugreek, cumin or even corriander for that matter. I suppose if I lived in a big city in might be different; but I'll just have to wait till we go back to Blightey to Stock up next month.

Dont know where you are situated Gromit, but for those of us that live in Marche close to Corridonia there is an excellent Asian shop that sells the full range of spices, pickles and everything else you need to create your curry. They also sell Tetley tea bags!. None of these at inflated prices, and they also will throw in gratis a carton of mango juice or a bunch of coriander and help you carry the basmati rice down to the car. Thats good service.A

My goodness me. You'll be buying your basil from the chinese supermarket in Torino next. Pfffft. Do you still hanker for IPA or a nice pint of mild & bitter? Betcha do.  PS. Wallace: Buy your dog some coriandolo will you and remind him it's a local herb and grows wild throughout the med region. Ta.

Oh dear. You've discovered that Italians are just like the Brits and feel safer when eating the food they were brought up on when in a strange, foreign country?  Brava.  Italians like pasta when in a foreign country. English like baked beans and porked pies. French like chips (sorry, Freedom Fries) and Indians like curry. Spot the anomaly here?

Goodness, I do grow my own basil , but it is interesting what you say about wild coriander and I am always willing to learn , we have smelt it whilst driving around the countryside during the past few weeks, perhaps you might be kind enough to supply a photo so that we may all benefit from your experience?

How wrong you are Kay. In Vietnam I ate Vietnamese, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia etc, the same, always local food....... no Spanish Costa "English Breakfasts etc.  So, here I do the same at most times, eat Italian dishes, but also cook other countries food. It is always good to have a change and I think that was the whole point of the original posting. You do not always have to eat just local food and I cannot see why you are so anti against culinary variety.

Hey Moxie; to be honest kicking off a bit of harmless debate doesn't do any harm... not that; as you know; I'm the sort to stimulate that sort of thing...Now looking to compile a list of non-Italian reastaurants and snack bars etc, to hopefully then create a 'Tourist Trail' for people to visit. Hopefully we'll discover along the way a 'Fawlty Towers' (Torri Defettosi) with a genuine Basilio and Sybilia. Plenty of Manuels already around. Some are even State employees. Ke?Trouble is finding a place that serveds 'genuine' English food, as really no-one knows what that is any more!

Being chefs and always liking to experiment, whilst living in Italy we have become adventurous and  found many uses for Italian ingredients in recipes from other 'far away' lands including: Spaghetti - it makes an excellent substitute for noodles in a Thai stir-fry Piadini's - make fantastic Mexican wraps when filled with homemade chilli (using borlotti beans instead of kidney beans of course) Nastro Azzuro Lager - makes a marvelous light beer batter for your fish and chips Tinned peas mixed with a little wild mint from the garden - make great mushy peas (to go with your fish & chips) You can even fry a bit proscuttio cruto if you are desparate for a spot of cripsy bacon. More recipe tips to follow ...............

You can buy bags of red kidney beans at the Asian shop in Corridonia, obviously they have virtually everything there to make an Indian curry as well. There is also a Lidl in Corridonia.Thai food ingredients, I order from a supplier in the north of Italy. Just had over 100Euros worth delivered including fresh lemon grass ( you have to email them for the lemon grass, as its not on the online catologue). Normally 24 hrs from placing the order, the delivery arrives.http://www.asiaminimart.it/shop/

Hi,our friend go to italy march month of  last week . that search for indian meal for non-Italian reastaurants. that reastaurants provide good indian food and best service . my friend satisfied that services and italian cultural . more indian like to visit italian country.you have more information for italy country plz visit joy-travels.com