It wasn’t with any great enthusiasm that I first chanced on Hot Chilli last December. The unremarkable décor and mixture of Indian food and pizza on the menu did not appear to promise much. What I got that day, however, turned out to be the most memorable, rich and creamy butter chicken I’ve had since I was in India, with crispy pakora and naan bread thrown in along with the tasty basmati rice.
Since that day, I have been a regular at Hot Chilli. Why? Because it’s the most authentic curry experience you will find in Krakow. It does all the simple things right: you can order your dishes to the requisite level of spiciness, whether you go for a chicken bhuna or vindaloo; the ingredients and recipes are all authentic – Punjabi owner Surjit Singh, in the restaurant business for twenty years, has trained his Nepalese chef in the fine art of Indian cuisine, and the menu covers most of what you’d expect, with exquisite samosa or pakora to start, a range of chicken dishes (jalfrezi and chicken kadahi being my favourites) to lamb palak and shrimp biryani. The lamb masala, when done extra hot, is astounding.
Everything is authentic. The muligatawny soup is a spicy delight to start, and other vegetarian dishes such as dal makhani – a creamy dish with lentils, tomatoes, ginger and garlic – and mattar paneer (home made cottage cheese and green peas cooked in creamy sauce) are extremely well done too. There is an excellent masala chai or mango lassi to wash it all down, or a selection of beers and wines if you so choose. Hot Chilli really does tick all the boxes for the true curry connoisseur.
Combined with reasonable prices – evening meals come to around 40–50zł with sides – most customers will go away happy. Of course, good Indian restaurants are all about spice, and it would be ironically named if this restaurant did not come up with the goods on this front. Thankfully, it does. Hot Chilli then: a winner. And I didn’t even try the pizza.
ul. Pijarska 9,