Bollywood On A Plate at Indu, Sydney
Tucked beneath the city chaos of George Street is Indu, a new underground restaurant specialising in Southern Indian cuisine.
With quality Indian food in short supply around the CBD, Indu is the brain-child of medical doctor, philanthropist and restaurateur Sam Prince. Prince entered the Sydney restaurant scene in 2013 with the launch of Mejico on Pitt Street and Indu is not far away. Having circled around the Merivale dominated Ash Street a couple of times, we eventually found the discrete entrance to Indu along Angel Place. We descended a concrete staircase and entered a dark and atmospheric basement filled with rustic furnishings and candle-lit tables.
Around from the entrance, the space opens up and features both intimate booths and a scattering of tables for smaller parties. A long open counter separates diners from the kitchen, while two private dining rooms are off to the side.
We were seated at a corner table towards the back of the restaurant and our friendly waitress suggested we share four dishes between the two of us. “Just think of it like Indian tapas,” they added. The menu brings to food what Bollywood brings to cinema – it fuses East with West. And just like a Bollywood smash hit, it all works out gleefully well.
We started with smoked goat’s leg served on zucchini ribbon raita with pomegranate, chilli and bacon jam ($18). The goat was shredded off the bone and rolled into the raita. Although the raita was a bit dry, overall the flavour combination made for an interesting first course.
In keeping with Indu’s focus on the food of coastal India, we ordered pan flashed clams and mussels in a Kerala coconut broth ($28). This dish was a highlight of the evening. Not an inch of the coconut broth was left, we even ordered some flakey paratha ($6) to mop up the last juices.
For mains we couldn’t resist the “The Great” Lamb raan. Marinated and slow roasted over 48 hours with yoghurt and spice it was served with fresh mint chutney. It comes in half serves ($45) and full serves for bigger parties ($80). Despite its tastiness, it was too much between the two of us. We recommend ordering it for a bigger party, or going easy on the starters. To accompany the meat we also ordered seasame encrusted okra with banana and tamarind chutney ($12), as well as a generous bowl of beetroot raita with chunks of apple, roasted walnuts, and fresh mint ($6).
After two hours, four dishes and plentiful glasses of sweet Riesling, we can’t manage any dessert. Although the watermelon and fresh mint popsicles ($6) were tempting!
Indu provides a fresh take on Indian cuisine in a charming and relaxed setting. The service is great, and the food is smashing. We’d recommend that you get in there before word of mouth spreads and the waiting list gets too long.