Nilgiri’s – Feast of India, Sydney

We went to Nilgiri’s on Friday night to try their new menu. Here’s what we had:

Bhel Puri (above) whole meal flour crisps, sprouts, fresh herbs, tamarind chutney & chick pea flour vermicelli.

Tali Gobhi Hara Dhania Chatni (above) batter-fried cauliflower, green coriander & cashewnut chatni.

Khumb Makki Saag Methi (above) corn kernels and mushrooms with pureed spinach.

Zeera Aloo Muttar Nariyali Khurma (above) chat potatoes and green peas coconut khurma.

Mango Creme Brulee (above).

Manjit’s at The Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney

We went to Manjit’s at The Wharf last night. It is located at Darling Harbour therefore the restaurant has a harbour view. The cuisine here is modern Indian and it is divine.

The view before it gets dark.

The view after it gets dark.

Starter no 1: Gol Gol Gappa (above)
A contemporary twist on a classic street food delight. I believe it’s pani puri. They are tiny, crunchy, puffed bread filled with spiced chickpea, potato, onion, herbs and flowers. It’s served with tamarind and amchur (mango powder) caviar. You pour it into the puri and eat it all in one go. It was very fresh and spicy. It tickled the back of my palate. Just the way I like it.

Complimentary poppadoms and they were rolled! Photo above.

Starter no 2: Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Khumb (above)
Grilled whole organic mushrooms filled with paneer and cottage cheese, spiced corn and water chestnut.

Main no 1: Kaju Ki Sabzi (above) is one of their signature dishes. It is (as described on the menu) “a preparation of cashew nuts sautéed with mixed spices, served with caramelized onion” but there is a surprise there. This sabzi is topped with a spinach kofta stuffed with paneer. It looks like a saag paneer scotch egg!

Main no 2: Phool (above) is described as cauliflower pan cooked with coriander seeds, served on potato espuma and toasted cumin. Espuma is Spanish term for froth or foam, by the way. So, if you are expecting aloo gobi kind of dish here, you are in for a treat.

Desserts

My dessert: Apple Jalebi (above)

John’s dessert: Chai Creme Brulee (above)

Sunday Lunch with Don, Lorraine and Moet

Don and John chilling…

Gigi Pizzeria in Newtown

Gigi Pizzeria is one hip vegan pizza place we have been thinking about going for a long time. I don’t know how many times we talked about it. In the end, though, it all came together when a friend from the area suggested to have dinner together at Gigi Pizzeria on a Saturday evening.

No reservations
They do not take bookings and the place is always busy, especially on the weekends. So, you queue outside until a table is available. We would’ve liked to sit at the entrance overlooking the street but ended up sitting so close to the oven. I would say we felt the heat, especially on an incredibly hot evening. You know how hot it gets in Sydney and you sweat in all kinds of weird places even without the help of a pizza oven.

Food at Gigi Pizzeria
Well, everything is vegan here. They use the traditional Neapolitan method of pizza making. Their pizza oven is a wood-fired one with a stone base. All of their pizza is same size: 13 inches in diameter.

Here’s what we had at Gigi Pizzeria:
Funghi e Radicchio (below)
Swiss brown mushrooms, garlic, dairy free blue cheese, parsley, radicchio, & roasted walnuts, extra virgin olive oil.

Cavolo (below)
Cauliflower puree, artichokes, pine nuts, capers, currants, garlic & parsley, extra virgin olive oil.

This was quite an experience with vegan pizza and we are actually thinking of going back to Gigi Pizzeria again soon.

 

Chatkazz, Harris Park with Madhu and Kushal

Our friends, Madhu and Kushal, took us to Chatkazz last night for a night of Indian street food. It was fantastic! We are thinking of bringing Dad here. He would love it.

It is such a busy place. With all the hustle and bustle it actually feels like you are in India!

They have chairs, menus, pens and order slips outside where you wait for a table. While you’re waiting, you choose what you want from the menu and then scribble it down on the order slip.

Once you are inside, food just keeps coming so fast; you wouldn’t believe. Here we are, just before having incredible street food…

And, here’s what we had:

Sabudana Vada (above)

Chhole Bhatura (above)

Pani Puri (above) They are one of my old time favourites.

Dahi Puri (above)

Khaman-Dhokla (above). Another old-time favourites of mine.

Chinese Bhel (above): This was everyone’s favourite. I have just tracked down the recipe this morning. I will make it.

Chatkazz has a separate sweet shop. Those colourful sweets were so inviting when we popped in before dinner. I mean, look at them.

So, we bought some sweets after dinner but Kushal had already picked up some jalebi before dinner. He says jalebi is the first one they run out at the shop. Jalebi is one of my favourite Indian sweets. Thanks to Kushal I came home with some.