Perhaps it was all those sequined pillows, mosaic tables, Sanskrit writing, and colorful Hindu imagery. Sometime, somewhere in the restaurant categorizing universe – someone labeled Krishna as an Indian restaurant in Buenos Aires. Since then, people have gone to this vegetarian spot run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and come away thoroughly disgruntled at the lack of Indian spices and few menu options they’d set their mouths for. This is apparent by the vitriolic reviews Krishna gets on Trip Advisor, which I think is unfortunate. If they’d walked into the restaurant unaware of its unfortunate designation and looking only for fresh, healthy, vegetarian fare they would have been delighted or, at least, satisfied.
I dare anyone to poke their head into Krishna’s doorway and not think that it looks like a pleasant place to eat lunch. Billowing white material covers the rafters letting light in and mirrors along the border of the walls give the small front room a large airy feeling. Red walls decorated with Sanskrit writing and strange paintings of Hindu mythology are lined with a long, low bench upholstered with decorative patterns and dotted with colorful pillows. Mosaic tables with small springy flower centerpieces are also low, which can make for a clumsy lunch and extended travel from plate to mouth. You’ll find more of the same in the two larger back rooms, which are more intimate. Soft music plays in the background. The general vibe is relaxed.
Psst – it’s Krishna! I spent two weeks working at the Eco-Yoga Park just outside of Buenos Aires which is run by Hare Krishnas and got some background on their cooking processes and rules. Krishna’s don’t use onion, garlic, peppers, or hot spices in their cooking. These items are staples in the cuisine of, well, almost all cultures that can get their hands on them. Don’t expect these flavors. Rather, make friends with the salt and enjoy the tastes that are in their stead.
The cuisine is all vegetarian or vegan. You’ll get a small plate of whole grain bread and curried pumpkin spread upon sitting down, which is mild and delicious. I highly recommend the ginger lemonade, which is refreshing and has a kick. Then, it’s menu time. Luckily they do have English versions so just ask.
Appetizers include wheat empanadas with curried vegetable fillings and samosas, both tasty options. Lunch main dishes include a selection of sandwiches made with all vegetables or soy milanesas, salads, wheat pasta in tomato, cream, or pink sauce, and other Indian-like dishes. A favorite of mine is the kofta balls (Krishna’s version of a meat ball) with brown rice and tomato sauce. Another option is the Thali plate, which is comprised of small scoops of creamy beet salad, lightly spiced vegetables, fried eggplant, rice, and wheat flat bread. A mango chutney comes with the meal that adds a nice sweetness to the salad combinations you put together. At the end of the meal, the waiter offers small, milky shots of Chai tea.
This food isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great and healthy alternative to all that meat and potatoes business you find in Buenos Aires. But, please, when you get there, don’t yell, “Show me the curries!”
By Contributor Writer Skye Brannon
Address: Malabia 1833, Palermo
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday for lunch
Website: None I could Find