Saturday, September 18, 2010

chutney mary's

That curiously-named, funny-colour-schemed, well-known restaurant on the corner traffic lights in Subiaco that I had never really taken much notice of. How foolish I have been to disregard Chutney Mary's. Oh, the ignorance! I have nothing but praise for this restaurant. Quick foodies will be able to tell from the pictures that I actually went to 'Little Chutney's' next door, which is owned by the same company, and differ only slightly in menu and decor.

I was apprehensive about walking in at 7:30 on a Friday night without a booking; I asked how long service would be. Chutney's was already packed, but the waitress looked so relaxed. The middle-aged Indian lady just replied with a kindly smile: "Just fifteen minutes after your order, and then your food will be ready!", as if a long wait was a foreign concept, and she was educating the culturally clueless foreigner, me.

The interior design is so beautiful. There are these enormous chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and lovely warm lighting against the dark wallpaper covered in this shimmery silver pattern. The vibe: classy, but not pretentious or snobbish. Fresh orchids at the counter. The furniture modern but simple. That's what I like about Subiaco. It can be a little more expensive and fancier than I'm used to, but I always find it very down to earth nevertheless.

The service was a breath of fresh air: ample and responsive waiters who talked to you like people ("An extra entrée? The which? ... got it. No worries man." ) and our waitress took away our empty bottle of water and replaced it with a fresh one with ice without us even noticing. Applause.

And the food? On the website, Chutney's claims to pride themselves on "authentic dishes, the freshest ingredients, natural herbs, low cholesterol oil and special emphasis in homestyle cooking." Golly, no wonder the food tasted so amazing.

The Chicken Tikka: "Fillet of chicken marinated in yoghurt, chilli, ginger, coriander and traditional Indian spices – cooked in the tandoor oven" ($19) was perfect. On the outside I thought it would be dry, but it was just lean and tender and delicious all over - the marinade was excellent and not too overpowering. Paired with a curious little fresh salad on the side and that psychadelic-coloured yoghurt sauce. Really hit the spot - 10/10.

Our main, the Beef Korma: "A mild and very delicately spiced, mouth watering dish made with ground nuts and hints of ginger, garlic, onions and coriander" ($24) made me melt. I decided to go all out towards the end and just ate the curry and Garlic Naan ($6) with my bare hands. The meat: pull-apart-tender. The spices: so well balanced and just warmed me to my toes. Best curry I've had in years.

Round off that meal with some home-made gluten-free moist chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream, compliments of the lovely Siobhán. Cue 'Lie to Me' marathon.


Little Chutney's on Urbanspoon

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