Monday, May 12, 2014

Maya Da Dhabha

 Maya Da Dhabha

All right, this one is about Maya da Dhabha at Surry Hills. The context- last weekend in Sydney for my mom and brother and its mothers day as well. We head out from Strathfield at 2 in the afternoon. The lunch buffet at Nilgiri’s is an option, but we want to do something in the city. Zaaffran kitchen closes at 2:30, so that’s ruled out. And suddenly we remember that Maya Da Dhabha had beb on my to do list for quite some time. So we decided to go for it and give it a try.
Now, may years back when I had come to Sydney for the first time and always craved for Indian food, I did go to these restaurants a few times, but somehow I stopped going there. A few reasons included the long walk from Central station and the fact that I found better restaurants at other places. After so many yars I was back in Surry Hills. The good part of Maya Da Dhabha was that the kitchen was open all time. We took a cab from Central Station and arrived here. Settled for a table at the entrance next to the big window, watching the cars and traffic go by. It was a bright sunny day.
The order- simple- Tandoori Chicken and Amritsari Fish. The main course, Goat Curry and Karahi Chicken along with a bread basket. Now the interiors were about ok. Like Surry Hill, one of the old houses, converted into a restaurant. Stereotyped interiors, music and feel. The table was a bit sticky and we requested for it to be cleaned, but the waiter assured and disappeared. We had to remind again. Very soon the appetizers appeared. The tandoori chicken half, was quite a surprise to be honest. I thought being in Australia, the size of the chicken would be descent but it was quite small. The chicken looked extremely tempting and tasty. Perfectly grilled, and with red color, it reminded me of the tandorri Chickens from India. But a few bites and it was just about ok. The chicken was a bit too small pieces to be honest. Texture wise cooked ok and looked really good but taste wise, just missing the punch and a bit bland. I wished the color and spices went hand in hand. I found the salt very less and not spicy at all. So in my opinion- just OK, not that great.

Next came the Amritsari Fish. I enquired which they used at the time of ordering and it was ling Fish, something we like as well.So this preparation was deep fried fish in a chickpea batter. Now the fish when presented looked golden and crispy. Taste wise, initial bite and it was god. Not out of the world but nonetheless good. By this time I realized, I gotta to make it tasty. So I requested the waiter to get chaat masala and lemon. Once I sprinkled a generous amount of chaat masala and lemon,it was perfect. Loved it.

Lets come to the main course. We got the Karahi Chicken and the Goat Curry. After finishing the starters, we were a bit full and wondered if we had over ordered. But the serving size of the dishes was quite mall to be honest. The karahi chicken was again ok. The curry was a bit weak and resembled the curry I make at times at home. Well I do think I am a good cook, but at times I have my bad days. This curry texture was similar. The water of the curry, kind of separate from the main curry components. Being Kadhai Chicken, there were diced onions and capsicums, but I think the dish, while edible, but missed the mark. Again, just about ok and not too wow.
The goat curry was good with a darker and more spicier curry. Liked the curry. Good taste. The quality of goat meat was varying.  Some pieces were soft and tender meat while a few pieces were extremely chewy and tough. So the dish was again ok. I liked the gravy but wished the quality of meat was uniform.

The bread basket had an assortment of breads. The garlic naan, butter naan, cheese naan, Kashmiri naan. Again the breads were just ok. While fresh, I have had better bread elsewhere.

The service was ok, although I wish they frequently visited the table.
The biggest blunder was when we cam home. We had requested for a take away of the chicken and mutton curry and the breads. I expected them to be separately done. When we came home, they were in one box along with rice. Now we hadn’t ordered rice at all and I was just wondering whose rice was this. We threw away the food with doubts on the rice.
All in all, an average experience. I would probably not go there specially to be honest. If you are looking for a good Indian food experience, Id rather suggest Zaaffraan, or any other joint.

431 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills

Maya Da Dhaba on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Little Nepal

All right, this one is about Little Nepal. Situated in Burwood, and I have been going to this restaurant / cafe for the last 3-4 years. Many years back, I was fascinated with this restaurant which was in the neighborhood, made goat curry and momo's. After a few months, I introduced it a friend of mine, who became a greater fan. Eventually, I went there so many time that became sick of it and stopped going there all together. After many years I was in the area and decided to re visit. Well, as always, it still great. 

I had a terrible cold and  ordered the goat soup, the chicken momo's and chilli chicken. Well, I had gone there during lunch time. The goat soup is like the thin shorba with Indian spices and goat bone pieces. Very light curry made from boiling goat bony pieces with slight spices such as cardamom, cloves, turmeric and red chilli. Well, it reminded me of the homely soup we have in Indian homes. Liked it. The ponly minor thing was that the goat pieces were simply boiled. 

Next came the chicken momo's. Now you probably know that I am big fanatic and lover of Momo's. Refer to previous post (

Now I was ecstatic to find momo's here in Sydney a few years back. The momo's are really good, although I still crave for the ones from Delhi at Chanakya Puri. But nonetheless not bad. There is also another variant called the C Momo, which is basically the momo's with a saucy base made out of onions, tomatoes and capsicum.  I prefer the simple steamed momo's.

The chilli Chicken came in last. Well, after being for so many years here, I had stopped expecting the crispy friend Indian style chilli chicken. Over here, it is usually chicken breast small pieces, stir fried in the sauce. Now the one which got served was quite the Indian style one. in fact it was very overly crispy fried chicken. A bit too much to be honest. But nonetheless, Good one. I wouldn't mind going in again and having, just for the fact that its quite unique and different. Compared to India, this might be above average, but nonetheless, Id go for it, as it quite close. Again crispy fried batter coated chicken pieces with a spicy sauce base, and onions and capsicum. 

The best part of the meal came after wards, which was the Nepalese Chai. Well, after the meal, i was craving for Desi Indian team, but I was scared it might be a dip tea. I asked the lady if they could make me some Masala Tea, and she recommended the Nepalese Tea. This was quite good. Served in a tall glass and quite similar to the Masala tea, except it seemed to be a bit more milky. Lovely tea. 

On other visits, I have tried their Goat Curry and would recommend it to anyone visiting here.  

All in all a good cafe restaurant and good food. An average one as per my taste, but nonetheless, worth a visit.

Located at Burwood
135 Burwood Road Burwood, NSW 

Little Nepal on Urbanspoon

Work In Progress Bar

All right, this one is about Merivales New Bar- Work in Progress which opened up on May 1st at 50, King Street, Sydney. 

Well, quite an interesting and unusual one, with a great arty feel inside, this one is quite casual in the vibe and feel. As you step in, the Walls are just plastered with comics adds, posters etc. They serve Thai food and drinks. Well, the Thai food is fresh and tasty. We ordered the Pad Thai and the Chicken in Cashew nut Stir Fry. Pretty Descent. Was it the the best? May be not, but not too bad. 

The bar, as we could see were serving a number of cocktails with fresh juices and all. There were retro pin ball machines, couches and all. The menu card was also quite interesting, showing the picture of a fat guy and saying Fuck I am full. The menu is not too diverse or elaborate from a food perspective, but selective.


Mon – Wed. 12pm - 12am
Thu – Fri, 12pm - 2am
Sat, 5pm - 2am

Sunday - closed


50 King Street, Sydney

Work in Progress on Urbanspoon

Bangkok Snap Revisited.

My previous post for Bangkok Snap

Latest one below
Bangkok Snap

All right, this one is about Bangkok Snap, right near my house. Not this first time visit. It was a cold Sydney night and we decided to eat out. Something warm and something hot and spicy. As we walked on Strathfield Boulevard, there were three options shortlisted- Maenam Lao,  Beauty and the beast and Bangkok Snap. We decided for Bangkok Snap.
It was quite cold and surprisingly quiet and empty. We looked up  the menu and ordered the Tom yum Soup and The Clear chicken soup with vegetables. For starters, we ordered the prawn and crab spring roll. As we chit chatted, the soups came over. 

The Tom Yam- quite sour, tangy and a but hot with loads of mushrooms, chicken. I must admit, I have had this soup before and find the taste quite different, but nonetheless, nice. We started off and  with the soup and then the other soup came in. The clear chicken soup along with onion,
carrots, potato. This was quite good as well. Basic, but delicious and just what you need when you have a cold and want something to warm you up. The prawn and crab spring rolls looked quite different. Usually spring rolls have a crispy exterior , which is basically deep fried dough. In this case, it was a mesh sort of, which was deep freid. Quite crunchy and delicious. Alas, one serve had only four pieces and I wish there were more.

Once done with the soups and starters, we ordered for the salt and pepper soft shell crab.  We were too sure what this would turn out to be. Have had it before, except for once in Singapore Airport and I didn’t like it then. But once it came over, it was beautiful, tasty and light. Cruchy and yet fresh, served with sweet chilli, I liked this dish, although I think it was more like a starter or an appetizer. Would have it again if I come here.

Next came the chicken dish, we ordered for a stir fried chicken with cashew nut and chilli Jam. This dish was quite good again. Served with baby corns, mushrooms, cashews and chicken, broccoli, carrots. Not hot at all, and quite a subtle taste. It was good.
The minced chicken freid rice, which is specialty was hot and tasty. Serve in a bowl of lettuce, this dish had the spunk.

All in all, a good meal and all this for just $60, not expensive in my opinion.  

Bangkok Snap on Urbanspoon