Paprika Club Restaurant

Indian food – I’m a long-time fan. The wonder of an intensively flavoured sauce with fragrant rice and crispy naan bread is a delight that I suspect I will never tire of. So when a bargain voucher popped up on Scoopon for a new Indian place not too far from home, I could not resist. So with the voucher purchased, off GG and I headed the following Thursday to Paprika Club in Mount Hawthorn. Located right on the intersection of Scarborough Beach Road and main street, it had initially been difficult to find. Despite having google mapped it before we arrived I just couldn’t seem to see a sign for it when we pulled up. As it happened this was because Paprika Club is so new that the sign from the previous tenants has yet to be removed. If you walk right up to the glass doors there is a page printed out informing you that you are in fact in the correct spot.

So in we went and when we arrived a touch before 6.30 there was only one other couple in attendance. We were shown to our table by a friendly waiter and on handing over our Scoopon Voucher were informed how the deal worked. For $39 we could each choose a glass of red or white wine, for our entrees we would be a bought a platter to share, then for mains we could each choose a dish and this would come served with fluffy rice and naan bread. A dessert for each of us was also included in the deal. So with a white for me and a red for GG an easy decision, we looked over the menu while we waited for our platter to arrive. The rich smells of Indian spices filled the restaurant and definitely had us eagerly anticipating our arriving dinner!

The platter looked good, with some choice items included – onion bhaji (Generous serve of sliced onion seasoned with spices, battered in chick pea flour and fried till golden brown, served with mint chutney), tandoori chicken (the most popular North Indian barbecued chicken, marinated in a blend of flavour some spices and yoghurt before being cooked in our clay oven.) and samosas (tasty homemade triangular pastry wraps filled with mildly spiced mashed potato, peas and nuts then fried crisp, served with fresh green salad & mint chutney). Overall it was a very tasty introduction – I’m a long time onion bhaji fan and thought this was a pleasant version and all the more so when dipped into the minty sauce that came on the side. The tandoori chicken had the right amount of heat to it and the samosas were decent, tasty filling and the pastry wasn’t too thick.

We kept things, shall we say, predictable for mains and ordered Butter Chicken (Succulent boneless chicken marinated & cooked in our thickest tomato sauce with a hint of butter and cream) and Rogan Josh (A slow cooked aromatic lamb dish, Rogan means colour, Josh means passion, and this world famous dish needs no further description). What can I say – I just love butter chicken. It arrived before too long and the spread of meat dishes and the rice and naan was carefully placed on the table. We loaded up our plates and I launched a piece of naan greedily into the butte chicken sauce. It was delicious and not too sweet, as I occasionally find with butter chicken. And the naan was great – quite light and crispy. I could have happy sat and kept dipping away but there were pieces of chicken to eat and I hadn’t tried the lamb or the rice yet! I gave both a go and for me found the heat level of the Rogan Josh ideal. Packed a bit of punch, but not so spicy as to send me running. We were both feeling fairly comfortable after mains and sat patiently and waited for our plates to be cleared and dessert orders taken.

The place had filled up since we initially arrived and there appeared to be only 2 gents manning the floor, dashing about in a flurry of activity, trying to balance taking orders and delivering food. They didn’t have the balance quite right on our visit and after a good 15 minutes, our mains plates were still on the table and our interest in dessert sort of waned. Given had both had ample we decided to make the executive decision to skip dessert and just head home. The food we had had was definitely enjoyable, but they perhaps just need one extra person to assist with tables so that the wait for a next course isn’t quite so long. Granted, the fellows we did deal with were both super friendly, but its clearly early days for this business and perhaps they had just underestimated how busy they would be once they had released these vouchers. I’m hopeful that once they get into the groove of things more, that it might be a slightly smoother experience dining there.

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