Vicky and "Life of Pi" director
Vicky and Hollywood
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Lian Kuei
1026, JianXing Rd, West Dist.
Hours: 11 am-2 pm, 4:30-10:30 pm
*Science Park Branch
166-73, XiTun Rd, Sec 3, Xitun Dist.
Hours: 11 am-2:30 pm, 4:30-10 pm
Credit cards accepted.
No service charge.
Thanks to director Ang Lee's helpful publicity at the recent Oscar Awards, people around the world have learned that the acclaimed movie "Life of Pi" was largely filmed in Taichung, Taiwan. Among those basking in this bit of unprecedented limelight is Bollywood Indian Restaurant and owner Vicky, who had plenty of opportunities to rub shoulders with the stars as the provider of all the Indian food in this Indian-themed production.
It was only natural that Lee sought out Vicky, who first opened Kebabish Indian Restaurant around 2001, followed by Bollywood in 2005 and, later, by Bollywood 2 near the Science Park. Just a couple months ago, he expanded to Taipei with his new Khana Khazana outlet opposite the World Trade Center (see Taipei 'What's New" article on www.taiwanfun.com).
According to Bollywood's boss, catering for "Life of Pi" involved not only making enormous amounts of food for on-screen family-dining scenes, but also advising Lee on finer points, like the fact that tandoor ovens are not normally used for home cooking in India. Off the set, he provided Indian dining for star Shuraj Sharma and others, including actor Tobey Maguire (cut from the film's final version), who visited the JianXiang Road branch and loved Bollywood's vegetarian dishes like pureed spinach-and-cheese Sag Paneer (NT$320) and lentil-based entrees.
If you want to enjoy some of the same dishes that "Life of Pi's" folks did, there's a very long menu that includes all sorts of lamb, beef, chicken, seafood and vegetable curries. Vicky recommends starting with entrees like the Tandoori Chicken Tikka (NT$290), with big chunks of tender chicken breast marinated in tandoori spices; Chicken Korma (NT$350) and its savory, creamy orange curry; Mughlai Chicken (NT$390), served in a cashew nut sauce; and a sweet-flavored Lamb Jhalfrazi (NT$390).
Complementing this is a variety of Naan breads, appetizers, salads and beverages, from fruit-flavored Lassi Indian yogurt drinks to Indian Milk Tea. If you're less hungry, try a Tandoori Roll (NT$160-200) or Indian-style Burrito (NT$180-200). Whatever you end up ordering, you can be sure that you're quite literally dining like a Hollywood star.
Left: Bollywood's recently-remodeled JianXing
Right: hicken Korma (left)
and Sag Paneer with Butter Naan
Left: Lamb Jhalfrazi (left) and Mughlai
Chicken with Garlic Naan
Right: Tandoori Chicken Tikka