I'm always up for Indian food because it's one of my favourite cuisines, but it can be a bit tiresome encountering the same menu wherever you go... but now and then you hear about something a little different that makes you sit up an take notice. So, when I had the opprtunity to try out Indian style tapas at Mace Restaurant (formerly known as Qmin) in Sydney's north shore area, I jumped at the chance.
Mr Ladybird and I selected a tasting menu to sample 6 different dishes ($75 per person, excluding breads and accompaniments). To start off with, we enjoyed Badal Jaam - Eggplant Slices, pan fried with tomato and yoghurt relish and Bhutte Ke Pakode - Sweet Corn Fritters, with fresh chillies and chickpea batter with a side of mint sauce. In both of these dishes, I can definitely see the tapas concept - small portions of finger food perfect over drinks.
We also enjoy a serve of Ragda Petis - a delicious chaat recipe with potato croquettes topped with with chickpeas and chutneys.
We then move onto mains - a beautiful smorgasbord of dishes to be enjoyed with basmati rice and naan. For our three main dishes we choose Kadhai Subzi - mixed Vegetables in tomato sauce, crushed coriander seeds and the Palak Paneer - curd cheese with pureed spinach and spices.
For both of us though, the standout main is the Bhindi Amchur - okra stir fried with onions and dried mango. Dishes like this make me think what an underused okra is - cooked right it is absolutely delectable!
No Indian feast is complete without good accompaniments, and we both like the onion & tomato raita. The sourdough naan is something special.. a first for both of us and we were impressed by the light texture and flavour - a nice contrast to the rich food.
Mace Restaurant (formerly known as 'Qmin')
Shop 5, 207 Pacific Highway
St Leonards, NSW
(02) 9966 5557
*** Mr & Mrs Ladybird dined as guests of Mace Restaurant ***