5 Indians and a Trini in St Louis


If one is to read the tourist information on St Louis, you would be convinced that there is actually stuff to do in this city. I’m here to tell you that if you’re trapped here for work, then one has to find places to eat and things to do.

After a week of work here, I have realized the following things

  • If you go with a Korean to a Korean restaurant, you will get good service and excellent food. Excellent conclusion there, Watson! However, who the hell thought that there would be a decent Korean restaurant in Creve Coeur, MI … well if ever one is in Creve Coeur, you could do much worse than Hangook Kwan. The Kalbi nor the Bi Bim Bap wasn’t the greatest but the Duk Bok Ki was nice and spicy and they have an excellent Jap-Chae.
  • If you with an Indian to an Indian restaurant, you should get good service and excellent food. The operative word is “should”. After 3 consecutive Indian meals (2 Indian buffets and 1 Indian dinner – which is the most consecutive Indian meals I’ve eaten in 12 years), my conclusions are unchanged :
    • There is nothing known as an excellent Indian buffet. Period! Indian buffet is mediocre by definition, it is never flavourful or spicy enough, and it will necessarily be watered down and neutered to feed the masses.  Case in point at Mayuri, even with a free buffet coupon we got because they were closed for dinner, couldn’t make me like this place more. To be fair, I have yet to try their dinner menu, but with a lunch buffet that verges on tasteless crap, it doesn’t inspire culinary exultation to the heavens.
    • Indian dinners on the other hand, can be excellent but with enough guidance to palate – Taste of India was one of those places. I have yet to find the magical place that makes a ridiculously hot Vindaloo, salty garlic naan (Garlic sada roti), great Chicken Pakoras (Chicken cutters), well fried Onion Pakodas, hot and sweet Baingan Bharta (Baigan Choka to the Trinis) and Dhal that wasn’t overly salty, under cumin/geera-ed and actually spicy. If I found the Indian restaurant that could do all of these things well, I would move to that city immediately.
    • The ability to pontificate whether Malcolm Marshall was a smart/more cerebral bowler than Michael Holding with Indians, is one of my true joys in life … especially when the older Indians think that Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar were the incarnations of Ram, Shiva and Hanuman wrapped in Bacon in human form. Too bad India never had a great fast bowling, that truly exceptional specimen would be worshipped all over in India.
  • It is possible that one can actually see an Indian movie anywhere – in an actual Indian cinema … anywhere. If St Louis can have an Indian movie theatre, then there is no heaven or hell … just Bollywood.
  • I’ll have to add culinary diversity to my travel notes of St Louis!

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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