Sept 7, 2019 – Bratislava, Slovakia
As I had mentioned in my earlier blog, while we took the tram from Hlavna Stanica (railway station) to Hlavne Namestie (main square), I happened to notice this Indian restaurant near the Postova, Martinus stop which is the tram stop before the main square. By the time we completed the old town tour and then walked around on our own, we were quite hungry :). Since we didn’t have google maps to help us figure out the vegan restaurant that Krishnan had researched earlier named “Balan’s Bistro”, we decided to head back to the next tram stop as we could try the Indian restaurant atleast.
We got off at the Postova, Martinus stop and walked further towards the railway station and we found a “Govinda’s” restaurant but there wasn’t a single human being in or around it … so we turned back and saw a Nepali restaurant on the opposite side, whose menu was not very exciting to us. We kept walking towards the Indian restaurant named Ashoka and entered it through the lobby of hotel Crowne Plaza. The first thing that caught our attention was the placard that said “Authentic Indian Owner, Indian Ingredients, Indian Chef”… we had to taste and confirm that for ourselves.
Little did we know the surprises in store for us … the first surprise, one of the servers turned out to be from Nagercoil, a place near Tirunelveli. We spoke to him in Tamil obviously and he had come to Bratislava to do his Masters. He was working in the restaurant till he got a job and was about to leave in the next few days. The other server was from Dehradun. We took a couple of pictures –
The food was as authentic as you can expect in India … and getting it in Bratislava was totally unexpected. While we were just completing our meal, the owner Mr. Dixit, came by and was greeting all the guests. We said hello and with my saree and bindi it was obvious we were Indians and we told him that this was our anniversary lunch. We usually end up eating at an Indian restaurant and that the food was outstanding.
Seeing that we had eaten our meal, he immediately asked if we will have “chai” and how can one refuse “chai” !! We got a chance to hear Mr. Dixit’s amazing life journey. He came to Bratislava almost 30 years back as a student and stayed on through the communist years and is today not just a restaurant owner but the largest supplier of Paneer in Europe. He told us about his family’s connection to Mulayam Singh Yadav and when Bharat Bhakts get together, we do talk about our rockstar PM, Mr. Modi’s amazing achievements. We heard some not so interesting insights into how some of our business tycoons treat a small, less significant country like Slovakia. There are nearly 3000+ Indians in Slovakia now and about 1000 of them are students and many Indians work at the JLR factory which is now owned by Tata’s. After exchanging our contact information, we left the restaurant and walked on the lane right in front of the restaurant which brought us to Hlavne Namestei square again ! A shortcut.
We passed by the Slovak National Uprising Memorial dedicated to the rebel soldiers who fought against the Nazi occupation of Slovakia during WWII.
As we walked towards Hlavne Namestie square, this McDonalds billboard advertising “Tikka Masala” Burger :). Anything with India written on it makes your heart so glad.
At Hlavne Namestie Square we ate some ice cream from a store that was setup in the 1800’s and is at the corner nearest from the Roland Fountain and took some more pictures before taking the tram back to the station.
We got back to Vienna an hour earlier as we took an earlier train. A beautiful day spent in beautiful Bratislava.