81-83 Christie Street
St Leonards, NSW 2065
I’ve had takeaway from Nilgiri’s before, but hadn’t really paid much attention to their restaurant tucked away upstairs. Chris and I finally decided to check it out yesterday, and were surprised to find the restaurant pretty packed – I live right next door to the place, and it took me over a year to discover it?! Tsk tsk.
The restaurant’s dark and cosy, and the service is absolutely phenomenal. The waiters make you feel right at home and our water glasses were always refilled before they were empty, without even asking. It’s the little things that count 🙂 Our waiter suggested the food for us, taking into consideration what we liked and what would compliment the food we’d chosen. The only thing I could nitpick was that the food took awhile to come out (amid a flurry of apologies) – we’re so used to Asian food and how they’re served lightning-quick that we get all jittery if we wait more than 10 mins for our food 😛
We started off with a smooth Mango Lassi which actually had real spices in it, not just mango+yoghurt that most other places serve. As an appetizer, we had Dosai (Indian crisp pancake filled with potato and veg and spices). It was served with 2 sauces – a curry/salsa and a mint yoghurt. The Dosai was utterly FANTASTIC!! One each simply was not enough 😉
Next up was the mains, which I was really happy with as we picked dishes I’d never had before. I’m normally boring and have the typical Indian food like butter chicken, rojan josh, etc… So I ended up having a selection:
Nahari Ghost (slow-cooked lamb in a clove-flavoured yoghurt sauce) – this was smooth and creamy and the lamb just melted in my mouth.. mmmm…
Murg chole Peshawari (caram-flavoured chicken dum-cooked in honey and fenugreek sauce) – the best one IMHO! It tasted like spicy tomato and was fabulous with the bread dipped in the sauce. Perfect!
Kadhai jheenga multani (wok-tossed prawns with pounded coriander and chilli) – there were only a few prawns in here which made me wish for more. It was so good :)~
Dalh (lentil and chickpea curry) – this was surprisingly good! I thought I’d be iffy about a vegetarian dish, but it was lovely
Zaaffrani lachcha (saffron flavoured bread) – I’m normally not a huge fan of Indian naan/bread, but this totally blew me away. It was so flavourful and perfect dipped in the curries!
All up, it’s a fantastic restaurant with spectacular service and even better food. It’s reaaaaally pricey though (well, to me anyway), around $50pp, so we’ll resign ourselves to eating at their cheaper takeaway joint “Nigiri’s @ Home” (which serves pre-packed frozen curries – very convenient and yum!) and go to their restaurant only for special occasions 😛
Dosai with curry/salsa and mint yoghurt
The 3 curries with saffron bread
Dalh with mango lassi
Level 1, 90 Hay St
Haymarket, NSW 2000
In my mind, what defines an authentic restaurant is one that’s filled with it’s own local people. Such is the case with Ramen-Kan in Chinatown.. tucked away in a hole in the way, you have to squeeze through the door then take a lift up to the little restaurant. It’s packed with Japanese and even the waitresses don’t speak much English. Seems that only the Japanese community know about this place, and a few lucky foreign folk (like us) that heard about it through word of mouth. I’d previously taken my parents there and they loved it too! Really authentic Japanese food and they have fab dishes that you won’t find in other Japanese joints.
I finally decided on green tea (soba) noodles with tempura. The noodles were crisp and fresh, though I was disappointed that the soy dipping sauce was warm – it’s supposed to be served chilled like the noodles, I’m sure?? The tempura was lovely though, the 2 prawns were crunch and delicious and the other 2 patties had prawns and onions – sooooooooooooo gooooood!!!!!!
Chris got katsu don (fried crumbed chicken with egg, on rice) which he always has at Japanese restaurants. He figured that it’s how he’ll determine if this place was better than the rest 😉 The meal was huge – the bowl of katsu don itself was big, and it also came with a salad and miso soup!
All washed down with a Ramune (Japanese soda), we had a fab Japanese meal. HIGHLY recommended especially if you love Japanese food. Food comes out quickly, even if they’re busy, and it’s all really cheap ($8-13 for a main). Very cool!
A really small entrance to Ramen-Kan, so easy to miss!
The cosy interior – still pretty empty as we were there so early
Green tea noodles with tempura
Sydney Fish Markets
The world’s second largest seafood market, The Sydney Fish Market is a total must-have for any visitor to Sydney. Heck, it’s a must-have even for Sydneysiders like us! we hadn’t been in absolute ages (think.. months), so it was time for a visit today since it was a public holiday (whee!).
It was a lovely sunny day and we went straight after our lunch at Ramen-Kan (above), with the intent to buy some nice fresh seafood for dinner. We pottered around and checked out all the seafood, before deciding on the obligatory salmon sashimi and some tiger prawns.
Then I spied salmon belly!!!!!!! See, the funny thing is tha Australians don’t rate salmon belly as a prized dish – they actually see it as scrap food, to be thrown away. The Japanese and Chinese, however, really rate these delicious little slivers of fatty fish. High in Omega 3 (ie. “healthy fat”, an oxymoron at it’s best!), these slippery suckers are absolutely fantastic panfried with some teriyaki or soya sauce. They’re creamy and buttery soft and have the most superb flavour. They’re nice served with rice, or mashed potatos – anything really! So back to the story…. there were LOADS of strips of salmon belly and I picked up 5 strips and do you know what it cost? AU$1.45!!!! I just gawped when I was told the price, felt like buying more 😉 Anyway, will cook it tomorrow and also make a fried rice to have with the fish.
It was bustling with people since today’s a public holiday
Loads of delicious fresh seafood
Fresh seafood platter
Sashimi, sashimi, sashimi!
My love, on the little tram we took
And it’s me! Looking rather fat in my lovely coat, I’m afraid
Dinner 😀 😀 😀
Since dinner was quite light, I cooked up some Rice Balls for dessert.
Oozing sweet mashed peanuts – so goooooooood
Hmm.. I hadn’t realised I’d eaten so much in just 24 hours..