Monday, September 1, 2014
Lal Qila, Pakistani, Surry Hills, Sydney
This one is about Lal Quila. A Pakistani joint in Surry Hills. One of my colleagues mentioned it was pretty good with the Biryani’s. After a long tired day, and when I didn’t want to cook on an evening just after the Sydney rains, this was the place. We got down at Central and walked down the busy Crown Street until we reached Cleveland Street. Took a right and walked past the Coles to arrive at Lal Quila. The décor was a bit cozy, with dim red lights. Stereotyped Indian restaurant ambience. We got a seat next to the windows. The menu is quite extensive and to be honest, interesting with a genuine variety. You go to a number of Indian Restaurants and it’s the same food items with different names dished out. Over here, it was definitely with more dishes and with a variety and my gut feel was- definitely Pakistani.
We started off with a Tandoori Chicken variant called as the Murgh-e-musallam. This came on a sizzler plate. The taste was pretty good. Well marinated and well spiced. Just a day before we had ordered Tandoori at another Indian restaurant, which probably had more quantity. However, I believe the taste was pretty decent here and what I loved was the fact that spices were well marinated. All in all, it does get the thumbs up from me.
Next we ordered the goat Biryani for mains. The menu had predominant options into beef and lamb. We asked the beautiful waitress if they had any curry with goat. She indicated there was the Karahi Goat was dish which was not on the menu and can be done. We ordered one karahi goat, but she indicated it might be too much and hence made it as a half karahi goat.
The food eventually came, and we were quite hungry. The quantity of Biryani was a mammoth. I was like I don’t the two of us can finish this. Now let’s go to the food. The biryani was great. Simply great. If you recall from my prior posts on Biryani’s and the different variants. This biryani was the Pakistani/ Mughal variant. Yellow and white rice, light fluffy basmati rice (not sticky). The spices were great- not too harsh or spicy but subtle, the fragrance was intoxicating. Long grained basmati rice which was fluffy and tasty. Loved it. The quantity was huge. Trust me, if you are coming here by yourself, you may not order the one whole serving, unless you are prepared to do a takeaway. In fact for the two of is boys, we still had to do a takeaway.
The karahi goat was good as well. Well spiced, thick gravy, like a korma and succulent goat pieces, topped with strands of ginger and green chillies. Well spiced and optimally oiled. I usually don’t have a curry with a biryani, but in this case, it went well. Besides, I personally prefer to have biryani’s which are moderately spiced and tender meat. I usually don’t like to have any curries or salan with the biryani, however, for some odd reason, the biryani at Lal Quila while tasty and fragrant, it did tempt me and my craving for something curry like. Somehow I thought the biryani was too dry.
For sweets, we ordered the gulab jamun, and I just loved it. Out of the world and freshly made. There is nothing a greater privilege to get fresh hot piping gulab jamun, specially after you finish your email and this just hit the spot.
Another thing, this is not a licensed restaurant. However, BYO is permitted for wine only.
All in all great food. Very cheap and large quantity. Good taste, and spices used. I did love coming here.
Would I come here again? Yes, most definitely.
Lal Quila, 351-353 Clevelan Street, Surry Hills 2010