Saturday, July 20, 2013
Taj Indian Masala, Sydney
All right, this one is about Strathfield. I stay here. This area is predominantly inhabited by Asians. Koreans, Chinese and Indians. Now for those who know Sydney, Indians would connect with Parramatta and Harris Park. Strathfield has many Indians but not to the extent of being synonymous or stereotyped. Now if it come to representation of various ethnic groups by looking at the various commercial establishments specifically in terms of eat outs and restaurants, I can safely conclude Strathfield is Korean. Close to 15 restaurants for Korean. Even for regional groceries, Indian stores do give a competition to the Asian grocery stores. Thee are about 4 stores for Indian groceries. But when it comes to Indian restaurants, my heart bleeds for Strathfield. Firstly, there are two restaurants and secondly, they are probably just about average.
Anyways, another Friday and we four friends from work are wondering what to do. Now this question is profound and I think it might be apt to specify the demographics of the group before you start thinking what is with wrong with these guys to be thinking what to do on a Friday night in a happening place like Sydney. 3 boys, 1 girl. 1 boy and 1 girl don't drink. 1 girl vegetarian and eats only Indian vegetarian. 2 boys vegetarian- 1 by history of eating habits as pure vegetarian and the other boy trying to restore eating habits to have a future (aka protective eating for preventive measures for high BP). And that leaves me- I need a reason to just go out on a Friday night and love Indian food. I am also on a diet but I try to convince myself by unusual tactics to say I am eating healthy for the rest of the week. Like chicken tikka and Biryani is better than curry. And sometimes succumbing to curry but then saying this is just a once off and I wouldn't have it for the next two months.
Anyways its 8 on Friday evening and we decide to head back to Strathfield. With Strathfield not having too many choices, the alternative is to go for Homebush. A short walk and we reach Homebush Station. There are 3 Indian restaurants, and one Korean called Hello Kyocho. Anyways we settle for Taj Indian Masala. This one is quite spacious and we settle in. We order the paneer pakoda and the bharwan khumb for starters. For main course the vegos go for the Dal tadka and the malai kofta and I settle for the goat curry.
Lets start with the starters. The paneer pakoda is the cottage cheese slices with spices dipped in a batter of besan or some flour and then deep fried. Usually accompanied with a mint sauce. The bharwan khumbh are mushrooms stuffed with cottage cheese and then dipped in a batter and then fried. Well coming to mushrooms, they looked gorgeous but tasted ok. Not too great. I think it goes back to the fact that mushrooms when fried leave a lot of water and that probably makes me not like such dishes. The button mushrooms looked very tempting but tasted probably ok. The paneer pakodas were about ok. Descent and average. Made me remember the pakodas on the way to Meerut in India. Again about ok. On another occasion when I have visited this place, it is worth mentioning that they serve the kebabs and tikkas on a sizzler plate. The tandoori chicken is with color to my dislike but when it comes in a sizzler plate, it just changes the equation. Most of the starters including the chaats and all are above average.
Next comes the main course. The breads were good, freshly baked and perfect. The naans and the rotis were good and fresh. We ordered a mix of rotis, galric naan, butter naan.
The daal was again about ok. Nothing phenomenal. Yellow lentils cooked in Indian style with a tadka. Well to be honest in Indian cuisine, unless it is dal makhani which is the black lentils, most other yellow lentils are supposed to be simple. The daal here was probably a bit thicker, but as I said, ok and descent.
The goat curry again is a favorite but I try to be careful when I have it outside. At the time of ordering I had made it extremely clear that I am ordering this dish if only the goat meat is actually goat and tender. Well once the dish arrived and started. Id say it was a bit above ok. The quality was ok. Tender. The curry was descent. Would I have it again? Yes, most probably. It wasn't too spicy in terms if chilli but yes overall oily like a rich gravy.
Next comes the malai kofta. Being a non vegetarian, take it from me that if I were to praise a vegetarian dish, there's probably something great. Well I am praising the Malai Kofta. It was amazing. Very creamy and slightly creamy curry with koftas made out of potato. This was simply awesome and amazing. Highly recommended.
My friends had the masala chai afterwards and they loved it as well.
All in all this place is probably average or a bit above average. The place is spacious and the decor is pretty average. Food wise pretty ok or good. Id come here than go to adjoining Indian joints such as Mirch Masala or Thousand spices. This joint has good food and good for a regular meal if you live in the neighborhood.
Taj Indian Masala
25, The Crescent,
Homebush NSW 2140.
Time Of Operation
Open 7 Days
11:00 AM - 10 PM