Yesterday we came across this story in Frontline, a magazine published by the Hindu in India. The opening line caught our eye:
'BANG opposite the airport, Kunming's first Bangladeshi restaurant, Al Medina, opened its spice-scented doors two months ago.'
Bangladeshi food? In Kunming? Immediately we knew we had to investigate. We love Kunming, but we've often complained that the lack of Indian curry here — the closest major city in China to India — belies its claim to be an international city.
We caught a cab to the airport, and bang — there was Al Medina, directly across from the airport on the second floor of the Sightseeing Hotel. We made our way upstairs, filled with anticipation.
Al Medina currently features a rather small menu of Bangladeshi and Indian dishes. We ordered a chicken curry, vegetable curry, dal, potato balls and a salad. Everything was, well, delicious. For those of you who like it spicy, the little dark purple chillies that come with the Indian salad pack a burn so wicked it borders on a psychedelic experience.
We spoke with Al Medina's affable owner Mohammad Al-Amin, who confirmed our suspicion that all the spices used in the food were indeed flown in from Bangladesh to the airport across the street.
Al-Amin let us in on a little secret that we feel obliged to share: beginning next week Al Medina will be featuring an Indian chef on sabbatical from his restaurant in England. This will expand Al Medina's offerings to include a rainbow of vindaloo, masala and korma dishes. Judging from some of the comments on this GoKunming forum thread there are a few people out there that will share our excitement.
If you've been craving Indian or South Asian food in Kunming, you've got it now. We know where we're going next time our flight out of Kunming gets delayed...
Al Medina Restaurant
2/F, Sightseeing Hotel (across from Kunming Airport)