Singapore Adventure

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Return On Expectation
by venitha

7 @ the Taj Mahal - see you then!

It's not that we're suffering mango withdrawal so much as that it's inconceivable to meet David, a friend for over a decade, anywhere but the same place we've always met, at our favorite local Indian restaurant. The Taj Mahal's friendly owner greets us exuberantly - Welcome! Welcome! Too long! - and the pungent smell of curries waves hello from the kitchen. We devour the menu with newfound interest now that we're connoisseurs - Hey! Aloo chaat! And do you want to get one of these pakoras? - though just as with Singapore's Jaggi's (mmmm... butter chicken), we know the main dish we'll order at Fort Collins' Taj Mahal before we even step in the door: , chunks of soft Indian cheese (that's the paneer) buried under a thick sludge of spinach and mustard greens (that's the saag).

Jim has ordered palak, a greener thinner version of saag, from nearly every Indian menu he's seen in the last year, but palak is a deathly pale imitation in spite of its brighter color. The Taj Mahal's saag lives up to its star billing in my memory and soars to new heights with an even more astronomical Return On Expectation ratio (how good it tastes divided by how good it looks) than I remembered. Doesn't it look revolting? But, believe me, it's divine.

At the other extreme on the ROE scale are these irresistible little gems we first encountered in Bangkok. I have no idea what they are, but trust me: steer clear! Unless, of course, you're looking for a good gag gift for your niece's upcoming 9th birthday. Hmmm.... And we are going to Thailand...