Crave To Travel

Indian food in Cartagena and meeting a fellow Indian

It was just a week into our trip, but I was already craving Indian food. I was eating good, healthy vegetarian fare in most places and the trip was a blast, but when it was time for a meal, I’d think of Sambaar, rasam or chole (been on a chole phase lately). So when we got to Cartagena, I needed no reminders to recollect this lovely travel blog post (from Jack and Jill Travel the World) that I had bookmarked during my research.

These fellow travelers had stumbled upon an Indian restaurant (well, owned by a Bangladeshi) which only operates after 4 pm in borrowed restaurant space. During the day its a Colombian restaurant. So we found our way there one evening and I was just so ready. To our happiness, we easily found the place and settled in after our orders – a little too much food due to all the enthusiasm.

My first forkful of the karahi dhal led to a burst of flavors of cardamom, cinnamon and other desi spices and I was in bliss instantly. No chole yet for me, but this was very close and very good.

The menu is really small, but we were told they can make any dish with the ingredients they have on hand, so feel free to ask for something that is not on the menu.

After a highly satisfying dinner, we chatted with the Bangladeshi owner in Hindi and it felt so good. (Yes, I chatted in hindi too…not kidding). He was telling us about how he plans to open another more permanent space soon and how Indians who work in Cartagena come to his restaurant. One thing led to another and within a few minutes I was having a very random and unexpected cell phone conversation in tamil with a Tamilian guy from Tambaram, Chennai who lives in Cartagena. We promptly exchanged email ID’s over the phone and were very pleased at how the evening turned out.

Not the end of the story. Swami and I managed to meet Ravi, our fellow Tam guy next day over dinner. The super helpful and friendly Ravi has been living in Cartagena for four years and speaks Spanish like a pro. He took us to his favorite restaurant and it was so much fun talking to him.

We’ve been meeting tons of great people who are on the south american travel circuit – especially in our hostels. But this was our first time meeting a local and the fact that it was a tamil speaking Indian was a lovely coincidence.

How to get to ‘Pordesh Indian Restaurant’ in Cartagena, Colombia:

The restaurant is called ‘Berce’ in the morning. The Indian component is open from 4 pm to 10 pm in the evening (maybe on most days).

You wont find it on google, but its diagonally across the street from Hostel Casa Viena. Look closely for the sign “Indian Restaurant” – it will be dark in the evening and maybe easy to miss. Here is an approximate map (look for the green marker):

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