Skip to content

Not Just Curries – Harris Park

It’s been a while – and after much debate and at the behest of our culinary guru the team are venturing out of the city to sample the delights of the Wild West to Harris Park. It’s the Australia day weekend and we meet up for cleansing ale at The Lord Nelson before a tortuous journey up the M2 to Parramatta. We eventually make it to Wigram Street (or little India) which accommodates numerous establishments offering a variety of Indian specialities and cuisines. The team have a leisurely walk around and mingle with the wide variety of punters and inhale the cultural sensualities that this destination offers.

group

Ambience
We receive a warm welcome at our chosen restaurant and step inside to find an open, light and airy establishment already buzzing with Friday night custom. It’s loud and busy with a mix of clientele ranging from large family groups to solo diners.

Service
Attentive, friendly and efficient.  The staff appear to be knowledgeable and are happy to make recommendations and discuss our choices. The dishes arrive promptly. The manager notices that we are reviewing the food and we mention that a couple of the main courses lack a little spice and flavour – he accepts the feedback with courtesy and arranges to correct and provide take-a way replacement dishes at no extra charge. Overall excellent service – especially given it’s a flat out busy Friday night.

Food
Indian with a Chinese twist. The team agree that the starters are the best we have ever had. We highly recommend the Gobi Manchurian (Cauliflower) – simply delicious. Other entrées include Dahi Puri (Chaat Balls with a filling of potatoes, chickpeas chutney and yoghurt), Adraki (lamb chops) and Chicken Manchurian – all excellent and flavoursome. For mains we had Goan Fish Curry, Goat Curry (our benchmark), Malai Kofta and Bhindi Do Pyaza (Okra). Lashings of Roti (no butter). As mentioned above the Goat and Fish were lacking a little in the flavour and spiciness we were expecting. The vegetarian dishes were good. We chose Mango Ice-cream and Kulfi for dessert. The standout dishes were the Cauliflower and Kofta.

curry

Wine
BYO with a limited house list. $2 per head corkage.
2010 Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards Corrina’s Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon (a favourite)
2014 A.C. Byrne Co Mclaren Vale Shiraz – from the house list.

Value
Good at $60 per head for three courses and a bottle of wine.

Overall Score 8.0 /10 – Great service, excellent starters, let down a tad by the mains.

A great evening had by all, a fantastic experience more than just the food.

http://www.notjustcurries.com.au/

….and while we were there popped round the corner to sample some Betel Nut Paan – some weird Indian hallucinogenic digestive that turns your teeth red. A bit trippy but surprisingly pleasant…..

paan

Advertisements

Abhi’s – North Strathfield

A chilly winter Friday evening and the team hit the road and adventure out west and outside our city comfort zone to dine at the oft-recommended Abhi’s in North Strathfield. A quick medicinal drinkie at the York Bar behind Wynyard Station and off we go amid much whinging and debate on the best Sydney Rail Timetable App. Abhi’s is a brisk five minute walk from North Strathfield station located on Concord Road sandwiched between a bottle shop and a pharmacy.

abhi

Ambience
First impressions are of a warm and inviting eatery with a tasteful contemporary decor and vibe. It’s a Friday night and the place is already busy and gets loud and bustling as the evening progresses. We are ushered upstairs and find ourselves in the large and well appointed dining area that mainly caters for groups. Maybe not the place for an intimate romantic dinner for two on a weekend. Good mix of clientele covering a wide demographic and cultures, groups and families.

Service
Cheerful and friendly young staff provide an excellent level of service and seem happy to discuss dishes and answer our queries and questions despite the place being chockers. Dishes arrived in good time if not promptly but not really an issue given the place is packed.
 
image1
 

 

 

 

 

 

Food
Not a samosa in sight! – a clever fusion of traditional Indian favorites with a contemporary twist.  Portions not big so a couple of re-orders required. Started with a selection of Entrees including Palak Patta Chat (lentil-battered spinach leaves coated in three sauces – date and tamarind, chilli, and mint), Bhaji Rolls, Seekh Kebab. The chat was voted the best we have tasted yet. Form mains – Goat Curry (our base line dish), Madras Prawns, Chicken Varutha, Kadhal Paneer (Cheese), Ennal Kathrikal (eggplant). All considered to be tasty and excellent – with the stand outs being the prawn and vegetarian dishes. However the surprise of the night was the lusciously presented and fabulously delicious deserts including Double Ka Meetha (highly recommended Indian Bread Pudding – below), Rose Kulfi and Gulab jamun. Overall the best Ruby we have tasted for a while.

IMG_0402

Wine
$3 byo corkage per person for wine below. Excellent and comprehensive in house wine list.
2013 Lovers Not Toreadors Tempranillo (Spanish)
2012 Sevenhill Inigo Shiraz
2013 Murray Street Black Label Cabernet

Value
A little pricey at $60 per head but considered good value for the standard of fare offered.

Overall Score 8.25/10

A great night out – tasty interesting dishes, busy contemporary vibe and attentive service. And those sumptuous deserts……

www.abhisindian.com.au

The Colonial, Leichhardt

We seem to have a bit of a penchant for the Colonial of late as we find ourselves in Norton Street heading for an establishment touted as a purveyor of ‘British Indian’ Cuisine. And talking of  repressed colonials a quick stop off at PJ Gallaghers Irish Pub for pre-dinner drinkies and a most excellent pint of Kilkenny’s red ale.

colonial

Ambience
Located on busy Norton Street the Colonial looks inviting with promise of Tapas??, cocktails and a dining garden. Inside we find a contemporary, understated but pleasant enough decor as we are ushered upstairs to a table overlooking the balcony. From what I observed the garden was more yard than Indian oasis.  The place was strangely deserted for a Friday night  and we had the upstairs to ourselves for most of the evening – the locals must be all be at home eating mamas lasagna.

Service
Friendly enough, some may say discreet and unobtrusive, others bloody slow – especially considering the place was almost empty.

Food
Started with various mixed platters (vegetarian, non-vegetarian, seafood) not overly generous portions but tasty. For mains we ordered Aloo Gobhi Masala, Malai Kofta, Railway Goat Curry, Lamb Jalfrezi, Jhinga Jalfrezi (prawns) and Daal Makhani all washed down with lashings of Roti. Rasmalai (a milk pudding)and Kulfi for desert. The feeling overall was that the food was tasty but a little bland and lacking a bit of heat / zing. Favorite dishes included Aloo Gobhi, the lamb and Rasmalai .

 Wine
$2.73 byo corkage per person for wine below. Limited in house wine list.
2009 Casa Santos Lima Quinta Das Setencostas – a fruity Portuguese quaffer
2008 Bloodwood Cabernet Sauvignon
2010 Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards Corrina’s Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon  – Complex and divine
2011 Audrey Wilkinson Shiraz

Value
Standard at around $45 per head for three courses plus all the fixin’s

Overall Score
7/10

Colonial2

Not a bad but not an outstanding dining experience. A good drop in if not a dining destination.

www.thecolonialrestaurant.com.au

Rangoon Colonial Club Restaurant, Crows Nest

The team has significantly downsized of late and proving difficult to co-ordinate the diaries of the Executive members, hence the hiatus in curry consumption. Anyway on with the pith helmets and off to a favorite from pre-blog way back, the Rangoon Colonial Club Restaurant, Crows Nest.

PS: We are now open for membership. Drop us a line if interested.

Rangoon

Ambience
Ahhh its good to be back ….Welcome to the era of the British Raj. A step into this place transforms the world around you. You are presented with the luxuriant surroundings and cuisine pleasures enjoyed by the Royals during the British Raj.The golden aesthetics of the environment, the hush of the palm trees and lull of the contextual melody plunge you into a realm of dining ecstasy………..  I tried to explain the merits of British Colonial rule to my companions, all to no avail.

Service
Friendly, efficient and attentive. Altogether pleasant. Food served efficiently and promptly on this early Friday evening.

Food
Mixed platter entree to start – lovely.The Guru’s  rate this as the best place for Goat Curry so two Sultan’s Goat Curries are ordered along with Daal Makhini  and a rather overly-sweet Prawn Malibu (its the closest thing to butter chicken I can get away with). Lashings of Roti (graciously supplied with no-butter). The Goat and Daal both superb. Desert to finish – Fig Kulfi from memory?. Nice.

Wine
BYO as always despite a fairly impressive in-house selection.
2010 Torbreck The Steading GSM
2008 Bloodwood Cabernet Sauvignon.
both superb…

Value
Standard / good at around $55 per head for three courses

Overall Score
8.0/10

Great surroundings, Great Food, Great Company. What more could you ask for? (apart from Butter Chicken)

www.rangooncolonial.com.au

Blu Ginger, McMahons Point.

Following a  slow start to the new year the executive members of the team find themselves at Blu Ginger at McMahons Point. A pleasant summer’s evening so it’s another stroll across the bridge to Milsons Point and down trendy Blues Point Road.

BluGinger1

Ambience
For some reason we arrived considerably early for our booking  but welcomed nonetheless and chose a table in the cool interior  rather than an  alfresco setting out front. A small venue but a clean and contemporary decor – no faux Taj-mahal feel about this place. We are the first to arrive but being a Friday evening the place soon gets buzzing with after work diners, locals and families. It’s a small venue – so gets a bit intimate and a lot loud.

Service
Friendly, attentive in a restrained discreet manor. Food served efficiently and promptly.

Food
The menu has a North Indian bent and for entrée we shared a Tandoori Platter and a Blu Ginger Platter, both excellent with the Lamb Cutlets and  Fish banana leaf the stand outs. For mains we chose the Desi Chicken (not as spicy as could have been), Goat Curry, Aloo Matar Paneer and Dahl Tadka. The vegetarian dishes were both good with the Dahl voted the best we can remember having. Things went a bit downhill with desert with the most garish fake green Pistachio Ice Cream ever seen.

BluGinger 2

Wine
BYO as always with a pretty average in house wine list.
2009 Renaissance Zinfandel (Fruity)
2011 Grant Burge Filsell Shiraz

Value
Standard at around $55 per head for three courses, beers and coffee for a table of four.

Overall Score
7.0/10

Overall a pleasant if not outstanding dining experience, good service and bustling vibe.

www.bluginger.com.au

Nilgiri’s, St Leonards.

T’is the season to be Bolly, so time for the Christmas bash. Our numbers are down due to festive frolicking so the executive members of the club are off to somewhere a bit special –  Nilgiri’s @ St Leonards – ho ho ho. A lovely summers evening so a brisk appetite-enhancing walk across the bridge to Milsons Point and a hop on the train to St Leonards.

nilgris

Ambience
Located  within comfortable walking distance of St Leonard’s train station, Nilgiri’s is an unassuming place in Christie Street. Upon arrival we were ushered upstairs from the brightly lit shop  to the comfortable lounge like surroundings of the upstairs restaurant and open kitchen, with the accompanying aroma’s. It’s a Friday evening and soon gets bustling and busy but retains a certain level of intimacy.

Service
Confident. friendly, and discreetly attentive.The Guru’s many queries patiently and attentively addressed.

Food
A constantly changing menu means one is always up for a fresh experience here. We started with the Pudina Kebab, Palak patte ki chaat (crisp fried spinach leaves) , and Pathar ka gosht (lamb cutlets) All good but the Chaat a bit too tooth breakingly crispy. Mains included Goan prawn, Balti ka bakra (goat), Gosht roganjosh(lamb) and Dal makhani with lashings of Roti. The Lamb and Goat were the outstanding dishes. We concluded with coffee and some excellent Kulfis (date & honey and saffron).

Wine
BYO Wine only – we don’t go anywhere that doesn’t really.
2010 Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz (plump and generous)
2010 Possingham Shiraz
2011 Serafino GSM (Fruity)

Value
Not bad at around $70 a head including all the extra’s, deserts and beers.

Overall Score
8.0/10

One of our favorites and a great night out overall. We are coming back to try one of the famous lunch buffets.

http://nilgiris.com.au/

Curry at the Rocks, Millers Point.

It’s Friday night  and we are in need of a feed, so its back to Curry at the Rocks, a perennial favourite and very much our local ‘home ground’. Pre-dinner night drinks at the Lord Nelson (serving a most excellent Red Ale) beforehand then on to see our old friend Ali.

Curry at the Rocks  curry-at-the-rocks-great

Ambience
Located  in colourful surrounds at the end of Kent Street, this unassuming cafe style restaurant isn’t going to win any awards for decor or style but comfortable and pleasant with a relaxed atmosphere . Great for watching passers by and nicely busy for an early Friday booking.

Service
Ali and the staff as friendly, welcoming and keen to please as ever, with prompt service. We had phoned ahead and Ali had kindly popped down to the fish market to pick up a nice snapper for a special dish requested by our Guru.

Food
Started with the assorted Tandoori Sampler and then a selection of mains including Rara Lamb, Special Fish (Maacher  Jhol), Bhindi Dopiaza (Okra), Dal Tadka with lashings of Roti. All good and tasty. The Lamb could have been a tad spicier. Stand out dish- Maacher  Jhol.

Wine
Some fantastic BYO wine this evening:
2007 Tim Adams Cabernet Malbec
2008 Tyrrell’s Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz
2010 St Johns Zinfandel (big, robust and gorgeous)

Value
Average at $50 a head including the special and assorted sundries.

Overall Score
6.8/10

Our local no frills family restaurant, all in all a good experience as always.

http://www.curryattherocksindian.com.au/