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Aug 25 2008, 02:54 PM
The old Indian Village restaurant has reopened with new owner, chef & decor. It's called Wazwan and they have really cleaned it up.
Apparently, it's a franchise of the Wazwan Indian place in Itaewon, Seoul.
It's located on the 2nd floor in the alley between Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins on the road heading towards the main gate of PNU.
This is not Punjab, the new place on the Starbucks street. DON'T GO to Punjab- it's a total ripoff.
Wazwan- I was pleasantly surprised with this place. There were pluses and minuses, but overall good.
We started with vegetable samosas- 2 for W3,000 and they don't have meat samosas. They were excellent and the sauces provided were really good.
I got the chicken masala for W10,000 and my companion got the prawn masala for W13,500.
The taste was really good. I really liked it.
However, it was not really spicy. That was fine for me, but my companion wanted more kick to it.
If you like it spicy, I suggest you request when ordering.
The only downside is the meat to sauce ratio. There's a lot of sauce and very little meat. The prawn are really just the small shrimp, too.
Not much meat, but it really did taste good.
The other thing was the rice- it was the long grain, not sticky style.
It was a little weird to get used to after years of short grain. My Korean companion didn't like that part.
If you go with a Korean, be prepared for them to not like the rice.
The nan was pretty good.
Overall, I rate this place as quite good. It was ten times better than the total disappointment of Punjab.
The price is not bad at all, but I wish there was more meat in the curry.
Give it a try!
Aug 25 2008, 11:10 PM
Better than Ganga, though? Who suffers in the Pepsi challenge here?
Aug 26 2008, 12:10 AM
Was that the place with the waitress who couldn't breathe and take an order at the same time? Please tell me they got rid of her. She single-handedly ruined that place for me.
Aug 26 2008, 11:43 AM
Ganga vs. Wazwan?
Ganga wins. They are the best. Wazwan is cheaper and it's in my neighborhood, so
those are the pluses. Wazwan is good- better than some of the other places.
Renamed User, this is the same location as that place Indian Village, but new owner,
new chef, new decor, and the manager seems to be the one serving food for now.
It's totally different from the old Indian Village place. I went to that place twice
and it was awful. The food was not good, it's like the management didn't even care,
the place was dirty, and the waitress was so clueless it was sad.
The waitress had no idea what she was doing- she didn't know the difference
between lamb & chicken curry and we had to request napkins & utensils.
These uni area places usually hire uni students who have no work experience
and are totally clueless, but that place took the cake as it seemed the management
didn't even care enough to inform the girl about what kind of food they served and
how to set a table.
Anyway, this new place is nothing like that.
I suggest giving it a try if you are in PNU.
Aug 26 2008, 05:51 PM
Ha! Must have been the same girl that was there when we went ONCE. The table next to us requested water so she came and took the pitcher off our table!
Sep 5 2008, 03:49 PM
OK, I went. Food was good. I had the mutton something or other. I would have to say I got more food at Punjab though. Also, Wazwan didn't have any chickpea/garbonzo dishes which I found disappointing???? It might have been slightly cheaper than Punjab but I didn't order a meat dish when I was there so price-wise it was a push. The lighting was definitely better at Wazwan. Portions and Naan were better at punjab.
Sep 6 2008, 08:46 AM
The prices are MUCH cheaper...especially for the meat dishes. Almost every meat dish at Wazwan was 10K, whereas punjab was 15K++.
I know nothing about Indian food, as I've only ever tried these two restaurants. IMO the food was good at both, but portions seemed bigger at Wazwan.
I only tried the chicken masala at Wazwan, but I found it VERY mild compared to the dishes at Punjab. This was a little disappointing because I like spicy food. The waiter told me I could/should specify when I order; "mild, medium, or spicy". It says so on the menu, too. The person I was eating with, who was experienced with Indian food, said the masala was quite good.
I also liked Wazwan because I got to see and talk to an Indian person...I didn't see any Indian people at Punjab, except briefly at the checkout.
I agree with Benicio that the meat was a little sparse, but I can't compare it to Punjab because I ate vegetarian there. However, the masala was very filling with an order of naan.
Sep 21 2008, 07:28 PM
Went here early Saturday evening. The decor is now really nice and reasonably upscale.
Had the ghosht kadai (capsicum and onion with lamb in decent curry sauce) with regular rice and a nan. The curry was pretty good, although even though i asked for extra spicy there was no kick to it at all. I told the guy that next time I would like to need a towel while eating my curry, so I think he understood that many foreigners love spicy food and hopefully he will oblige when I go back and actually put some spice in there for other likeminded customers who request extra spicy. On another note there was actually a decent amount of good lamb in my curry for the cost.
At 16,500 for a curry, rice, nan and coke (saffron rice was only 3,000 compared to 6,000 at ganga so I will try that next time) it was a good effort and I would recommend it as a far cheaper and worthwhile alternative to Ganga.
My only complaint was that they don't serve beer, which I find always compliments a curry nicely, however I guess asking them to put aside their religious convictions for the benefit of my taste buds is out of the question!!
Sep 21 2008, 10:32 PM
About serving beer:
I believe it's not a religious issue, but one of laws & taxes.
If an establishment wants to serve alcohol, they have to have a special license
which means more money and taxes. This place has just opened, so maybe they
weren't ready to take the plunge of shelling out for a liquor license.
Sep 21 2008, 11:24 PM
Is it going to kill people not having a beer to wash down their curry dish? Try a cider instead.
Sep 22 2008, 10:07 AM
This from the lover of Guinness
. You're such a little hypocrite, don't you understand yet why people hate you?
Oct 13 2008, 03:23 PM
Went back here again Saturday and it was even better than the first time. Had massala which i usually don't like cos it's too creamy but this was really good and just to my taste. I asked for extra, extra, extra spicy and boy did I get it. So now I know that they can and will do spicy i will ask for just extra spicy next time!! I also had the saffron rice for 3 bucks (it's 6 in Ganga) and it was damn good too - reminded me of the pilau rice they serve in the UK.
I would have to rate this over Ganga now because it's literally 50% cheaper and nearly as good. I always enjoyed Ganga but the 40 to 50 bucks a head we spent there always spoiled the taste.
Dec 15 2008, 12:56 AM
Went there today for the first time ever and was pleasantly surprised--we had two orders of garlic nan, an order of paneer kulchar, and two lamb curries (and two soft drinks) for about 36,000 won. The same order would cost almost double at Ganga, and as stated previously, the owner asked us if we wanted spicy or not.
In terms of bang for your buck, I have to say it's better than Ganga, but in terms of sheer taste, Ganga is still much better.
There was an adequate amount of meat in either dish, so they must be doing something right. I would definitely go again.
May 24 2009, 10:59 PM
I tried Wazwan recently and thought it was great. Delicious, reasonably-priced food and drink in a pretty room, with excellent English-speaking service. Easily the most interesting restaurant I've tried at PNU.
I asked for spicy but not extra spicy, and my dishes were perfect for me: hot, but not so hot as to distract from or ruin the enjoyment.
The directions upthread were accurate. On the main street leading up to the main gate at PNU, on the south side of the street (left if you are going uphill, right if you are going down), Wazwan is in the little alley between Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins. Enjoy.
Bye, time for Gossip Girl!
Jun 8 2009, 12:18 AM
Sadly, no one seems to know when or if the legendary Won-Tae's new taco place is ever open. Wazwan, however, is amazing.
We returned on a Saturday at the dubious hour of 4:30pm, found the place open, and were greeted personally by the owner. The food was even better than I remembered from our first visit; the English-speaking service was again excellent; and the prices were low in relation to what we received. (W27,500 for a feast for two.) I'll be going to this place at least every other week for the remainder of my time in Pusan (and Chef Chen, Sushi Nikko, Comodo and Pasta Vanita, also at PNU, in the alternate weeks).
Jun 8 2009, 07:56 AM
Are you serious? I haven't been to the one in pnu, but the ones in nampodong and kyungsung have convinced me never to go to this place again.
Jun 20 2009, 11:05 PM
Yes, I was serious. If you have a better option for reasonably-priced Italian in Pusan, please tell us. (The key words being "reasonably priced" and thus excluding the several nice but expensive places out at the beach.)
Having said that I must admit that Sushi Nikko (Japanese) and Chef Chen (Chinese), along with Wazwan (Indian), are the three premier foreigner restaurants I've found in nearly two years of searching at 부대 (PNU). So you're right about that.
I was back at Wazwan during the past week, and tried the Butter Chicken I've heard seemingly-knowledgeable people talk about. It was fine, but the lamb dishes, especially the mutton masala, remain my favorite. Dahl (lentil) soup, meat samosas, saffron rice, naan and rhoti breads, and mango lassi or chai tea rounded out a great meal (W34,000 for three persons).
I really, really like Korean food. In fact, I also tried not one but two great (not good; great) Korean places at 부대 last week. Including a new dish I'd not heard of, called 메운뒈지칼비찜 meh-oon dwe-jee kal-bee jeem (which are like the best spicy pork ribs with potatoes, carrots, and onions in a cinnamony-BBQ sauce ever). However, I do like a change every now and then.
Jun 21 2009, 02:52 PM
It's not a case of reasonable price, if they were giving away food for free I wouldn't go there to eat their slops. Two of the worst meals I've had in Korea, of any type of food, were in Pasta Vanita. It isn't amazingly cheap, either. "Cine de chef" is more expensive, but way better. "The Terrace" in LG Xai Yonghodong is also more expensive, but they have a good lunch special. If you don't want to pay a little extra for a good meal, and judging by your posts about wine you don't, then you won't be interested in these places.
Jun 21 2009, 06:02 PM
But enough with being wishy-washy; please tell us how you really feel.
I actually tried to find "the nice restaurant" at Shinsegae on a recent special occasion; but when I walked into Cine de Chef, it looked like a movie theater. I saw nothing that indicated it was a restaurant; and it's right under the 6th floor movie theaters at Shinsegae, so I guessed it was a special place to watch the same movies, like a luxury box at a North American sports stadium. Of course nobody spoke any English, so I was unable to ask; and I seem to have unusually bad luck when it comes to finding things at Shinsegae. But the point is, I am not unwilling to pay for an especially nice dinner. Once in a while.
As you know if you've read my wine posts, I'm into value. Any fool with W100,000 to spend can find a good dinner or a good bottle of wine. I want to get the most bang for the buck. A good $4 per person lunch, like the one I had earlier today at Jagalchi Market (two plates of grilled mackerel (고칼비), a seafood omelet (해물파전), and bowl of rice (공기밥) for W10,000) pleases me more than a good W50,000 dinner for two (like the one I ended up having on the 9th floor at Shinsegae after being baffled by Cine de Chef).
It's been my experience that there is a law of diminishing returns involved in this: that the extra quality (if any) obtained by spending more than around $30 (U.S.) on wine generally isn't enough to justify the extra expense. Meanwhile, the possibility of disappointment increases with every additional $5 spent. I'm usually willing to pay more for food than for wine; however, as we live in a country where delicious and filling W5000 bowls of spicy pork rice soup (돼지국밥 /dweh-jee goog-bap) can be found on nearly every street, the bar is set pretty high. And yet the new dish I raved about upthread, the spicy pork ribs in cinnamony BBQ sauce, wasn't cheap. It was W22,000 for two, a lot by Korean standards, but worth it, in my opinion.
Wazwan, Sushi Nikko, and Chef Chen are restaurants where the high quality of the food in my opinion justifies the extra expense (extra as compared to my benchmark W5000 spicy pork rice soup). I also place Comodo and Pasta Vanita in that category. Tacopia, too, in the new mall next to the front gate of PNU. But especially Wazwan.
Jun 21 2009, 07:51 PM
Cine de chef is a restaurant that has two cinemas attached in which you can watch movies. If you just want to eat, tell the staff or just go in and take a seat and ask for a menu. You said nothing indicated it was a restaurant, well the tables, seats and open kitchen along one wall were enough to convince me. Some of the better dining experiences I've had recently were in Cine de chef. Also, the last time I went corkage was 10,000 won so you could take a bottle of wine.
Jun 22 2009, 07:50 AM
Thanks for the information. I'll try it again, based on your strong recommendation. Last time I didn't make it past the lobby, which looked to me more like an upscale movie theater than a restaurant. Thus I didn't see the tables, seats, kitchen, etc. And of course nobody there spoke any English, though they did sort of stop us (by offering to help us) in the lobby; and it's always awkward (in my mind, anyway) to try to just have a quick look around when you can't communicate at all with persons who are insistent on helping you.
Actually, I now realize I need to learn or at least write down the phrase, "May I have a quick look around?" in Korean and carry it with me at all times.
Jun 22 2009, 11:49 PM
I usually order the sag ghosht, but the most recent time there, I ordered the mutton masala and it was absolute crap. Bland beyond all comprehension. I'll never stray again.
Jun 24 2009, 12:02 AM
Let me add 'The Sushi', a block downhill and slightly to the right from the front gate of PNU. On the same block, and on the same side of the street, as Comodo and Pasta Vanita. Making that one hell of a good restaurant street.
Try the chicken salad. And of course the sushi.
Jun 24 2009, 12:05 AM
Good to know. Thanks.