What can I say, I am a sucker for Indian food. The last time I dined on Indian in Dunedin, despite my best efforts, I missed a couple of places!
So first up, dinner on Monday night was Punjab Indian Restaurant. They have a huge menu! I chose the Saag Aloo (Potatoes cooked with onions, tomatoes, spinach, in a thick sauce) – mild spice level. No bread for me this time. This came to $15 for the curry and rice.
Top marks for having a couple of chairs for those getting takeaways. For some reason, it bothers me having to stand or sit at a table made up for dine in people.
There were no other diners, but I arrived just as someone else was getting their takeaways. I ordered and paid, my order arrived promptly and I was soon on my way back to my motel unit.
As usual, the photo is approximately half the serving. If you were sharing you could easily get a bread and starter and share it.
The rice had cumin seeds and a few coloured grains which was a nice touch – a little more fancy than the usual steamed basmati. The curry was super hot with heat, even after my walk back it was still really well heated.
The potato was boiled and very soft. The sauce was thick but not as flavoursome as I would have liked it. It could have done with ramping up the spice a bit. Perhaps I should have gone with medium?
I love Saag Aloo, it’s one of my favourites and while it was ok, It wasn’t great. 3/5.
Tuesday night, decisions, decisions… and I chose on the spur of the moment Little India – the undisputed winner of my “Best Indian in Dunedin” from my last trip. Their menu is here.
I resisted the urge to order the same thing I did last time and I was foiled again in my attempts to order the eggplant dish. So I chose the Aloo Gobi (Potatoes and florets of cauliflower cooked with cumin seeds, turmeric, coriander and spices.). This is a dish I eat regularly as its a favourite of my partner. I chose medium spiced this time after the slightly underwhelming dish from the previous night. This was $13.50.
Back to my unit I went. Served it up – again half a serving-ish.
GREAT MOTHER OF GOD – I said MEDIUM. Holy burning lips Batman!
I know spice level is a personal preference, but its a good job I don’t mind spicy food. I should stick to my own rule of always ordering mild until I have tried a few dishes from somewhere to see how the spice level is.
We have an Indian takeaway near us, where even if you order mild, its hotter than the face of the sun. We joke that the chef must have Parkinsons or Alzheimers (shakes in too much chilli or forgets and does it again).
Anyway, on the bright side, I couldn’t complain about it not having flavor. It was delicious and a generous serving. Both the potatoes and cauliflower were cooked beautifully – not hard not mushy. You could cut both easily with a fork. The sauce was more of a dry curry which I like for a change.
This would have been a 5/5 if it wasn’t quite so spicy. I give it a 4.5/5.
On wednesday I called in at India Gate on my way back to my unit after work. It was only a couple minutes after 5pm so again I was the only customer. Their menu is here (and it didn’t work on my iPad) and I also note the prices are slightly cheaper on their online menu than in the restaurant… somebody needs to update their website…
This time I chose the Dal Makhni – mild (I wasn’t brave enough to go medium after last night’s fiery little number).
This was the cheapest of all of the meals so far at only $12 for the curry and rice. Once again the picture is approximately a half serving.
Although there was no mention of butter, ghee, panner or cream on the menu, I am pretty sure this contained some of the aforementioned. On the calorie scale, I am pretty sure it had 60,000 calories (per square inch). And in having so, was particularly delicious. Rich, sweet and oh so filling.
No thoughts of dessert after stuffing my face tonight. Glad I didn’t get a roti as I was pretty tempted this evening.
It was very mild, not a hint of heat at all. If you are new to Indian cuisine, it would be a good choice. The dhal was cooked well. I would order it again… But right now I couldn’t eat another bite.
I give it 4.5/5 – only because the menu didn’t mention how creamy it was and I am trying to make reasonably healthy choices this week (but I should have known better when ordering it.)
On the previous visit one of the restaurants that stood out was Shahi Tandoor as they had a number of more unusual vegetarian options on the menu. I headed back that way on Thursday night and arrived at 5.15pm. They didn’t open until 5.30pm. I wasn’t going to hang around and wait so I left… Only to end up wandering around the mall in the next block for a short while, so once done, I headed back. I decided to order the Pumpkin/Kumara Madras. (Kumara is a sweet potato). The girl serving asked if I wanted pumpkin or kumara, I said pumpkin but I am pretty sure it had both in it. For spice level I said mild to medium.
This was $13.50 – again more expensive than the online menu. Honestly if you are going to have website with prices, for goodness sake make sure its up to date!
However, this was without a doubt, the best meal of this week. 5/5 without a doubt. It was fabulous! I would definitely order it again. It was definitely spiced perfectly for medium in my opinion. A little heat but not clearing the sinuses level. The gravy was thick and tasted like it had cashews in it. Pretty rich and very good.
So that concludes week 2 of dining in Dunedin.
Week 3 ….? Hmmm there are a lot of Japanese restaurant so that might be next on the list…