The Spice is different - double starched linen cloths, a rosebud on each table, an adequate wine list and the professional service all warranting the slightly higher prices on a menu which, extending to a century of dishes, contains many offerings not seen on Indian menus elsewhere around town.
This restaurant is different to your run-of-the-mill Indian. It has double-starched-linen cloths, a romantic rosebud on each table, an adequate wine list and professional service, all warranting the slightly higher prices on a menu that, extending to a Tendulkar century of dishes, contains many not seen on Indian menus elsewhere around town. But, most importantly, the food is cooked the real Indian way. Chef Devi Charan Sharma says Indian food, as it is normally served in restaurants around Australia, too often contains dishes that are sweetened with sugar and/or tomato paste, with less of all the spices and fewer chillies.
"In New Delhi, were you to serve an Australian-style butter chicken, they'd throw it at you," he says. "It's not just a matter of tossing in a few extra spoonfuls of chilli; that can ruin the dish. It's about balance and spicing according to the style of curry you're cooking. And, of course, in India, we always leave meat on the bones to add extra flavour." Try their dhal, fish Amaritsari, lamb Firdoos curry and vindaloos, or pick the flesh from the bones of a tikka or tandoori chicken, and you'll find them beautifully fragrant and freshly spicy. The flavours are set against the background fruitiness and warmth (not heat) of chilli, their spiciness (again not the heat) tingling in your mouth for ages. Just great.
Graeme Phillips, June 2006