Mahatma: Indian Food in Paris’s 8th Arrondissement

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Mahatma: Indian Food in Paris’s 8th Arrondissement
Ethnic restaurants are a vital part of the Paris restaurant scene and although most visitors crave French food, it’s nice to have an alternative when the rush of onion soup and Croque Monsieur starts to wear off. Mahatma is a plush, popular Indian restaurant near the Madeleine. We were struck by the carved wooden entrance doors and the lavish interior: the restaurant was dark and decadent with warm orange lighting; our table was lavishly set with brass plates and fanned cloth napkins. We all chose the simple 3-course formule for 16 euros. The selection of dishes was slim in each category, and the plat offered was either chicken or vegetable curry. For starters there was either raita-yogurt with spices, or vegetable, meat, or potato samosas. I thought it was odd that the potato samosas were the only ones served with Naan bread. They were warm and satisfying and the Naan was crisp and oozing with melted butter. The meat was tender in the chicken curry and the curry not overpowering but just enough to give it a zing. The spiced rice was fluffy and steaming hot. Dessert was a simple warm semoule cake and was the right balance for the spicy menu before. Service was pleasant enough but a bit slow in between the appetizers and plats. Seating in the banquets was very comfortable, which made it easy to have a long lunch. Sometimes it’s the small touches that make a big difference. The carafe of tap water, which is usually tepid in most restaurants, was nicely chilled, which is helpful when you are having spicy food. We give Mahatma two curried thumbs up and we will be back there again soon. Mahatma 23 rue Vignon, 8th arr. Metro: Madeleine Tel 01 47 42 69 14 photo (c) Richard Nahem, owner of:  Eye Prefer Paris Tours.  Our readers who have taken Richard tours love them.   If you want more exercise: City Segway Tours are great for seeing Paris in a different light. You’ll see more, have more fun, and not feel tired at the end of it. These are highly recommended and truly a great thing to do during your stay. Fat Tire Bike Tours are another great way to see the city. You’ll get the company of an expert guide, the use of a super-comfortable bike, great tips and advice about what to do while in town and an exciting, informative and educational experience.
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Richard Nahem is the creator of the popular blog www.eyepreferparis.com, with three weekly posts about art, history, fashion, food, shopping, architecture and restaurant reviews. He also writes about Paris and European travel and his articles and photos have appeared in The Guardian, Romantic Paris, Passport Magazine, Travel Agent Central, Luxury Travel Advisor and Bonjour Paris. He recently edited the National Geographic "Walking Tours of Paris" Guidebook. Richard also leads private insider tours of Paris, www.eyepreferparistours.com, showing clients the Paris they never usually see on their own. With over 440 five star reviews on Tripadvisor, his specialty tours include Le Marais, Saint Germain des Pres, Chocolate and Pastry Tours, Flea Market Tours, Gourmet Food Tours, and Cooking Classes.