Tantalising glimpses of working chefs through a George Street window box; a well-dressed hostess highlighting the way into the basement off Angel Place… restaurateur Sam Prince sure knows how to generate excitement and intrigue. Switching out guacamole for Tableside Coconut Sambol ($14) and milk buns, Prince harnesses what he did for Mexican at Méjico to give South Indian a much-needed face-lift.
Chef Kumar Mahadevan uses beautiful mandarin skin and fruit in his Salmon Kothmiri Tikki. The bold, acidic sauce also employs spicy tamarind but somehow leaves a hole big enough to taste the gently cooked (sous-vide) fish. It’s but one masterpiece presented at a series of 25th Anniversary Dinners held last month at Abhi’s in North Strathfield.
With each new arrival there is a chorus of greetings, the kind you reserve for old friends. It’s clear that despite moving a few doors up the road, Malabar Darlinghurst has retained its loyal regulars, and they seem delighted with the new setting.
On a harrowing, delay-riddled train journey through Rajasthan the only thing that saved me was the food. I reminisced upon this as I peered out of the window at Circular Quay and saw not harbour views, but a train docking into the station.
Some Indian restaurants celebrate authenticity; some celebrate a particular region; this one celebrates the time period of the British Raj. Television screens depicting the period of British colonial occupation clue you in, though a chat with owner Harmohit Singh is even more illuminating.
We’re definitely entering dinner and a movie weather. Luckily Sydney Film Festival have expanded upon their inaugural Gourmet Cinema program, which last year left cinema-goers, including myself, thirsting for a glass of Bordeaux wine at Luke Mangan’s Glass Brasserie, after the standout documentary Red Obsession.
After dining consecutively on Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday nights last week at this new Rozelle gem, to say I've been hankering for good Indian is an underestimation. Vikram Arumugam has taken ten years cooking experience from the (hatted) Aki’s and three years of catering/menu development at home, and come up with an innovative and flavoursome menu.
The idea of four-dollar cocktails proved too tempting for me to resist; so last Saturday I found myself spending the hours between 4pm and 6pm ensconced in the modern warehouse setting of Neild Avenue. I took along the Bar Fly, and between us we managed to cover their whole range of Ore Del Sole cheapies, twice over. Being a warm day, I got hooked on the Campari Granita (with an Aperol & Cider chaser). Word is: both Neild Avenue and sister restaurant North Bondi Italian Food will be keeping the weekend aperitivo special, though methinks the prices may have to rise!
A late-night conversation with a Sydney taxi driver led me to uncover this inexpensive, lesser-known, ethnic eat. It offers up a blend of Indian and Pakistani in a comfortable (but not too fancy) Cleveland Street locale. Watching them cook in the tandoor took me right back to childhood meals in Strathfield’s Surjits, where the chef would allow me to peer down into the hot, clay hole.