So I popped my cherry tonight. My Indian food cherry that is. Yep believe it or not, it has taken me 21 years of my life before dining at an Indian restaurant. My dad never liked Indian food so I was always under the impression that it was all spices, that the curries would taste like Malaysian curries (not a fan) and everything would be 647386378x too spicy, but boy was I wrong!
It all started when I was meant to eat hotpot, but as one of my friends could only eat halal it seemed too much hassle. Fellow food blogger and friend Eden suggested Indian and we somehow ended up at Kings Indian Restaurant.
Kings Indian Restaurant is located just off the bustling restaurant precinct of Parramatta, just a block away from Temasek. It contains indoor and outdoor seating and has modern furnishings inside, accompanied by Indian pop music. We chose to sit indoors as it was a cold winters night but despite this the door to their outdoor seats was left open so the indoor heating didn’t work that efficiently.
Aloo Papri Chat – Crispy fried potatoes sprinkled with chat masala, mango powder and topped with chopped onions and tomatoes – $11.90
We started the night with an entree of Aloo Papri Chat, which is a cold entree and can be best described as the Indian version of nachos. It tasted like potato chips dipped in two sauces (a yoghurt) with bits of creamy potato. It was delicious and I will vouch that Indians make nachos better!
Chhauni Chicken Tikka – Boneless free range chicken pieces marinated in yoghurt, spices, ginger, garlic and tandoor roasted – $14.90
The next entree was boneless marinated chicken pieces. They were cooked quite well, soft and tender and very well marinated and seasoned. The spices packs a punch in your mouth with the crunchy vegetables. Slightly spicy, it left a tingling feeling on my tongue.
Shahi Korma (Lamb) – Creamy textured curry – $17.90
Saagwala (Beef) – Fresh spinach cooked with spices, chopped ginger and garlic – $17.90
Murg Tikka Masala – Char grilled chicken morsels sauteed with tomatoes and coriander in a medium thick sauce – $17.90
For the mains we ordered three different types of curries; Shahi Korma (Lamb), Saagwala (Beef) and Murg Tikka Masal (Chicken). Unlike my preconceptions, Indian curries taste nothing like Malaysian curries and are unique in taste and full of finger licking flavour! The lamb was extremely rich and creamy, and was my favourite of all three curries. It was not spicy at all and tasted fantastic on its own and with naan bread. The beef was green in colour due to the spinach components and had a very tender mushy texture; however the flavours were very strong in ginger content which I enjoyed but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The chicken was the spiciest of the three curries but was also packed full of finger-licking flavour. Strangely enough, the vegetables remained crisp and crunchy despite being cooked in a curry sauce adding some different textures.
Peshwari Naan - Stuffed with dried fruits, coconut and nuts – $4.90
Cheese Naan – Bread stuffed with cheese and butter – $4.50
Bread Basket - A combination of Naan, Garlic Naan, Butter Naan & kulcha served with side accompaniments (Raita, Mango chutney, Mix Pickle) – $14.50
We had three different types of naan breads accompanying these curries; Peshwari Naan, Cheese Naan and the Bread Basket. The Peshwari was sweet and fruity with sultana flavours whilst the others all tasted the same (couldn’t taste cheese in the cheese naan). However, it’s good to have something plain to dip in the curries so you can continue eating even if the meat has been finished, without dipping your spoon and drinking the curry sauce. Naans are traditionally eaten with hands but were very oily to touch FYI (Eden and I opted for knife and fork).
Mango Lassi – Indian yoghurt based drink with natural Mango flavouring – $3.90
The beverage I ordered was a Mango Lassi, which for some reason I expected to be similar to a mango flavoured tea. It’s not. It is a very thick yoghurt drink and is very sweet, something you need to drink slowly.
Saffron Kheer – Rice pudding flavoured with cardamoms and pistachios – $6.90
Pista Kulfi – Homemade Pistachio based Indian ice cream – $6.90
Gajar ka Halwa – Grated carrots cooked in milk and garnished with nuts – $7.90
We were all very full after all this, but ordered dessert anyways, such fatties! We ordered a rice pudding, indian ice cream and a carrot dessert. The rice pudding was warm and milky but seemed a bit undercooked. I swear they also used the wrong type of rice as my belief is that rice pudding uses short grain, not long grain. Despite this, it literally tasted like rice and milk and lacked the creamy porridge texture of better rice puddings. The Indian ice cream unlike other ice creams was full of texture and not at all smooth. It had hints of some spices and was a refreshing surprise. The carrot dessert was literally compressed carrots and appeared firm but crumbled away at first touch. It tasted just like carrot cake even though it wasn’t a cake and was devoured in no time.
Overall, my first time eating Indian cuisine was a very enjoyable experience. Indian food is extremely rich in flavours and is an excellent option when you want to share foods. I’m very glad to have been able to have my first time at King’s Indian Restaurant and it is definitely somewhere I will revisit in the future.
King’s Indian Restaurant
40 Phillip Street, Parramatta NSW 2150
Ph: (02) 9635 9677