Saturday, February 8, 2014
Abhi's Indian Fine Dining, North Strathfield
All right this one is about Abhi’s Indian Restaurant. It all started with my 32nd birthday. After a long day at work, I returned back. Originally I planned on going to this restaurant called Aki’s at Woollomoolo. Coming from city to Strathfield and then going back to Wooloomooloo, did put me off a bit, especially since I seemed to be high in spirits and that my mom and brother were not too keen to walk. So I did a quick look up and decided to give a try to Abhi’s, which is another restaurant at North Strathfield. Both Abhi’s and Aki’s belong to the same chain. Apparently Abhi’s has been around for 24 years, and this is where Chef Mahadevan started off. Of course in years to come, he did open Aki’s about 10 years ago at a more prime location at Finger Bay in the city.
Now I had heard of Abhi for quite a few years, but since it was quite off the public transport network, never really venture to the side of North Strathfield. But this year, to celebrate the big day and after getting sloshed with a few shots, I reckon there was no way I could go to Woolomoolo. Also, I checked up the entertainment book and it had a discount. Read the reviews and looked nice. So we took a cab from Strathfield station and got here. Now quite a little restaurant from the outside, as we stepped in, it was just full of people. We were asked if there was a reservation and we said no. Then we had to wait for 10 -15 minutes, before we got a seat. Well, the interiors look small, yet cozy and elegant with the dim lighting and the different and amazing silver wall paper with the black exotic design on it.
As we settled and looked into the menu, what I liked in the menu was that there were just too many dishes. A few select and that what makes the selection easier. We decided to go for the non-veg platter for starters. This had the lamb chops, the seekh kebab and the chicken Tikka. For the main course, we asked the waiter for the recommendations and the good ones, but somehow I got a feel that the waiter wasn’t too interested. A bit of a put off, when the person serving you says everything is good at our place, please order. A bit arrogant I suppose. But nonetheless, he told us Madras Prawn Vendakai was a good dish, which was quite popular and presented in master chef. The second dish we ordered was the Patiala goat curry. This was accompanied by the various breads.
Now once we did the order, it took long for the dishes to arrive. I mean quite a wait and we were really hungry. I did look around to see if I could see any waiter and ask him where my food is. But you know, what, there is also the art these guys have, to not look at customers. At the hindsight, I look back and think Aki's had a far better service. This one’s service while prompt could be a more friendly and responsive. But nonetheless, it’s not a deal breaker.
Let’s come to the food. The Mixed Tandoori Platter looked great as it was served. The food. Well the chicken tikka's were good. I mean in line with what I would expect from a fine dining. Good chicken Tikka's. Recommended. The Hariyali chops were the lamb chops. I liked them. They were tasty, but not out of the world. For people who like lamb, they should go for it. I liked the well cut pieces and with a little bit of fat on top of it. The seekh kebab, was about average. I wish it was juicier. A bit coarse in texture and a bit too much like run of the mill restaurants.
Next come to the Patiala Goat Curry. This was the Punjabi style slow cooked goat. It was dark brown gravy topped with coriander and ginger strands and cherry tomatoes. The taste was yum. It was well spiced. Very delicious. The beauty of this dish lied in the fact that the goat meat pieces were very soft and tender. And each piece was delectably selected, with a bit of fat with each piece which made it so soft and juicy. I loved the flavors. Beautiful. And you know what, it tasted like Punjabi north Indian curry.
Next the Madras Prawn Vendakai. Now this was a strange dish for me. To start off with, it was king prawns with okra. Now in the Indian style of cooking, that is not very regular, so I had my apprehensions. But when I tasted it, I liked it. It was really tasty. I mean, let me elaborate. It had an orange-ish smooth gravy, with a distinct south Indian flavor. The prawns were large and creamy. The okra went well with it as well. I loved this dish and would recommend it highly.
The breads were great and perfectly baked. The garlic naan and the butter rotis were really good. We ordered a portion of the Kashmiri Pilau. This was supposed to be with dried fruits and nuts, and to be honest, just about ok.
For desserts, we ordered the Gulab Jamun. Now I didn’t really expect much, to be honest, but this was amazing again. They served two Gulab Jamuns, served in sugar syrup topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a wafer of sesame. Awesome. The Gulab Jamun was warm and soft. They didn’t seem to be out of a ready to cook box or something, so very good I’d say and recommended again.
All in all, I had a real good experience. Really great and would highly recommend. Yes, it is fine dining so do expect the prices to be on the higher side. Average starter is about $18. The platter cost about $ 26. The main course ranged between $ 20-$30. The vegetarian curries are below $20.
Meal for two would cost about $100.
163 Concord Road,
North Strathfield NSW 2137
T (02) 9743 3061
F (02) 9743 6517
Lunch: Sun to Friday from 12 Noon
Dinner: All nights from 6 PM