My friend Mike introduced me to an Indian restaurant in Tokyo called Moti and a dish called Butter Chicken. Ever since I’ve been on a quest to find a better butter chicken but have failed. However, I did introduce Mike to an Indian market in Minneapolis that sells Butter Chicken mixes. I even purchased a few boxes for him with one condition – that he prepare one rendition of it for Carrie and I. He followed through on the deal and wrote an excellent piece on his blog about this: http://mikenmitch.wordpress.com/butter-chicken/.
I’m launching my own Butter Chicken Battle on this trip. First stop was Moti in Tokyo and it was everything I remembered it being. Silky, tangy and not overly greasy or rich with high quality ingredients. It was also complemented by amazing garlic naan.
When we were in Mumbai we hired a driver for a day. He assumed we would like a “continental lunch” and started to guide us to a spot. I quickly interrupted him and said we would like an Indian lunch. He said something like, “oh, yes sir, you will have an Indian lunch”. He was quite excited – apparently most tourists stay away from this. He guided us to what appeared to be one of the nicest Indian restaurants in Mumbai – Delhi Darbar. Of course I ordered Butter Chicken. I honestly had low expectations since the quality of ingredients available in India is generally lower than other parts of the world like Tokyo. This is one of the reasons that most experts say London has the best Indian food on the planet – lots of people from India and very high quality ingredients.
Anyhow, it was a good experience but the Butter Chicken was disappointing. It was very greasy and the quality of the chicken was low – lots of grizzle. And we both got a little sick a few days later (Kyle more so than me) and this meal was the probable cause. So this is probably why tourists stay away….
The latest Butter Chicken was experienced in the largest and most grand shopping mall in the world – The Dubai Mall – at a restaurant called Dean and Deluca that overlooks the Dubai Fountain. This Butter Chicken was unique – very sweet, almost like a sweet potato. It was garnished with a splash of cream and was generally quite good. If nothing else it was a good variation on the standard Butter Chicken but I would not consistently order this variation of the dish.
Pictures of these dishes can be found here: http://www.foodspotting.com/chrisflynn
The quest continues…..