A late-night conversation with a Sydney taxi driver led me to uncover this inexpensive, lesser-known, ethnic eat. It offers up a blend of Indian and Pakistani in a comfortable (but not too fancy) Cleveland Street locale.
Watching them cook in the tandoor took me right back to childhood meals in Strathfield’s Surjits, where the chef would allow me to peer down into the hot, clay hole. However the Aftabi Tandoori Phool ($12.90) of grilled cauliflower in garlic, ginger and spices that they’re cooking here was delicious (and totally new).
I skipped traditional tandoori chook for the lighter and creamier Qutabi Malai Tikka ($12.90).
It was moist and succulent, though the accompanying Kalonji Paratha ($3.90) and Akbari Naan ($3.50) had perhaps spent a moment too long in the oven – it’s a fine line between pleasure and something too dry to provide curry relief.
I didn’t miss out on tandoori chicken entirely; the curry I selected - Nawabi Murgh Laveeza ($16.90) - combined it with lamb mince for a texturally interesting adventure.
Best thing I ate was the Masala-e-Anarkli ($13.90) – a vibrant tomato and okra dish that’ll demonstrate you need more okra in your life.
The resulting bill was more than reasonable, especially considering I left toting tomorrow’s lunch…
351-353 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9319 1988