Tuesday, December 29, 2015
All right, this one is a new find. Five Docks has been an area, which I have been visiting over the years. It started with going to Himalaya’s –a Pakistani Indian joint, which is sensational. I have been visiting here since 5 years. Next came an Afghan joint- Bamiyan- which is also great. And now Dosa Hub- what a smashing sensational find. A few weeks back, someone recommended this joint for Dosa’s.
Since the suggestion has come through two months back, I have visited this place close to 5 times now. Dosa Hub, usually quite busy on a Friday and Saturday night and might have a waiting, so I’d suggest, calling up and making a reservation beforehand. Beware on a regular week day, it may close by 9, so getting early is always good. We have had a situation when we have visited and then had to go back to find food elsewhere.
Now the décor of the restaurant, is basic and yet very elegant. White interiors, with good focus lights and glass paintings on the wall, make it a very good ambiance. A bit too many tables and small tables, but you know what- probably makes it cosy- and like they say – if the food is awesome, then it’s all worth it. Outside the shop on the pavement, interestingly they have put in a green carpet which looks like artificial grass and have seating over there. On a nice evening, would be great to sit outside as well.
As you sit down, let me just get to the point. The restaurant has a fabulous list of dosa’s. Quite an interesting mix- the speciality being the Karam Dosa – which is their speciality. The regular fanfare of the masala, paper masala, ghee dosa etc. are also there. They do some other variants like the spinach cheese and the peri peri dosa as well.
Since we are talking about the dosa’s- let me tell you- the dosa’s are great. The paper karam is so super awesome. It’s a dosa which comes with a spice paste inside which is awesome. Highly recommended. Other dosa’s I have tried include the paneer dosa, ghee dosa, spinach dosa, paper karam, masala dosa. If I were to suggest and recommend- it would definitely be the paper karam dosa, the spinach cheese dosa. Really superb. The dosa’s are served with an interesting array of little bowls of chutneys. There is a sambar pot, along with coconut chutney, ginger chutney and a peanut chutney. All awesome. Just one wishful thought is if the quantity of sambar was more, especially given that it is so thick, hot and yum.
Next the menu has a number of items, including tiffin’s such as idlis and vada’s, thali’s, and then proper main course fare of Biryani, curries and roti’s. Now the thing is that when you look through the menu, you realise, it is a Hyderabadi restaurant and a family run business. I am guessing the owners are also from the Andhra/ Telengana region. You can make out by the influence of Andhra style cooking in the dishes made- specifically Gongura Mutton and Chicken, Dum ka mutton and chicken.
Let’s begin with the recommendation of the owner. The biryani. So far in life, I have been a crazy fanatic for biryani. I love biryani and love to try out different variants. The Kashmiri style pulao, the lucknwai pulao and the hyderabadi dum biryani. Now in Sydney, one of my favs for Hyderabadi biryani was probably Paradise. Other than that, I liked the biryani at Zaffraan, and at Nilgiri’s. So I ordered the mutton dum biryani. You have the option of having the biryani served either in an earthen pot, with pastry on top of it or on a regular copper vessel. Now I have tried both variants at different instances and let me tell you. It is – wait for it- legendary. One of the best biryani I have had so far. As it is served, it is love at first sight- whether you gently open the pastry on the earthen pot or simply dig in the spoon into the copper vessel. The rice is beautiful. White long grain fragrant basmati rice on top. As you go deeper into the vessel, you get the mutton masala cooked in dum mixed with the rice. It is served with the regular peanut based Mirchi ka Salan and the thick curd raita of onion and tomato. Lovely. The goat meat is so soft and tender- just perfect. I love the biryani here and can confidently say, it is one of the nest I have had so far.
The railway mutton curry is the other dish which I have tried and it’s also amazing. Succulent and soft mutton pieces falling off the one in a thick gravy with a smoky flavour. It’s really nice and tasty. Love the flavour and whether you have it with plain rice or with a freshly based roti or naan. You will just love it.
The poori sabji unfortunately didn’t go to well. While the pooris were good, one of the vegetables served with the poori was pungent and too much of a strong coconut smell, which unfortunately didn’t go too well. Hopefully it was a one off bad experience
So all in all, I would say- a great place to eat some authentic Hyderabadi/ Andhra cuisine.
86 Great North Road, Five Dock, Sydney
0431 607 163
02 9712 3672
Monday, December 7, 2015
Belles Hot Chicken
All right, in the swanky new Barangaroo precinct, the waterfront is boasting of a new pop up shops. There is Gin IT, Belle’s Hot Chicken, and Mamak. When I first walked through, I probably though wow – Mamak!. Perhaps, I felt like a sinner in the church in the confession box saying, Forgive e father for I have sinned. Last Friday, afternoon, I decided to check out Belle’s Hot chicken. It was only when I reached, I realized a lot of people near the Gin & IT bar. So I go near the shop and try to stand by the line and only to realize, I got it wrong. Apparently the crowd in the adjacent bar was actually a waiting line for Belles hot chicken. Wow. So I walked down to the other end of the long line, 2 shops beyond and stood into my place. Wow ! what a phenomenal line. This must be good, I thought. As the line progressed, it was getting clearer to me. People were ordering drinks from Gin & IT, as they waited on the line patiently. As we moved forward, I gradually saw people getting their orders and why its so wow. It took me an hour to finally place the order and then another 20 ins before I got the order.
So what’s so special about Belle’s? Well, to begin with, the order is simple. Its fried chicken. Simple. Wings, Drumsticks & Thighs, Tenders. For the veggies, there is mushrooms. And to choose the heat, there is southern, medium, hot, really hot and really F**kin hot. For sides, you can select from coleslaw, fries, mixed pickles or the 3 bean salad.
So to begin with, I had a war between drumsticks or wings, and then a war on hot, or really hot? Being adventurous, I decided to order for the chicken wings, and then thinking it’s a bloody Friday, what can possibly go wrong and who cares- I go for the really hot. I order this with coleslaw and blue cheese dip, along with lemonade with cardamoms. To begin with, the whole experience of waiting in the line and seeing people get their dishes, builds up an appetite. And then once you place the order an wait for your name to be called, its an intoxicating hunger and craving that's driving you crazy and makes you wild. And once the dish is served, you just fall in love with it. Sprinkled with pickles, and the deep red color which more than warmth, exuberates heat. The chicken wings- comes with four pieces. Well fried and crunchy on the outside, and juicy hot chicken inside. The coating of the crunchy outer cover and mixed with the red hot chilli is insane. Let me tell you, it’s an absolute treat and a must have. Highly recommended. The really hot chicken with th mild coleslaw and the blue cheese dip to cool off, is fantastic and sensation. I thnk I can now make a new movie like Harold and Kumar go to White Castle version for the Belle’s Hot chicken. The lemonade with cardamom is quite an interesting variation.
There is a very big waiting time, so beware, specially on a friday arvo. Either come after 1:30 or by 11:00 in the morning. The good thing is that it is open on the weekends as well, and also in the evening till 8 or 9.
Trust me, it is right now the biggest temptation to my diet regime and I do succumb once in a while. Id say go and celebrate this success which has arrived in Sydney, all the way from Melbourne.
So all in all, highly recommended.
Wulugul Pop Up, Wulugul Walk, The Streets of Barangaroo, Barangaroo, The Rocks, Sydney