Buddha Soul Indian restaurant in Lido
You know I'm particularly fond of the Lido, even in winter. The boat ride from San Zaccaria to the Lido alone is enough for me to turn on the relax mood, plus the idea of a short walk either along the lagoon or on the shore, well it's the cherry on the cake (not to mention the fact that I always buy a little something for me to wear at OVS... but this is another story!). So last Sunday, despite the cold, Vito and I went. I know he enjoys it because he can read the papers sipping a spritz without having me begging him to get a move on all the time, this because I always meet friends or family friends, thus I'm too busy minding my own business to bother with his things (a real blessing for him!).
For lunch we wanted to try something new, or at least new for us. Our choice fell on Budda Soul Restò, the only Indian restaurant on the island, which has actually been open for quite a while, but for us it was the first time. By the way, I love Indian food... until some years ago I used to go to the Indian restaurant in Venice, but since it changed management things are not quite the same (it's Chinese now) and I was missing the experience. An ex collegue of mine, strictly vegetarian and into -serious, not like me- yoga and meditation, suggested me to try Budda Soul Restò, she said that the cook is really from India (actually, he's from Bangladesh...) and that she goes there often, that the food is spicy and she really likes it! Considering how picky she is, well...we had to check it out!
Budda Soul Restò seems very small from the outside. in front of the entrance there is a little patio where it's possible to dine in spring and summer, two stone statues representing Buddha and a blackboard displaying the daily menu. The owner is from the Lido and I kind of knew him (we all know each other in this island and, by the way, in case I never told you, I was born here and I'm called Nicoletta exactly because I was born in the San Nicoletto area...), at least I remember he was one of those who in the 90s started going to India for long periods. The Lido, in fact, is a sort of (posh) hippy island and in the 80s there was a group of people who started following Osho Rajneesh, then obviously his philosophy (which, if you ask me, is quite controversial) has been differently interpreted, especially after his death.
Anyway, going back to food, the welcome was lovely. The seating room is very small, in fact the space has been divided in two floors and we were seated upstairs. The environment was extremely warm and well heated and the strong perfume of spices invaded the air. The upstair room, simple and minimal, was decorated with a few objects and fabrics from India and some poems written on the walls accompanied by evocative photographs, while the tables were already set and made prettier by thick candles and a potpourri centre-table .
We were going to have a complete meal, so to start we only shared two spicy sauces: a Matar curry, this is a dehydrated peas (called spezzati in Venice) curry, really delicious, and a Marjani sauce, with tomato, tabasco, masala and -lots of- chilly. one with chilly. We also shared a dish with pan fired veg and a flatbread. Yum!
I drank a pot of green tea (not Indian, but Japanese) while Vito had an Italian beer. Being an Indian restaurant, it had lots of options for vegetarians...but we were both in the mood for meat, with this cold we both needed something that would keep us warm, so meat we had. I ate a dish called Madras Lamb, basically lamb cooked with a curry and lentil cream and served with rice. Lovely, the owner had warned me it was one of the hottest dishes in the menu, but honestly I thought it was just right, spicy but not too hot (consider that I eat quite spicy, so don't know how objective I am). Simple presentation, generous portion and nice food. So far, so good...
Vito, instead, opted for a Chicken Jar Fry, fried chicken with curry prepared in a Bengalese version. Look-wise it seemed similar to mine, but taste wise it was quite different. Vito added some super spicy green sauce, but it would have been perfect even without.Obviously, we shared and we both agreed that my dish was nicer.
We skipped the dessert, as usual, and drank an Italian liquor, which was brought with some candied fennel seeds. How nice! I had never seen anything like this, they reminded me of smarties. Normally I'm not crazy about fennel seeds, I do like fennel, but the seeds are too invasive, but in this case I confess I appreciated them! And I think I'm going to copy and adapt this idea, maybe coating other types of seeds. With regard to the price, we spent about 25 each (look at their menu), which is fair enough for what we had.
All in all, I found the environment nice and friendly, the food authentic and very flavoursome and what we appreciated the most was the kindness of the manager and the beautiful smile of the cook, who did tell me his name but ... forgive me, I have forgotten (and anyway, have no idea of how to spell it!). After lunch we had a short walk, passed to say hi to my mum and brother and then we slowly headed back towards Venice. The sky was clear and we could see the mountain range behind Venice, marvellous. December, in fact, is a very cold month but it's still a great period to go to the Lido. It's only from mid January to the end of February that the days can get too foggy and humid, but otherwise a visit to the Lido is always recommended!
So, when you feel like escaping and need something regenerating, take a vaporetto directed to Lido and consider stopping at Buddha Soul Restò for a meal. Good food, nice people and a -definitely- relaxing atmosphere! Buona gita!
Address: Gran Viale 28/b Lido di Venezia 30126 Italy
Phone: +39 041 770618
WhatsApp: +39 366 755 44 55