Lumbini, Indian Restaurant, Hesperange

It seems ages I am not reviewing an Indian restaurant, right? Well: I was definitely missing it, so after couple of unsuccessful tries, I was finally able to convince a bunch of friends to have an Indian dinner. We chose Lumbini, in Hesperange, as it was quite some time I wanted to try it!

We got there a bit before 9 pm on a calm Monday night – they are open 7/7. Just a couple of tables were busy and the waiter accommodated us on a nice table on the window. The location is very cozy, overlooking the street but with the good level of “privacy” – you can see, but not be seen.

As my friends never had Indian food, it was up to me to introduce them to the menu and to suggest them dishes – and I was very keen doing that.

To start, after Papadam from the house, we shared a portion of meat samosa and one of chicken drumsticks. Both seemed to be much appreciated by the table and we continued then with: a portion of Chicken Vindaloo (guess who ordered it…), a portion of Lamb Dansak (with lentils and herbs, mild), a portion of Panchrangi Takari (vegetables in cashew nuts sauce) and two portion of Butter Naan bread. While in three we mainly shared these dishes, one of us, who does not like much sauces, ordered a portion of Chicken Tandoori.

We accompanied our dinner with two bottles of Sicilian red wine (you know, Italian men…) and concluded with espresso and two rounds of Paan digestifs (of which the second one was offered).

Total bill (2 starters, 4 mains, 2 bread, 2 bottles of wine, 3 bottles of water, 1 espresso and 4 digestif, plus 4 offered) read a bit more than 150 Eur, 38 eur per person.

Pictures of our dinner are followed by my general impressions on Lumbini.


What I liked about Lumbini
:

  • The food was nice and have the right amount of spices: mild dishes were tasty but soft, while my Vindaloo was hot, but in an appropriate way (enough for someone who is used to eat spicy as I am, but not impossible to eat). Portions were pretty big, above all the Naan was much more than expected and with three men at the table we were barely able to finish all (even if I did my best). In particular, my favorite dish was the Lamb Dansak: I usually tend not to order mild dishes, but this one was delicious and the lamb meat so tender!
  • The service was professional and polite. Even if we were a bit noisy at a certain point, the waiter was very accommodating toward our requests, open the wine at the table and make it try twice (not always happens in exotic restaurants), offered us a last round of drinks.
  • The bill came out very fair for what we ate and drunk. Even if we shared two starters in four people, we were almost not able to finish the food so portions were more than enough.

What I liked a bit less about Lumbini:

  • We did not have any negative remark about our visit. Everything went smoothly and we had great time, so would definitely consider to come back again. Couple of points just to mention to be picky as I usually am: the place is very nice, but, as most of the Indian restaurant in Luxembourg, is anything fancy or posh, so don’t expect Myfair style Indian restaurants. Then. While all our dishes were great, the only one I would not order again might be the veggie one – the nuts sauce had a very weird taste for me, almost burnt, but as it was the first time ordering it, maybe it was just a wrong choice.

 

In conclusion: Lumbini is a perfect choice if you are looking for an Indian restaurant not right in the city center. The service is extremely professional, food is enjoyable and the location is very cozy. Not to mention the fact the prices are a bit lower than the Luxembourg average. Definitely recommended for friends’ gatherings! Bonus point: it is open 7 days a week.

 

Restaurant Atlantico, Howald, Luxembourg

I come from a beach village where, during summer, the usual festive dinner consist in those huge seafood grilled platters – these, together first with my family, are one of the things I miss most living abroad.
I tried several seafood restaurants in and out of Luxembourg but unfortunately the sophisticated (even if yummy) French approach when it comes to fish is pretty different from the one you can find in my hometown. Indeed, one of the only places where I find a very similar attitude, is Atlantico, a tiny, cozy Portuguese restaurant specialized in seafood, located at the edge of Bonnevoie, in Howald district.

After a business event, I decided to take there my partner in crime M., who is equally a seafood lover. We called a bit in advance to ensure there was place for us – the restaurant is quite small – and we arrived there around 9 pm. All the tables were occupied except ours and a pleasant smell was pervading the room.

We had a mix of fried seafood – anticipated by a small appetizer olives platter “pour la maison” – and continued with the mixed seafood grillade for two persons, including lobster, shrimps, octopus, salmon and much more and accompanied by chips and rice.

We had a Portuguese dry white wine – as “Esporao Reserva”, my favorite one, was not available, the waiter chose for us and the choice was perfect – and concluded – what’s new? – with Portuguese grappa and espresso.

Enjoy the pictures and find my comments about the restaurants after the break.


What I liked about Restaurant Atlantico
:

  • The food is delicious: if you are not into formalities and like the grillade style sea food this is the perfect place for you. The dish is huge, the fish is tasty. There are other options available on the menu, including simple gambas, codfish, as well as some meat dishes.
  • The price is incredible fair for the quality and the quantity of what you eat, as well as compared to similar places.
  • The atmosphere is informal and lively.

What I liked a bit less about Restaurant Atlantico:

  • There was unfortunately just one waiter for all the tables and it ended up in a service very fast and approximate. He did not have the time to stop by for our requests, wait was a bit long and sometimes we had to call him couple of time before being served. Not his fault, obviously.
  • Compared to similar places I have been, while the quality and the quantity of the seafood is better, in the grilled platter the side dishes are not exceptional – rice is plain white and chips were a bit soaked. No complementary sauces.
  • As you can clearly see from the pictures, it is not a posh place: presentation is quite hurried, location is old fashion and also the customers are generally pretty noisy. Still for me a lovely place to visit.

 

In conclusion: Restaurant Atlantico is included in my top choices in Luxembourg for seafood. While the location is not fancy and the service a bit superficial, the quality / price for grilled platters is fabulous and I would recommend it for seafood lovers in couple and among friends.

 

L’Entracte, Strassen, Luxembourg

On Monday night we visited to the newly-opened Christmas market at the Grund. The space is really limited compared to the one in the very city center, half a dozen stands, but the atmosphere is really cozy, calmer and more relaxed. I really like the Christmas Market in town, but during pick-hours it might be a bit frustrating having a walk around 🙂

After couple of hot wines, we wanted to have some typical food but the temperature was definitely not helping, being still with office clothes, so we decided to change the plans and move to a warmer place. We fancied some cheese dish similar to the ones you can have at the market, but apparently on Monday night it was pretty difficult to find a place open (Edelweiss in Bridel and the Swiss Chalet at Sobogusto are closed).

At the end we decided to try L’Entracte restaurant in Strassen. I was at the one in the city center couple of years ago and it was an horrible experience, the ugliest tourist trap I’ve found myself in in ages.

The restaurant in Strassen is located on the main Route D’Arlon, just a block before Belle Etoile mall. The decorations are informal but cozy and the atmosphere at the entrance was nice.

After a brief wait, we were allocated on a nice table on the back room – the restaurant at 9 pm was almost empty, only a big table in our same room – and handled the menu.

We went straight to the traditional raclette and a bottle of Montepulciano, that unfortunately was not available, so we moved to a South-West French wine.

Some pictures of our dinner and my personal impressions.

What I liked about L’Entracte:

  • The raclette was OMG: cheese was super nice, melting perfectly and the sides were pretty good as well – we had potatoes, mixed cold cuts, salad and bread – and well presented. The quantity is fair and the quality of the food was definitely premium.
  • The menu offers several appealing choices, including cheese fondue (also with mushrooms), mixed raclette, pierrade and a good choice of meat dishes.
  • Except for the quite long wait at the entrance, the service was nice. Our waitress came to check on us couple of times to see if we were fine and we were left finishing our dinner even if we were the last clients and it was closing time. As we had only raclette,coffee and wine, we were offered on the bill a bottle of water we took.

What I liked less about L’Entracte:

  • As said, the food was good and the portion fair, but still I had the impression we slightly overpaid our dish. The traditional raclette was 29 euro per person (and you can order for a minimum of 2) as well as the fondue, couple of euro more than most of other places in Luxembourg, located in fancier settings. On the wine list as well, cheapest wines were starting around 30 euro and there was no “house wine” option. Having a full dinner, with starter or dessert, a more decent wine compared to the one we took and some further drinks, will bring the bill to an amount not very aligned to the kind of location.

In conclusion: Our raclette dinner at L’Entracte in Strassen was a bit pricey but nice. I will definitely come back to try as well as the fondue, as the cheese was delicious and the service lovely. As the restaurant is quite big and informal, I would definitely recommend it for friends gathering and office dinners.

 

 

Sushi Train, Petange, Luxembourg

While I am normally a very easy going person concerning food – basically I can eat everything -, there are couple of things I am not extremely a fan of. First, all you can eat buffet (except when I am hangover). Second, non-authentic restaurants.

So, when I want to eat some good Japanese food in Luxembourg city, my options are very restricted by the two conditions above as, with some pricey exceptions, most of the Japanese in Luxembourg – those opened in the last couple of years at least – are managed by Chinese and are everything but authentic.

On Monday night I was craving some sushi and my “usual” places were closed, so we decided to head to Sushi Train in Petange, around 20 minutes from the city centre, after I read some very nice review on Luxembourg Foodies forum on Facebook.

The restaurant is located in the very city center of Petange and has some modern, not cheesy decor. You can decided to eat at the table or at the sushi train – we went for the latter.

The sushi train option includes as well a miso soup to start with. Alternatives on the sushi train are extremely various: from standard nigiri and sushi, different California and tempura rolls, tuna, salmon, sashimi, soya rolls, fruit rolls, various kind of salads. You have a lot to choose among and if you are not just into sushi, there were as well couple of dishes with noodles, fried calamari and grilled pork, even if they are very limited.

The train included as well as fruit salads and some dessert options.

I did not take pictures of everything I had (I had a lot LOL) but you can still find some shots followed by my comments about the restaurant below.

What I liked about Sushi Train:

  • Compared to other sushi train I have been, there are a lot more options: my favorite pieces were those that mixed fruits and fish and the big rolls with salmon, avocado and cream cheese.
  • Sushi is prepared with care just in front of you, the quantity of rice is proportionated to the one of fish and the taste is very good.
  • The sushi train option costs 23.5 euro per person. We had two beers, two glasses of wine, some water and two coffee and the total bill got to 70 euro. Definitely very cheap for what you eat.

What I liked a bit less about Sushi Train:

  • When you sit down at the sushi train, you are not given any menu neither drink card. We had to ask about how the train was working (in some restaurant you pay per dish) and we just ordered our drinks without knowing the options. I think that a drink menu, even at the train, would be highly appreciated.
  • The place is really calm and while it is nice and cozy, if you are looking for anything poshy this is not an option.

To sum up: Sushi Train was a nice discovery and I agreed with other reviews I read around: sushi is better than most of the one you have in Luxembourg city and the price is very cheap. It is perfect for an informal dinner during the week.