Swagat Restaurant Munich at Prinzregentenplatz made our last day in the city extra-special with a mouth-watering, three-course lunch. We’re Indians who have gorged on the best of Indian cuisine in India, and take it from us, this restaurant does complete justice to the splendours of North-Indian cuisine. Be it the fluffy garlic naans, the satin-soft paneer tikka, or the decadent dessert thali, Swagat München aces Indian cuisine in every way possible. Add to that world-class service and a rustic ambience brimming with artistic touches, and you have what is possibly the BEST Indian restaurant in Munich.
Location and Ambience
The 22 year old restaurant is located opposite the famous Prinzregententheater. The entrance is rather unassuming, and one has to descend a flight of stairs to enter the restaurant. However, inside, the earthy interiors punctuated by traditional Indian paintings, upholstery, and rich splashes of red convey an opulent picture of the Indian subcontinent. The restaurant is enormous (a total capacity of 150), and there are private seating spaces as well, such as the one pictured above. A large aquarium graces one of the seating areas, and ceilings are often draped with silken Indian textiles. At the bar, an eye-catching brass tea set is accompanied by a lollipop stand that kids are bound to love.
Seven cooks from India are responsible for the exquisite creations that make it to your plate at Swagat. The cuisine is predominantly North Indian, with emphasis on delicacies from the tandoor (traditional clay oven), which involves marinating meat, fish, or vegetables in yogurt and spices for several hours and then roasting them over charcoal for an unbeatable aroma and flavour. The naans (fluffy Indian breads) here are exemplary, as are the variety of dishes presented in the main course and dessert thalis. The menu has several chicken, beef, lamb, duck, and fish specialties on offer as well.
So, if you’ve been fruitlessly hunting for great Indian food in Germany, your quest ends here.
We really wish we’d been hungrier, because the food was better than most serious Indian restaurants we’ve frequented in India! The best part: it was also spicier than any of the Indian eateries we’ve visited so far in Germany. Swagat does not compromise on authenticity or freshness, and every bite is a taste of heaven.
We dug into succulent tandoori paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and mushrooms in a fantastic, spicy marinade, as well as two kinds of vegetarian kebabs served with many kinds of dips, including a mint coriander chutney, a sweet mango dip, and a spicy pickle. The former was exemplary, and we can recommend it without hesitation. We also loved the artistic rose-shaped tomato and flat cucumber rolls that added extra flourish to the dishes. If you eat meat, you couldn’t go wrong with the mutton seekh kebab and chicken tikka.
When it comes to Indian cuisine and hearty appetites, a thali (a platter consisting of various dishes in small portions) is always king. Ours came with six different vegetarian preparations, dal (thick lentil soup), and raita (spiced yogurt). The palak paneer (spinach and cottage cheese curry) and chana masala (chickpeas in tomato onion gravy) were our favourites. We relished the dal and curries with fragrant Basmati rice, plain naan, and the absolutely delicious garlic naan: a must-have! There’s a non-vegetarian counterpart of our thali as well, with four meat-based, and two vegetarian dishes.
Never in India have we chanced upon a dessert thali as varied and decadent as the one served at Swagat. Chopped kulfi (Indian ice-cream), mango cream, gulab jamun (fried cheese balls in sweet syrup), gajar ka halwa (carrot pudding), and firni (rice and milk pudding with nuts) rested in tempting little glass bowls. They were not in the least greasy or overly heavy, and we ate until we could eat no more! If you must choose just two, go with the multi-textured firni and the classic kulfi.
Old Monk, a dark rum replete with notes of vanilla and chocolate, is exceedingly popular in India, and with good reason. If you drink, a rum and coke would compliment your meal at Swagat perfectly. For those who prefer something fancier, the mango and guava liqueurs serve as delicious digestives. And a cooling mango lassi (sweet yogurt and mango drink) will make sure you assimilate all those flavours and spices really well!
Service and Cost
Over the years, many Indian dignitaries and consular officers have walked through the doors of Swagat. But so have artists and white-collar professionals. When it comes to good food, class is irrelevant. Then again, the same cannot be said of price lists. Swagat qualifies as casual fine dining, and for a hearty meal with drinks, you’d have to shell out at least 30-40 euros each. But the taste and quality of the food, as also the service, ambience, and presentation, are worth every cent.
Ravneet, the proprietor, is polite and gracious to a fault, and ever-willing to greet the guests, although there are so many of them. Indian food takes its own time to reach a state of delicious perfection but even so, the order doesn’t take all that long to reach the table. And it’s always steaming hot, as everything is served on hot plates. Make sure you reserve a table though, as the restaurant gets crowded at meal times.
About Swagat Restaurant
Address: Prinzregentenplatz 13
Phone: 089 / 470 84 844
Hours: Daily 11:30 AM – 14:30 PM, 17:30 PM – 1:00 AM
The next time someone asks you about the best Indian restaurants in Munich, you know what to say.