Monday, March 12, 2012

Abhi's Indian Restaurant, North Strathfield

Date night in the Jelly household has got into a bit of a routine lately. All too often we've been wanting to curl up with takeaway and watch a movie at home, rather than be the young and sprightly people we could be and go out trying new places to eat! After weeks of such behaviour, I'd finally had enough of date night being PJ night, squashed my Chinese dumpling craving, and headed off in the direction of Abhi's for the Indian food that boy was wanting (such a good wife!).

We turned up at 6:50pm without booking and the place was already jumping. For the next 15 minutes there was a constant stream of people (all with bookings) coming through the door. Regulars were greeted like old friends, while newbies like ourselves were well looked after, also. Our entree did take a while to come out, and just as I was getting a bit concerned that we'd been pushed to the bottom of the kitchen's list, an apology and some complimentary pappadums came out with the assurance that our bhaji rolls would be out in 2 minutes. They were.

Bhaji Rolls
Beef Ambotik
Pork Belly Special, with tamarind and ginger
Garlic Naan
Double Ka-Meetha

The bhaji rolls, to an ignoramus like myself, taste like a samosa with mustard and curry heat in the filling. They came with a lovely looking onion and tomato chutney. Luckily I didn't know it was tomato and onion, but merely looked at it's bright red appearance and decided to lick a bit to see what it tasted like. Ka-pow! The explosion of heat in my mouth was enormous. Luckily it was localised to my mouth, so I was all excited that I could cope with a strong chilli heat - until boy condescended to tell me if it's localised to the mouth, then it's not that hot. Hrm. Needless to say, the chutney was great, and really made the rolls become something special.

For the mains, we decided to go our own way, rather than doing much sharing, as boy was excited about the ambotik (a variation on vindaloo), while I couldn't go past the specials menu, as there was a pork belly option on offer. I'm so glad we did because my pork belly was divine. The crunch on the outside of the meat was subtle, but perfect, and the sticky sweet sauce with a hint of heat was delicious. Soo good.

The ambotik, which boy chose due to his love of vindaloo-heat, wasn't that hot at all, as I could cope with some, but the combination of flavours had boy raving. I enjoyed it also, but quickly made my way back to the pork belly so that he didn't have the chance to 'share' any more of my dish than he'd already got his fork onto!

Decidedly full, but with food of this quality there was always going to be room for dessert, so we shared a refined version of double ka-meetha, a bread and butter pudding-esq dish. The bread and ice cream on the plate were beautiful, but for me there was too much rose water added to the sauce.

We both loved our meal at Abhi's, which suddenly made all the other Indian places that we've been to in Sydney seem a little 'home-style' compared to Abhi's polished and sophisticated dishes.

Abhi's Indian on Urbanspoon Abhi's Indian Restaurant
163 Concord Road
North Strathfield

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