How good is Indian food? I mean honestly the deliciousness of all those indulgently spicy sauces, fragrant rice and the sheer fabulousness that is naan bread. I have a lot of time for it. As such when I saw a voucher on Scoopon for an Indian restaurant not too far from home I could not hit the Buy Now button fast enough. The Indian Garden Restaurant is located about 10 minutes from where I live and we were lucky on this Thursday that we could call up at 5.30pm and make a booking for 2 people at 6pm that night. The vouchers and mid-week dining make good sense and are such a joy on those nights when you just can’t be bothered cooking.
So it was a pretty good deal that we’d got – each got a glass of wine or bottle of beer, then could chose an entrée, mains and dessert – a total three course feast!
From the outside the place probably didn’t look overly flash, but it was nicely presented inside. And it’s always a joy walking into an Indian restaurant, such an assault on the senses with the heady aromas of spices hanging in the air. My appetite grew as I breathed them in.
Starting with the drinks and as per usual, I went with the glass of white, while GG went for the red. So a Riesling for me and a Shiraz for him, both Jacob’s Creek, in the super cute little individual bottle likes you get on Qantas flights :)Both were fairly decent quaffers.
So we looked at the entrees while we snacked on pappadums….
I decided I would see how their Onion Bhaji were (6 pieces for $6.50) and GG chose the Chicken Tikka Moglai (6 pieces for $8.95). His dish was described as breast chicken pieces marinated in spiced yoghurt and cooked in a Tandoori Oven.
They were both arrived fairly quickly, always a plus when you are hungry. My bhaji came served with this spicy jam/chuntey, which worked well. They were tasty, just probably not like other bhaji I had tried where they are predominately made of onion, they were almost bready in the centre. Flavour wise no complaints, just not that oniony. Like I mentioned earlier though, the combination of a little bhaji with the spiced jam worked a treat.
GG was slightly disappointed with his entrée. Was a bit blander than he had hoped, not even the bright green sauce on the size helped to give the chicken more depth of flavour. I did sample some of his dish and shared the same sentiment. A little light on the flavour for Indian food.
Moving right along, we received saffron rice and naan with our deal and were then able to select 2 mains dishes. Too hard to pass up the opportunity to try butter chicken (boneless chicken cooking in thick and rich tomato sauce with butter and cream) so we went with that and also some of the Beef Masala (Beef cooked in a medium hot thick sauce with tomatoes, capsicum and spices).
The naan was really good – nice and light, with the right combination of crispy on the outside and soft’ish in the middle and a good hot temperature. It was a delight to eat such quality naan with the tasty sauces that came with the two dishes. Mmm…. Mouth-watering just to think about it really.
I was similarly pleased with the butter chicken, which was entirely delicious and came with a generous amount of chicken. I really enjoyed them both, especially with a helping of the saffron rice on the side.
As I ate each dish it made me smile thinking of how close this place was to home and how it was likely ot become the new take-away Indian restaurant of choice.
Then we somehow had to find room for dessert. And it almost like magic that room does always seem to be there. I decided that the Mango Kafti sounded interesting, so I went for that, while GG kept things old school with vanilla ice cream with chocolate topping.
I enjoyed my dessert, jam packed with mangoey flavour.
While GG thought his was fine… he probably wasn’t overly phased on the topping, little bit too sweet for him and quite reminiscent of Cottee’s topping, which I thought was quite tasty, but I tend to embrace the sweeter side of life slightly more than my fellow does.
So we were both feeling very comfortable at the end of these three courses. I thought the service had been friendly and attentive and the serving generous. I’m confident that I’ll be back….. there’ll be a night when I’m craving the saucy goodness of some Indian food and I’m remember the good time I had at the Indian Garden Restaurant and will be giving them a call.