The winding back roads of Dural in the Hills is pretty much one of the last places you’d expect to find a contemporary Indian restaurant like Banarasi Babu, with its decorative fountain out front and copper pendant lights softly illuminating the space.
When we arrived on a weekend, there were a few families settling in for their dinner and the restaurant got busier as the night went on – proving that the semi-rural setting is as good as any for great food in the area, especially modern Indian cuisine which is having its moment with many new eateries in Sydney serving up this style.
We started off our meal with a Vegetarian Sampler Sharing Platter which featured a couple of crispy Cocktail Fig Samosas, a delicious Mutter Dhaniye Ki Shammi (green pea and coriander patties infused with cumin) served with a chilli garlic yoghurt and interesting Sounfiya Paneer Tikka (cottage cheese cubes and roasted capsicum in a cream batter).
Vegetarian Sampler Sharing Platter, $21
Moving onto the mains, we couldn’t go past their flavourful Meen Kuzhambu which is a village style fish curry bursting with aromatic flavours from the exotic blend of mustard seeds, curry leaves, sundried red chillies and coconut. We mopped up the curry with strips of tasty Garlic Naan and Cheese Garlic Naan, though we accidentally over ordered on the naan, not realising that our other main, the hearty Lamb Pepper Fry also came with a crispy flatbread on the side.
Lamb Pepper Fry, $23, Meen Kuzhambu, $23 and Garlic and Cheese & Garlic Naans, $5-$5.50 each
For dessert, we indulged in a couple of chewy Gulab Jamun, the authentic Indian dessert of milk dumplings soaked in a rose water sugar syrup and cardamom. The sticky sweetness paired well with a silky Madras Coffee, which is a traditional South Indian style drink that actually reminded us of the coffees we’ve had in Malaysia in terms of texture and taste.
Gulab Jamun, $6
The most impressive dish of the night was saved for last – the crunchy Chocolate Samosa was served on top of a very solid caramelised pedestal made of sugar, for a modern Indian take on a classic chocolate and vanilla bean ice cream combo.
Chocolate Samosa, $10
We found the prices at Banarasi Babu to be quite reasonable considering the quality and execution of their dishes, particularly for a nice family dinner out in the Hills. It’s in a hidden spot off the beaten track, but worth a visit if you find yourself in this neck of the woods or you feel up to a drive to a leafy part of town that almost feels like you’ve left the city limits.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Banarasi Babu
1237 Old Northern Road, Dural NSW 2158
Phone: (02) 9651 6555