Thursday, September 24, 2015
Utsav Indian Restaurant, Charlestown
All right, this is one of those restaurants which we visited twice, over two consecutive weekends. Now, it was more of a coincidence, and more chance to sample more food to be honest. The first week, we were in Lake Macquarie and after a day of barbecue and reds on a bright sunny day, we were out for dinner. Now close to Lake Macquarie, there weren’t too many places in Belmont or Swansea and the fact that Utsav had such great reviews on trip advisor and as number 1. So we drove the 14 kms in search of good food. The second time, we were on our way to Coonabarabran and started from Sydney to Charlestown. When I booked accommodation, I didn’t realise this is where Utsav was as well. Reaching at 8:30 again, Charlestown was nearly closed, with Utsav being one of the few restaurants which are open until late.
The gobhi 65, my oh my, what a disaster. The gobhi or the cauliflower florets dipped in a batter and deep fried were about ok, but it was served in a chutney sauce on a flat plate. Not exactly Gobhi 65. To me, Gobhi 65, a variation of the famous Chicken 65 from Hyderabad, has to be crunchy, flavoursome and with curry leaves. So this was quite a disappointment for us.
Let’s come to the main course. We have come across a few dishes- butter chicken, the daal tadka, and goat Rogan Josh. The Butter chicken is good. Most restaurants here do mess up butter chicken making it over creamy and too sweet. The butter chicken here was good, above average Id say. It was fresh, the curry wasn’t too smooth or thick in consistency. I got to tell you, I liked it. So a yes to the butter chicken. The only thing which did put me off a bit was when the order was taken, I was asked how much spicy or hotness, which the true dilli wallah would know. Butter chicken isn’t hot;-) But I liked the butter chicken here.
The Daal tadka or the yellow lentils was again good and flavorsome. Simple, with slight masala, topped with fresh ginger. Sometimes, you just want to have simple no frills food. This daal was like that. With roti’s it went well.
Next came the Goat Rogan Josh. Well, when I ordered, I was sceptical. Sceptical because goat is usually either not fresh, or too chewy, or substituted with Lamb. Indian eateries do make a mess of goat dishes, and the number of times I have ordered and been disappointed is far too high. Too high that I have stopped ordering goat at times. Anyways, that was the past.
At Utsav, I took a leap of faith and let me tell you, it was fantastic. The goat Rogan Josh when served came in a thick brown gravy, with some coriander and ginger strands on top of it. The curry was great. The quality of goat was also good. Soft and well textured. In fact both me and my friend who are fanatics for goat, loved it. So a thumb up from my side.
The rotis, naans and breads are fresh. The salted Lassi is really good over here. The gulab Jamuns and rasgullas are descent.
So overall a great place. In a place like Charlestown, its doing good business. We did interact with the owner, and other staff as well. The team tries to look after you and give you good customer service and they do request for Tripadvisor feedback. So I would like to come here again.
If there is one thing I would change about this restaurant- it would be the colour of the walls. Not Maroon or dark red colour on the walls please. It isn’t exotic, it just makes it look shady. Watch a few episodes of Gordon Ramseys – make it light colured walls and it will look classy and bigger.
2/199 Pacific Highway,Charlestown, NSW 2290
02 4906 0506