Last weekend my finish-everything-on-my-plate (and have a go at everyone else’s) Dad came to visit and we headed to the football on Saturday night. We hadn’t been too concerned about dinner however around 7:30 I started to get a little hungry and having spotted Chutney Mary’s on the walk to the football, I started getting serious curry cravings. Now considering it was a Saturday night and with the football on I thought we had absolutely no chance of getting a table. I called on the off chance we may and lucky us, they had a table for two at 8:30 which was perfect.
We arrived at Chutney Mary’s which was busy but had a few tables spare. After a few minutes wait we were directed to our table and handed menus. By now I was very hungry so was hoping service would be quick and indeed it was. Dad ordered the Rogan Josh- lamb fillets in a rich tomato based sauce ($25).
Now my finish-everything-on-my-plate (and have a go at everyone else’s) Dad has that name for a reason. It is very rare (almost unheard of in the family) that he does not finish what is in front of him (old farm school values bless him). However, he did not finish his Rogan Josh. I’m not a lamb eater so could not help him out, however Dad commented that although the lamb was tender the dish lacked flavour. Big call from Dad, he is not a fussy eater and will generally eat most things the rest of us won’t. Case in point; my birthday cake this year – a Soufra cooked by speed-eater bf which unfortunately tasted like scrambled eggs; we all had one teaspoon, laughed together about how terrible it was (speed-eater too) and pushed our plates to the side, Dad on the other hand ate his ENTIRE slice and told us he didn’t see what the problem was- I’m not sure where his tastes buds are at sometimes). Anyway this dish wasn’t finished by Dad which I think it is a rather big reflection that he wasn’t impressed.
We also decided to order the Butter Chicken ($24). This dish was the winner of the night – beautifully cooked chicken fillets. I liked the creamy sauce the best and kept just eating that with our Saffron Aromatic Puloo (yellow rice; $4.50 per person). Dad liked the butter chicken much better than his Rogan Josh and indeed he did finish this one off (with me finishing the sauce off; what can I say- like father like daughter).
I love eating vegetarian dishes at Indian restaurants, they make the vegetables carry so much flavour. I was choosing between the Brinjal Bhaji (eggplant curry) and the Mixed Vegetable Curry as my usual choice, the Navratan Korma, wasn’t on the menu (disappointing). I ended up asking the waiter’s opinion and he commented he normally doesn’t eat eggplant but loves this dish- no more convincing needed. The Brinjal Bhaji ($20.50) looked delicious, however didn’t quite live up to expectation. The sauce was made from a paste of peanuts, cashews, sesame and coconut but it just didn’t quite have enough punch.
We also ordered some Naans to go with our meal; Garlic Naan (leavened white bread with a touch of garlic; $5.50) and Kashmiri Naan (leavened white bread filled with dried fruits; $6.50). The Garlic Naan was garlicky (more than a touch I’d suggest) which I did like however was a bit thin- I prefer ‘puffer’ Naan bread. I was really disappointed with the Kashmiri Naan, it had a bright red centre and it didn’t have a lot of flavour or even sweetness. This Kashmiri Naan had nothing on Jewel of The Park’s, I missed the whole sultanas and slivered almonds.
Chutney Mary’s was nice but nothing incredible. I thought it was on the pricer side and the dishes didn’t really reflect the higher price tag.