I am usually a little wary when I am asked to visit an Indian restaurant to taste their food. And there are a few reasons behind it:
1- I am not an expert on Indian food. I know my spices and understand the flavors, but there is so much I have yet to eat and cook that I can put my hand on my heart and honestly say that I am not an authority on everything Indian.
2-A dish may be cooked really well, but it may not be as per my liking. So, am I right to say that the chef is not good when he may have prepared something that actually tasted good but since it isn’t as per my liking it doesn’t pass muster
3- All restaurants in Australia have the same menu which is mostly North Indian, and it irks me because there is more to Indian food then Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka masala and it’s a shame that restaurants are not willing to take the chance to showcase the brilliance of Indian cuisine.
However, sometimes I do make an exception especially if I have heard some good things about the place. So when I was asked to have lunch at Urban Takda , I said yes because I knew a few people who had been there and spoke highly of the food. So, on a sweltering summer day, the husband and I drove down to the restaurant to taste what was on offer.
The restaurant was surprisingly large and tastefully decorated, it looked like an upmarket fine dining restaurant where you could spend a lot of time eating and just having a comfortable experience. We were immediately greeted by our very affable host ‘Inder’ who took us to our seats and spent some time talking to us about the philosophy behind the restaurant and the food, which resonated well with me because passionate people make food with love and for me, that is already a win.
Since I am trying to be a vegetarian and teetotaler, the husband and I divided the menu between us where I tasted all the vegetarian food, and he ate all the meat dishes, and I am glad we did that because between us we ate a lot of food.
Here is what we ate:
Sharabi Lassi – A delicious take on Lassi, with a dash of alcohol in it. Garnished with pistachios and Almonds, the husband, totally loved it, mainly as the day was scorching.
Virgin Mojito – The classic Mocktail with fresh Mint and Strawberries definitely prepared me for the feast that lay ahead.
Kurukuri Chaat – Chaat is basically street food from India, and every city has many different varieties which This was a treat from India with large crispy fried wheat wafers with mashed potatoes and chickpeas, drizzled with mint, yogurt, tamarind chutney & mango powder. The crunchy crackers were served with a flourish, and it was delicious. We licked our bowls clean.
Aloo ki Chalu Tikki – I loved the name of this dish, and it tasted perfect. Fried Potato patties that were topped up with the usual garnish that you got back home. Served in pretty cocktail glasses, the burst of Pomogrante with the spicy Tikki and the yogurt worked really well. For a minute we were transported to the streets of Delhi and almost shamelessly asked for a second helping but had to stop ourselves at the sight of the next starter being brought to our table.
Zarar Lasooni Jhinga – I was almost full with the Chaat and Tikki that I had devoured, so the Prawns cooked with Garlic and Zatar spices were left to the husband to enjoy, so totally loved the balance of flavors.
Bhunni Mirch ka Malai Tikka – Decadent Tandoori grilled chicken breast fillets rubbed with home ground chilies, spices, and cream. The husband doesn’t enjoy Chicken, but he finished everything on the platter and told me it was one of the best Tikka’s he had ever had. The fact that the Chicken was fresh and boneless, it is just melted at the slightest touch.
Adraki Champein – The hosts were very confident of this dish and thank god the husband has an appetite. The Lamb chops cooked in a Tandoor to perfection fell off the bone every time my husband lowered the fork on the plate.
One would think that we would have no space in our tummies after having so much. But then there were mains. We waited for a while and spent some time talking to the owners before the main were brought to our table.
There was Machi Kadhai Masaledaar, wok tossed Barramundi fillets in a spicy sauce.
Dhabe wala rara meat which was lamb cooked in fresh masalas with ginger, red chilies, onion & capsicum. The husband absolutely loved this, and it was paired beautifully with the Tandoori Naan and the Methi Paratha.
I had the Jira Rice with Bukhara Daal Makhani which was dark lentil cooked overnight with fresh cream and Tomatoes in clarified butter. The dal was exquisite, one of the best I have had in a while.
For desserts, we were served a platter which had Gulab Jamun. Ricotta cheese dumplings with homemade Pistachio kulfi, which was polished off in seconds. There was also ‘Mango & Coconut Savarin’ which was a Coconut Dacquoise biscuit, coconut cremeux, mango bavarois, and white chocolate spray accompanied with home-made mango kulfi.
We left feeling so full that we could burst. The food was hearty and wholesome, a different take on what Indian food really is with the menu offering more than your usual north Indian fare. I would definitely recommend you to visit this place and eat more than Butter Chicken which is also on offer here.