Boy, do I have a story to tell you guys. But for that I would need a recipe as well to share with you. So yes, just going to bide my time and wait for that. Sorry! But also, before I begin, thank you all for making me feel better last ‘post’!
Till I write about the above, how about I get that spice back up and on your screen with a review of what is now officially, my family’s favourite Indian restaurant. I have reviewed a couple before, but they don’t hold a candle to this.
And remember I’m Indian. So if we say this Indian place is that good, you know you better believe it! 😛
Even before I begin, can I set a few ground rules here?
- I will be using the word ‘spicy’ and the word ‘fried’ a lot. Love me for it.
- I won’t apologise for you guys getting hungry by the end of this post. I won’t because it is inevitable.
Don’t believe me? You’ll see… in exactly 4 minutes time… 😛
Anyways, Ginger Indian Restaurant (or… just Ginger to me now, we know each other well enough I think to progress beyond formalities) is one of the most unassuming places I know.
Bet you were expecting for me to say something like ‘excellent’ or ‘delicious’ right? WRONG. Unassuming is the first word that comes to mind.
Instead of a fancy, hundred-foot-journey style lit up palace of sorts, the outside of this restaurant looks like a cottage house. I wish I could show you photos actually, but it has always been too dark!
Anyways though, you see this cottage with a few patrons sitting outside, a lawn that begs for children to play on and a menu sitting outside, so you don’t expect much. But then there is some serious TARDIS-technology going on, because you walk in, and the small cottage expands to feature two decent sized dining rooms.
You walk a bit more, and there is a corridor leading to two more dining areas!
WOAH. The decor is simple as well, there aren’t gaudy lights or blaring Indian music to mess with your meal (trust me, if you could translate some of those songs…) but peacock blue walls illuminated in tasteful lighting. Also found it funny, but they have christmas ornaments glued to the ceiling as a bit of decor as well!
But decor-schmecor (wow that is a hard one!), the food is really where you don’t expect excellence. You expect normal. But you get excellence. Way exceeded my expectations the first time I ate here.
Tables neat and clean, the first thing you notice is that the waitresses, who bring water and glasses first up, have no notepad. And you worry. That uneasy queasy feeling of ‘are they going to mess up my order’?
Nope. Not a single time. 🙂 And when you see how much our family ordered, you will see this is quite a mental feat!
Because I like order and structure, and am far from rebellious, let us begin with entrees. First up? The golden king of Indian food – Samosas. ($7 for 2). The pastry was fried and crispy, and the filling was tasty, though on the more ‘normal’ side than ‘wow’. A bit more spice and a little less pea would have been nice.
Has anyone ever heard of Paani Puri? Or maybe you know it (as I do) as Gol Gappe? ($8). Well, basically this is the messiest side street Indian snack to make it. And it is SO addictive because of it.
A small little flour ball is fried and expands, leaving a very delicate, hollow ball. Along with it, there is a spicy chickpea and potato mixture and to bring it all together, the murkiest and most delicious looking water you have ever seen. The water is flavoured with tamarind.
Steps to eating this delicious treat? Use your nail to make a small, chickpea sized hole in the top of the ball (but keep the bottom intact). Spoon in as much as chickpeas as can fit. Pour a delicate amount of water over the top (but not so much that it makes the bottom soggy, breaking it!) and then… after all that delicacy.
Put the whole thing in your mouth. And eat. Repeat. And eat. Repeat.
I knew there was a reason ‘eat’ is in repeat! 🙂 The chickpeas were very flavoursome, and I am glad they didn’t take the cheap way out and just put more potato in there!
After everyone is wiping their hands and pretending they are not still sticky, we moved on to the Papdi Chaat ($8). That’s pronounced pahpree. Not pap-di. Please.
This snack has a tendency to go over the top with Indian yoghurt over it, which means you don’t taste the saute (pronounce like sauté but without the ‘ay’ at the end), which is the spicy Indian sauce mixed with the yoghurt.
At Ginger, they minimise the amount of yoghurt on it, allowing the spices to really come out and work well in coating the fried crunchy flour ‘chips’ (for lack of a better word). I could eat a LOT of this treat.
Moving along, how could any meaty resist their Chicken Tikka ($12). It was sizzling when it came out, and looked mouthwatering. the moaning sounds coming from my bro and daddy’s side told me all I needed to know, taste wise!
Of course, my mum and I were not left out of the fun! As you saw in the first picture, we ordered a steaming skewer of Paneer Tikka ($10). The paneer was soft like butter, and it was deliciously spiced too!
Then we move onto mains (because yes, even my family has an entree limit!)
First up, classic Plain Naan ($3 per naan). Large, soft and fluffy and despite getting colder as the meal went on, they did not harden, which was good.
Now, if I tell you what I actually think of the next dish’s colour, you will never eat it. So I am going to keep my thoughts to myself, especially since despite the colour, it is actually pretty tasty and my mum’s obsession.
Trust her taste guys! Remember I am half-her.
It was the Palak Paneer ($17). Translated? Spinach Paneer. Oh gosh, I am not helping this dish am I!? It was well spiced (and remember, their spicy level is quite high so if you are inexperienced ask for mild!) and had a good texture.
And ok, despite still being a teenager for another year, yes I like spinach. Yes I know it goes against the ‘veggies teens can like’ code. Oh well 😛
This next dish is a family favourite because it mixes paneer with gravy with spice but is not overly creamy, as some curries tend to be. The Kadai Paneer ($17) comes in a very generous dish, loaded with vegetables, and not just paneer, and is delicious.
Silky in texture, and quite addictive, this is my favourite sabzi (curry) of theirs because they do it so well!
Their mixed vegetable next, or, Mili Juli Sabzi ($16) was not that excellent for me. For some reasons, since this dish does not have an excess lot of gravy, the veggies tasted a little dry, making the spice stick in my mouth.
The only dish of the night that didn’t really do much for me, unfortunately.
Lastly, we have another classic, Daal Makhani ($15). It is literally black lentils cooked in butter. You cannot go wrong with this. And it does taste as good as it sounds, and I detest daal usually.
Overall, it was a delicious meal though paired with great relaxing ambience. Would I go there again? Well… I already have!
And just before I go please try this Ice Cream Falooda that we ate afterwards. Flood is sweetened vermicelli noodles in rose water syrup. With ice cream. Or Kulfi.
Whatever, just seriously give me more.
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