Sauntering around the comatose German town of Konstance last week I found myself caught in the tractor beam of the area's only curry house.
Now our Schitzel-happy cousins aren't renowned for their love of subcontinetal tucker, and the fare - dished up by a boisterous pair of Punjabis - was predicatably horrible.
It reminded me of the worst of Brick Lane: chunks of over-cooked meat, ubiquitous red sauce, no spice, no flavour. Sensing my displeasure the offending chefs, Inderjit and Kuldip, shrugged apologetically when I told them I was half-Punjabi and gave me a free ladoo by way of compensation. Small mercies I suppose.
So it was with great expectations that I returned to Blighty and the opportunity to sample Indian food cooked by the hand of those who really know.
Executive chef Vivek Singh of The Cinnamon Club, Great Smith Street, Westminster is certainly one.
Discreetly tucked inside a wood-panelled former library the Cinnamon Club has the rarified air of a colonial hang-out and it is only a sharp sprint from the House of Commons - no doubt a boon to the ranks of Lords and MPs who make up some of its regulars.
It has a library bar, complete with a Raj-era photograph of a tiger hunt, waistcoated waiters and stately bookshelfs trimming the open and airy dining room.
The service is attentive and knowledgeable, yet not over-bearing, while the contemporary Indian menu deploys the best traditions of curry with a European twist.
Over the coming weeks the restaurant, which is equipped with a division bell to ensure the MPs aren't chowing down when it's time to vote, has launched a Diwali menu (£45 without wine) allowing Chef Singh to show off a cross-section of his skills.
What he delivers is a piquant, and sometimes surprising, combination of herbs, spices and quality ingredients.
The non-veg menu is ushered in by a delightful Norwegian crab claw with coconut, mace and cardamon. Next up is a partridge breast coated with tamarind and a small fruit chaat accompaniment. The two dishes bustle with spice and are firery hot in the non-anglacised way that distinguishes the best upmarket Indian restaurants.
They also serve as the perfect run-up to a stunning main course of braised lamb shoulder with green chillies, mint and yoghurt. Backed by an ensemble of small parathas, naans and rotis, the melt-off-the-bone lamb is a hearty - but not heavy - meal from the best of European and Indian culinary tradition.
The dessert of gulab jamon with toffee, semolina pudding and choclate fondu is suitably rich and best enjoyed with a glass from the list of sweet wines. Washed down with a few glasses of light red from the Nandi Hills, near Bangalore, and you get a wonderfully balanced meal, which in typical Indian style doesn't scrimp of portions.
It amounts to a refined eating experience, lifted higher still by the location just yards from the heartbeat of Government. For those who love Indian food go Cinnamon.
The Cinnamon Club, 30-32 Great Smith Street, 020 7222 2555 firstname.lastname@example.org