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Folders  |  Hiren Tambaclal: From Maputo to Lisbon
Hiren Tambaclal: From Maputo to Lisbon
Cédric Lecler
Hiren Tambaclal: From Maputo to Lisbon

Born in Mozambique of Indian blood, Hiren came to Lisbon in 1987. After trying out a few professions, one day he decided to open his own restaurant. He still remembers the first year of opening where sleeping five hours a night was a real luxury. With no means to pay a chef, Hiren learnt and did it all… Over time he became successful, and today Hiren is one of the key figures in the Bairro Alto.


The owner of two restaurants called Calcuta and Calcuta 2, and a bar called Kamasutra, Hiren never stops working, passing from one to the other. Of course he has a circle of friends and brothers that work with him, but the secret of his success lies in the strict discipline behind all of Hiren’s business ventures. To start with, the Calcuta restaurant is a real institution in the Bairro Alto and probably one of the best – if not the best – Indian restaurant in Lisbon.

What’s his secret? Only the freshest products are used to prepare all of the dishes on the menu: everything is made each day (I can confirm!), no days off for Hiren. From 9am the cooks start working to prepare a good hundred or so delicious samosas (chamuças in Portuguese).

My favourite dishes are the tikka masala and Tandoori chicken (by the way, did you know that Tandoori is indian for oven?). The dishes are indeed classical, but delicious when well prepared. And for fragile eaters, you can ask to have milder dishes, or even ask for them without spice.  Hiren – who never stops smiling  - and his wonderful team serve up dishes in a friendly, warm and informal manner. As the prices are reasonable, clients are mostly young. The wine list is very carefully put together (a rarity in Indian restaurants) and Hiren loves to serve good Portuguese wines at unbeatable prices.

Come on behalf of livinginlisbon.com, and Hiren might graciously serve you a Calcutta shot: to be downed in one go in order to round-off the meal well.


see also Calcutà Indian Restaurant in Lisbon

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