I love it when a restaurant takes pride in what they do. It makes them more appealing and credible. It shows that they are willing to take risks and stand by what they believe in. And ‘Manjit’s’ in Sydney is definitely that. They have a few outlets in Sydney. However, we visited the one in the beautiful wharf of Barangaroo.
Spacious, big, comfortable and a view to die for, it sure looked like a place where we could spend some time eating Indian food. It was a scorching day in Sydney, and I was just glad for the air conditioning. Usually, when I visit a restaurant for blogging, I like to let them decide the menu for us as I find that they want bloggers to try certain dishes which they are known for. While, I was given a choice to choose anything from the menu, I decided to let them get whatever they wanted me to taste and I was thankful for that because everything we had was really delicious.
Our server was a lovely girl called ‘Nupur’ who was affable and charming. She knew the menu well and was able to talk to us about the flavors of the various dishes.
Here is what we had:
Paan Martini – Paan is a mouth freshener which is very popular in India and is usually made up of many delicious, fragrant ingredients that are rolled together in a beetle leaf. It was refreshing and perfect to whet our appetites for the meal that was to follow.
British Raj – Double Hendrick’s Gin with Vermouth, Cucumber, and Tonic. The husband loved it and found it really refreshing.
Gol Gol Gappa – Gol Gappa or Pani Puri, one of the most popular roadsides, treats from India, it is something that I miss terribly. Deep fried ball so dough puffed up and fried to crisp. It is then filled with boiled Potatoes and spices and filled with a delicious concoction of water made with sweet Tamarind chutney and spicy green chutney. It is like an explosion of flavor in your mouth and the one that was served to us delightful. We really enjoyed this, and I could have had a few more if I could.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Khumb – This tongue twister named after a popular Bollywood movie was a vegetarian starter of grilled whole Mushrooms stuffed with spiced corn, and Cottage Cheese. Topped up with a Beetroot puree and pickled Ginger it was delicious.
Crab Uttapam – A superb take on a fermented lentil crepe which is traditionally served with vegetables or Potatoes. The restaurant had served it with curried Crabs and caviar. The husband who doesn’t really have crabs or caviar loved it all and finished it quickly.
Fish Malai – Tender pieces of Fish marinated and grilled gently to perfection, served with a Tamarind chutney, Peppermint Oil, Saffron Oil, and Olive oil. The oils worked beautifully with the fish, and the husband mentioned how much he loved the Saffron oil.
Banjara Tikka – Tender grain fed chicken grilled perfectly in the Tandoor (clay oven) served with a decadently creamy Cauliflower Puree with beetroot powder. The cauliflower puree was the creamiest I had ever eaten.
Bharrah Kebbab – This was the crowning jewel of the starts. Lamb cutlets marinated for a few hours and grilled till they melted in mouths. Served with a trio of sauces, the cutlets just melted at the slightest of touch.
Baingan Takatak – Bharta or Roasted Eggplant cooked in an Onion and Tomato base. Now as a North Indian I am a bit partial to Roasted Eggplant, and I have to admit that I have always been disappointed with it in other restaurants. But let me tell you, this was the BEST bharta I have ever eaten in my life. There was a decadent smokiness about it, and the flavor lingered in my mouth even after I had finished dinner. We had the eggplant with a very big Naan and this was the highlight of the main course for me. The dish is brought to your table in a bowl covered with a tall glass lid filled with smoke and opened with a flourish. It definitely brings in some drama.
Lamb Shoulder Anark Ali – The signature dish of Manjit’s this Lamb on the bone cooked overnight with Pomegranate and Molasses. Without even touching it looked like it was almost falling apart. Mopped up with a crunchy piece of Naan, this is another dish that you must have if you are a meat lover. The dish was not too spicy nor bland, the flavors were just right, and the Lamb was happy to just give up in the gravy.
Jhinga Malabari – Prawns cooked in a south Indian style, coconut curry. The prawns were tender and freshly prepared, and the spices were spot on. The husband who loves Prawns confirmed how delicious it was.
Malai Kofta – Potato & Ricotta dumplings deep fried and then served in a creamy Tomato & Cashew gravy. The cone shaped dumplings looked really cute in the sauce. This is another dish that must have with a freshly baked Naan (bread). The dumplings were soft and fell apart at the slightest of touch and the sauce while it had cream was not very heavy.
Dum Biryani – Another specialty of the restaurant, the iconic Biryani cooked in a pot, covered with pastry to seal in the flavors. To our surprise, the Biryani was not too oily or under spiced. Each grain of rice was cooked perfectly, you could taste the Cardamom and Bay leaves through every bite. It was fragrant and smoky and fresh. Since I make a decent Biryani myself, I am very picky about the texture, flavour and smell because a lot of restaurants in Sydney who claim to make a good Biryani usually disappoint. This one was spot on, each grain of rice was separate and the meat cooked well.
We really had no space for desserts but then you always have space for desserts right. So we ordered:
Apple Jalebi – Traditionally Jalebi is a flower shaped dessert that is made with a lentil batter and then dipped in a sweet sugar syrup. However, here it was made with Apple slices that were dipped in a batter before getting fried and then dipped in a Rose & Saffron syrup. It was a delightful take on a dessert that is not very well known outside of India.
Deconstructed Shahi Tukda – OMG, if there is one thing that you must have at this restaurant even if you are full, you must have this decadent dessert. Deep fried pieces of bread soaked in a sugar syrup and then served with thickened milk. I cannot tell you how sinful this was. I just didn’t want the dessert to get over. And I would be happy to travel to the city just to have this decadence.
We left after 4 hours of stuffing our face with really top notch Indian food. I will definitely recommend you visit Manjit’s to taste how really good Indian food should taste like.