Before I start this post let me reaffirm that I am not a professional food expert. When I go to a restaurant and I like or don’t like what I eat is entirely dependent on my food palate and experience of eating and cooking a particular cuisine. I cannot go to a French restaurant and review the food that is served there as I have never explored the finer nuances of the cuisine to understand how it should or shouldn’t taste. So my palate will never be able to discern whether the food is good, bad or just plain average.
On the other hand if you ask me to eat at an Indian restaurant, I will have an opinion on the food there, even if it may not be an expert opinion. Indian food runs in my blood; I grew up eating it and it is the food that comforts me every day of the year. So when “Varq” restaurant in Wembley called me for dinner to taste and review their food, I decided to go because I knew the food would be familiar.
Indian restaurants in Perth have been more or less a disappointment for me in the past. However, having eaten the best “Aloo Gobi” (Cauliflower and Potato) at the same restaurant 2 years ago. I was a little confident that the food would not let me down and thankfully it did not.
Located on a busy street in Wembley parking is a little difficult we were lucky to find a spot right outside the restaurant. Tastefully decorated the restaurant looked well maintained and clean. I loved how the decor was not very garish and the music was soft, making it easy to converse over a chilled glass of wine.
The staff seemed very friendly and attentive not just towards us but all the customers in the restaurant and, believe me, the restaurant was very busy. We received some good recommendations from the staff on the menu, which worked well.
After settling with a glass of white for me and chilled beer for the husband, we were served Poppadums with tangy Tomato chutney.
The menu was your typical North Indian fare that is offered in every restaurant in Perth but the dish that caught was my eye was the “Spicy Walnut Tikki”, which was pan fried Potato cutlets with walnuts. I immediately knew I wanted to try it. So we settled for the “Tikkis” and a “Tandoori non veg platter for 2”, which included “Lahusni tikka (Chicken marinated in Garlic), Tandoori Prawns (Prawns cooked in clay oven), Lamb Seekh Kebabs and Lamb Cutlets. The starters when they arrived looked fantastic with a very delectable Green chutney and an unassuming salad which to our surprise had a tempering of curry leaves imparting a very pleasant flavor. The Walnut Tikki was delicious, the Lamb cutlets were not overdone and I loved that. The Kebab, Prawns and Chicken, melted our mouths which we loved.
There was a lot to choose from but we wanted to try a meat and a vegetarian dish so we ordered the “Goat Curry” and “Vegetable Jalfrezi” with Naan and Raita. Having eaten Jalfrezi in other Indian restaurants, I was a little worried that it would be sweet. So we checked with one of the servers whose exact words to me were “Our food is proper Indian, none of our courses are sweet except the dessert”.
The food turned out to be exactly how she described it would be. The naan was soft and broke quickly soaking up the delicious gravy of the goat curry that was perfectly balanced. The Jalfrezi was thankfully not sweet and since it is essentially a stir fry I was glad to notice that the vegetables were crunchy and the flavors were not overwhelming. The Raita also was what I expected it to be, Yes NOT SWEET.
We ordered a ‘Pistachio Kulfi’ which is an Indian ice cream. And ‘Shahi Tukda’ a very traditional dessert made with Bread pieces fried and then soaked in sweet milk, a bit of your Bread pudding but without any Eggs. We did not enjoy the ‘Shahi Tukda’ as the bread was a little too hard instead of being soft as it is soaked in the Milk. But the Kulfi was spot on; it was not too sweet and was luscious. We were almost tempted to order another plate of the delectable ‘Kulfi’ as it was so good.
Both my husband and I are food lovers and know our Indian food and this meal at ‘Varq’ hit all the right spots for us. The food was not sweet like half of the Indian restaurants in Perth and nor was it spicy like the remaining half. I appreciated how the mild flavors and struck a balance so we could taste the real food. We left feeling the satisfied and happy and a bit sad because the restaurant is far away from where we live so we cannot order regular takeaways.
Disclaimer: Although the meal was on the house, the views on the food are mine. I was under no obligation from the restaurant to give them a favorable review. The write up is based on my visit to the restaurant on a particular day and on the food I tasted during my visit.