Went out for dinner at Red Pepper last night with a Venezuelan, a Finn and a Swede. Red Pepper is a popular indian restaurant located two doors up from Green Pepper (another indian restaurant). I often wonder if the two restaurants are actually owned by the same people (or whether its a blatant case of one trying to capitalize on the popularity of the other). If I ever opened up an indian restaurant on Bourke Street, I'd call it Yellow Pepper.
The restaurant was packed with indians. A good sign. Walked up to the counter, perused the menu and then ordered the most inauthentic item on the menu...the chicken tikka masala (CTM). CTM is one of my favourite dishes but it is very much the 'honey prawn' of indian cuisine. The origins of the dish is unknown but some rekon it originated in the UK, where it's hailed a national dish. CTM is so popular, in fact, that it accounts for one out of every seven curries sold there. The others in my group went for more authentic dishes. The Swede ordered a curry goat which looked remarkably similar to the curry lamb ordered by the Venezuelan. The Finn asked for the hottest item on the menu, a chicken vindaloo. All were satisfied.