A case of instant karma? Certainly, you don’t wait long for good things to happen in Karma…
Third time lucky? The last few years have seen Karma serve-up in the city center, out in Mokotów before finally settling up north next door to Muranów. With an entrance half-hidden behind a little cabin, find it set within a hulking Socialist Realist block inside a unit that once ticked by selling wedding dresses. Now, this address sells something a lot more valuable: curry.
Looking a little ill-proportioned with its vast, echoey ceilings and stark lighting Karma’s latest address lacks the finesse of their previous, yet for all that it’s a big plus to have an open kitchen sitting at the top – what could otherwise be considered a drab room is given extra punch by the sizzling presence of the chef’s HQ. Though perhaps a little too bare bones in its fit-out, you’ll feel at ease courtesy of a truly charming staff that are both helpful and cooperative.
Karma won’t be in line for any design awards, but food accolades, that’s a different matter – say this quietly, but this is on its way to becoming our favorite Indian in Warsaw. For starters, the bhajis are a joy, while the chili chicken is all crunch and spice. Indulgent in size, it could easily pass for a main.
Speaking of which, that’s where Karma go the extra level. Using the basics as a barometer, the chicken tikka butter masala is a classic dish that’s faithfully interpreted by the kitchen team. Rich and thick, it’s a dish that bangs with such flavor that you stand to be reminded of your favorite curry house back home.
Equally faultless is the vindaloo. Now for years, this has been the Insider’s default order across Poland, yet we continue to be amazed by just how many places get this wrong. Karma do not. High on firepower, but not to the detriment of actual taste, it’s a heat-seekers pleasure – a curry with the capacity to tingle the teeth while maintaining a multi-dimensional front that goes beyond the bog standard offers presented by the vast majority of Indian restaurants.
Outside the more generic items, the menu deserves applause for spidering out into different directions. Southern Indian cuisine is a specialty, and that’s affirmed by the presence of golden donut-shaped wada snacks, idli lentil rolls, fluffy uttapam pancakes and the altogether thinner dosa. In a city filled with identical Indian menus, Karma is positively mind-bending in its choices.
It might not look exciting, but Karma definitely does taste so. Where Warsaw’s curry scene is concerned, you’ve got three levels of competency – a bottom rung occupied by a handful of truly dreadful restaurants, then a mid-table section crowded with frustratingly average options. Then at the top, you’ve got a small smattering of greats – Karma definitely belongs in this last group.
ul. Nowolipki 14 (enter from Jana Pawła II), restauracjakarma.com.pl