A couple of years ago I lived in Strathfield and while I was there I always walked to Homebush when I wanted Indian food. I never visited Royal India even though it’s on the main street of Strathfield. I think the wine glasses scared me off. Any place with wine glasses must be expensive, right? Wrong. The mains at Royal India are $10-15 and the wine glasses are actually for BYO alcohol. This is a good place for a cheap feed.
The reason I finally visited Royal India was for a farewell dinner for a couple of work colleagues. They’re from the UK and they’ve often boasted that, as Brits, they like their curries hot – “not like you wimpy Australians”. This left me a little concerned for a few people in our group who aren’t chilli lovers. Would this place be too authentic for them? Luckily not. I didn’t sample the Vindaloo, which was probably the hottest item on the menu, but the other dishes weren’t extraordinarily hot. They were spicy, but they didn’t make my nose run.
The dish that really stood out for me at this meal was the Palak Paneer. It had a good flavour and the cheese was perfectly cooked and not rubbery. If only all Palak Paneer was this good.
The two mildest dishes were the Butter Chicken and the Cheese Kofta. The butter chicken didn’t stand out for me and I didn’t taste the dumplings. They kept Miss Mild very happy though.
We were expecting the Mutton Xacuti to be very hot, but it wasn’t. However it was still well flavoured with spices.
I had a pot of Masala Tea which made about a cup and a half. It was pleasantly spiced and I enjoyed it.
For dessert I had Kulfi. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never had it before. I need to make up for lost time though. It’s a great alternative to icecream. I had the pistachio kulfi which was beautiful. Sweet and nutty it would have stood alone very well. Strangely it was served with strawberry topping which looked artistic, but really wasn’t a good partner for the flavour of the kulfi.
It’s difficult to comment on service when you visit with 30 people. I’ve never been out with a group this size without some confusion. To their credit the staff at Royal India were good humoured. I’d certainly recommend a visit, although a smaller group would probably work better.
Ratings (out of 5 snorts)