Need more spice in your life? Does this sound like a line from a bad infomercial for viagra? Well, you won’t find any of that at this northern Indian restaurant in Vienna’s 3rd, but you will be brought to multiple foodgasms. Indus is for those who like it hot and crave the complex and flavoursome curries of India and Pakistan.
Indus is owned by a guy who’s been its number one customer since 1981. It was after he bought it, then sold it, then bought it again and injected the impressions from his travels into the place’s design when it became the place it is today. Forget the white tablecloths and Bollywood posters, here. The edgy interior is modelled around the name of the place – the Indus river.
‘You’re eating under the waves of the Indus,’ owner, Ifti, tells me. I look up and notice the wonky roof – they’re the waves. The atmosphere of the place is like warm concrete, which the warm lighting, the concrete bar and polished concrete floors are responsible for.
Not only the inside is a pleasant place to dine, but hidden out back is also a leafy green summer garden that books out quickly due to its giant gemütlich factor.
The feisty menu has traditional roots, yet a modern spin. The curries made here have a pull factor – you dream about them when you think ‘I haven’t eaten Indian for a while.’
But beware – if you order scharf (spicy), you’ll get it … and perhaps even cry like a baby who needs their nappy changed, or has bitten into a lemon. Their signature dish is Murgh Mango curry, while the most popular is the Tikka Masala (We’ve tried both and give our thumbs up to the Indian Gods).
The spice magicians in the kitchen draw their inspiration from Northern India and Pakistan. Their curries, from the favourites amongst the beginners, like the Murgh Mango curry, to the beef punjabi masala, do not hold back with flavour. And the spice levels are at authentic Northern Indian levels if you want it to be. You can also ask them to tone things down a bit if you don’t like sweating while you eat.
They also take the cooking of their tandoori very seriously at Indus, doing it all the traditional way, which means the smokey flavours from the fire it’s cooked in can be tasted throughout the marinade.
We’d also suggest you don’t go past their samosas as a starter – they’re big, plump and full of flavour and they come accompanied with a homemade mint yoghurt sauce that sets them off. And if you skip the homemade mango lassi here, you’re mad.
Your order will take time here, as all quality, freshly made food does. ‘It’s slow food,” Ifti aptly puts it. Indus is in a class of its own as far as Vienna’s Indian cuisine goes.
And, we know what you’re wondering – the naan also passes the Naan slap test (a test where you slap your fresh, warm Naan across your dining partners face, and if it leaves a red mark, and makes a nice, airy slapping sound, you know you’ve got yourself some quality Naan). Please note, we may have made the Naan slap test up.