I can’t believe I’m doing this. Is it only me or do others prefer not to tell too many people about certain restaurants, just to keep it for themselves? If you find yourself wandering King Street in Newtown for a good Indian feed you may not even consider taking a side street for one of the best in the area. Would you? Well, let me give you insight to one of our locals.
My love affair with India and its food has been going strong since our month-long visit a year ago. The only thing I regret about being in India is not taking photo’s of all the meals we had, and if this blog was alive and kicking back then, things would be very different.
Delhi ‘O’ Delhi can be found by wandering down Erskineville Road a couple of blocks from King Street, under an apartment building by the rail lines. Unless you get here early, you need to book, my friends. Don’t expect pre-made curries blistering under heat lights here as what you’ll find is white table cloths, a smart and modern menu compiled by Abul Bashar of Oh! Calcutta fame and top notch service from attentive, yet unobtrusive wait staff.
Many months ago the menu was quite different, yet impressive. On this visit the menu seems sharper and much more impressive … almost a tad fancy. Another word I may throw in … better.
To begin the proceedings we opt for the khast raj kachori (12)- a flaky flat disc-shaped pastry filled with potato mixture and topped with a variety of chutneys. What came out was something much more familiar and memorable to us. Something we absolutely loved in India. Pani puri – the most common street food in India. These little golf ball-sized thin pastry puffs are traditionally tapped on one side to break the shell and filled with a runny lentil mixture and eaten in one bite. This is the first time I’ve seen them in Sydney. Here they’re lightly filled with spiced potato and a triple drizzle of mango chutney, minted yoghurt and riata. The shredded fresh date is an ideal garnish.
Soon follows the tikha kukkad (13) – spatchcock marinated overnight with shrikhand, Iranian saffron and tandoori spices, cooked in a clay oven. I’m really loving this as well. The meat on these short-lived birds is beautifully cooked and tender and perfect with the fried herbs, lemon and cherry tomatoes.
The duck varuval (19) comes twice cooked (firstly sauteed) with dry coconut and pepper in a rich coconut sauce. The flavour is earthy and delicious and I found the large chucks of breast a bit arid and difficult to swallow. Although the Kingfisher Beer washed it down well. The pistachio lamb (20), cooked in a saffron yoghurt sauce is lovely and tender and very flavoursome. The side dish of jeera aloo (8) – cumin flavoured desiree potatoes pan-tossed with fresh tomato and coriander – is a nice accompaniment with the two wet dishes.
Gulab jamun (8) is another thing I fell in love with in India. Warm and aromatic balls of fried dough dripping in sweetly spiced sugar syrup. Divine. One of the best I’ve had in Sydney. Worth it even at $8.
I can’t help but be impressed by this place. Since our first visit, the menu has definitely improved and I love the effortless approach to fine dining in a relaxed environment.