Being Indian it’s pretty hard to review an Indian restaurant, because let’s face it, it’s never going to taste like Mum makes. But we did give it a go at Chand in Rothesay Bay and were pleasantly surprised.
It’s a really lovely space considering its location in a fairly ordinary block of shops. The interior is warm with highly decorated chairs (on wheels! – odd, but really quite convenient when you want to get up) and ornate screens with traditional prints.
It was jam-packed on a Sunday night and people continued to file through for both takeout and eat-in all night. We ordered a Garlic Dahl, Prawn Curry, Beef Vindaloo and Chicken Tikka between four and at $13/main it was a steal.
Would I rate it as one of my favourite Indian restaurants in Auckland? No. Would I go back again for a hearty, tasty, good value meal with a group of friends. Definitely. The garlic dahl was rich, garlicky, tomatoey and very nice; the Prawn Curry, while creamy, still had good layers of flavour complexity; the chicken tikka was a tad dry but nicely flavoured (and with the subtle raita the dryness was not overwhelming); and the Beef Vindaloo had a nice spicy-sweet kick. The chunks of beef in the Vindaloo were a bit big for my liking and could have been softer but this didn’t really affect my overall enjoyment of it.
The service was friendly and quick and we loved the fact that it was an inviting place to sit and chat. Many of our cheap eats have amazing food but are not really the kind of places you feel like hanging around in for too long after your meal. It’s the perfect neighbourhood restaurant and clearly well-loved by locals. It’s the kind of place you could afford to go to regularly, especially since it’s BYO. There’s also a range of local beers all at $5 and Indian Beers at $6.
The menu is extensive with each meat being available in a wide range of different sauces and cooking methods and all mains are $13. It is all North Indian so you won’t find anything like Masala Dosa or Dahi Puri on the menu. It is fair to say there’s a lot of catering to the local market so make sure you ask for hot if you want it (the mild really is mild – no chilli at all).
We liked Chand. Great for Sunday-night-don’t-feel-like-cooking situation. Perhaps not to entertain your super-foodie friend or impress a first date but perfect for a casual meal with friends or dinner with the family.