Jervois Road is often overlooked for its dining out potential due to its close proximity to the hospo-hefty Ponsonby strip. A recent discovery, one Indian Kitchen along Jervois Road, makes me now wish I were a Herne Bay local. Situated about half way down is Indian Kitchen, an unsuspecting but well-presented Indian restaurant that was balefully empty on the Thursday evening I visited (although they did a good takeaway trade in the time I was there).
The dining room is dark and moody with lots of Aboriginal art on the walls and a large flat screen playing Bollywood music videos in the background. Rare for an Indian restaurant, Indian Kitchen has a smart wine list (probably to cater for the discerning neighbourhood palate) and a number of ‘adult’ lassi that have been spiked with liquor.
The Kitchen’s menu is of the Northern persuasion, some many of the curries will be familiar to you. It was refreshing, however, to see a few that don’t often feature on most Indian restaurant menus, including the chicken mughlai and chilli chicken (the latter a by-product from the Chinese-Indian border). Miraculously, whether you’re there for lunch or dinner, all the mains curries (including the vegetarian options) will set you back a mere ten dollars. This realisation is a dangerous one, tempting one is order more curry (and naan bread, and chutneys) than one actually needs. But as they say, curries always taste better the next day.
Not feeling particularly akin to our vegetarian counterparts, my mum and I overlooked the vegetarian options and ordered a beef madras and lamb saagwala (both $10). Although both mains are served with basmati rice, what meal at an Indian restaurant is complete without double carbs, the second namely in the form of naan bread. But instead of opting for the usual naan, I ordered the roti ($2.90; described by the waitress as a less fluffy version of naan), which doesn’t make an appearance on menus often.
The curries arrived in traditional copper-toned serving pots and both were exceptional examples of their respective types. The saagwala was a resplendent spirulina-green with a strong garlic, cumin and fennel flavour to it; the lamb itself had been tastily marinated and held its own despite the delicious gravy it was served in. The beef madras was a thick, golden curry nubbly with coconut threads and spiked with ginger, cardamom and mustard seeds. Mum and I both agreed these were the best curries we’d had in a while. The roti was a thin, wholemeal pancake with large blisters all over its surface; I personally preferred this to regular naan bread, for its lightness and rougher texture.
Despite the geographic disparity between Herne Bay and home, I’d be happy to make the trek to Indian Kitchen again and again if they continue to churn out curries as good as this all the time. The service was attentive (although there were few patrons to distract them), the surrounds immaculate and the food divine. Here’s to discovering the flavours of the subcontinent all over again.
If you fancy eating from Indian Kitchen but don’t want to go out, have it delivered to your door by clicking on here. Order online from Indian Kitchen and use our special Cheap Eats discount until the end of January by typing in CHEAPEATS20 when you order