Sunday, June 16, 2013
Taste of North India, Coffs Harbour
All right, This is day 2 at Coffs Harbour. After what I can probably say was the best day in a very long time, I was tired and just looking forward for a great dinner and crashing to bed. Well, before I tell you how the restaurant was, I guess, you got to hear what I want to say about my awesome day. Well it started at 6:30, when I woke up and went alone to the beach which was 100 m away from my place. It was divine, with the sun rising and everything clean and untouched. the dew drops preserved on the leaves and the great Aussie lifestyle. People out for a job, swim, surf and kayaking at as early as 7 in the morning. A sumptuous breakfast of eggs and bread at a petrol station, a morning local street market next to the beach followed by a drive to Dorigo and a 7 kms walk in the rain forest, which nearly made me think I might not make it. Pristine rain forest and yet the sunset at 5:15, with 3 kms to trek back was the adrenaline rush. with no lights, no mobile network, no rangers was just on the edge. Using the flashlight on the mobile, we made it through the last 3 kms in darkness. After all this, as we drove back to Coffs Harbour, All I wanted was a good meal and then sleep.
I decided to try out Taste of North India once again. For one, I am a pure North Indian and I got to admit that this is the first I have seen where a restaurant is dedicated to north Indian Cuisine. Although yesterday we didn't get a chance, today at 6:30 in the evening it was abuzz with people. It seems to be quite a popular restaurant over here. We entered and settled down. There is a long pathway for outside seating. Inside a number of tables and let me tell you, in the next half an hour, there were no seats left.
Come to the order, we started with the Keema samosa (lamb mince patties) and the Seekh Kebabs (lamb mince on skewers). the samosas were to my liking. Freshly deep fried, you could see the oil on the paper. Perhaps if the restaurant guys had used some absorbing paper before serving. But nonetheless, the Samosa were delicious. In fact most of the other tables also seemed to be ordering the same entree. The filling was cooked and spiced lamb mince and served with a mint chutney. Perfect.
The seekh Kebabs on the other hand were just about average and nothing to boast about. It is probably the kind of kebabs which I don't like too much and perhaps gets served at every Indian restaurant outside India.
For mains I wanted to have chicken but I didn't want to go for the stereotyped butter chicken or chicken tikka masala etc. So I order the dish called Chicken Fry- Boneless chicken cooked with onions and tomato do piazza style. There were no goat dishes so the other dish we ordered was the Bhuna Ghost or the Pure north Indian dish cooked with cumin, crushed coriander seeds , ginger and fresh coriander leaves, For breads, we ordered a mix of Keema Naan, Garlic Naan, Peshawari Naan and Roti.
The Chicken Do Piazza was great. Lightly cooked with pure tomato and onion gravy with finely diced garlic. It resembled more of the pure north Indian chicken curry cooked at the Punjabi households in Delhi and Punjab. Actually it was just what I wanted. You know how sometimes you winge at Indian food, eating outside despite being an Indian, when you want something simple and not over spiced. Well this was it. Coupled with the keema naan, it was really tasty. The keema naan or the bread with a lamb mince stuffing was also really good quality bread, baked and served hot.
The bhuna ghost was also amazing. I mean lamb is usually chewy and not as soft as goat. Come to Indian restaurants, they mostly serve goat dishes which turn out to be actually lamb. But in this case, I was surprised to see lamb with no smell and so soft. In a copper karahi, served with julienne ginger and chopped red chillies, this dish was also quite delicious, although not as light as the chicken.
The garlic naan was also pretty good. Id say all the breads were perfectly and freshly baked and served hot. What was the discovery of the evening was the peshawari naan. The description on the menu read as stuffed with almonds, cashew nuts and sultana. Well to begin with the bread was just too sweet, but it was really yum. You wouldn't have this bread with a spicy curry, but I used it as a sweet dish and I loved it. Really nice.
We followed with a cup of tea and then the urge for a sweet dish overpowered me. And then came the Gulab Jamun. it was pretty different for presentation. Two Gulab Jamuns, topped with grated coconut and served with cream between two lemon wedges. The gulab jamuns were delicious, although I wished it was a bit more hot.
All in all, Id say this restaurant is the number one Indian restaurant in Coffs Harbour. Really delicious food. Its quite popular. There was group of school girls who had apparently finished a performance came over with their teachers and settled in. The vibrancy and buzz won my heart out in this place.
Taste of North India
396A Harbour Drive (Jetty Strip)
Phone: 02 66511668