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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bites: Cinnamon Club @ Leederville

Indian food.  The food almost everyone adores.  There is no such thing as ‘anything’ when it comes to good Indian food.  As a Malaysian, I love good Indian food, and this is where the fuss is.  We do not compare like with like.  So to explain, in Malaysia a good Indian food must not only satisfy the ‘Indian’ requirement, but the Malaysian requirement too.  This applied to Chinese food as well.  It must be Chinese yet Malaysian.  That’s the many elements of brilliance that you will find in Malaysia (from Gordon Ramsay). Most Indian restaurants here look the same but I’m not going to be fooled by any Indian restaurant which claims its food is good, and neither am I going to be intimidated by its Indian authenticity just because it consumes Indian labour.  Have a chat with any Indian taxi driver and you will know that finding good Indian food is like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

Today is a girl’s birthday and Yvonne’s choice for the night was the $38 dollar Regal Banquet at the Cinnamon Club located at Leederville.  While she chose the venue, my tongue was still its own judge tonight.

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The Banquet started with little snacks which were decent but not substantial enough to satisfy our growling tummies!  You had unlimited refills though!


Papadams with 4 types of dip.  I know one was a fresh tasting tomato raita, a mango chutney, a minty yoghurt and some really really horrible red mixture which tended to be a little kimchee-ish.


The dips!


While the tomato raita and the mango chutney were delicious, the red coloured dip was a nightmare.  At first, YiHeng thought it would be extremely delectable and so he ambitiously spooned a large serve on his pappadams.  His reaction at the first bite was priceless and he decided against trying that red dip ever again ahahhahah!  The green dip did not taste  good as well and among the 8 of us who had it, few thought it was nice!!


Then comes my highlight of the night! The shared platter appetizers!


While the samosas were mediocre at best, the sheesh kebab was absolutely delicious!  My sister thought it could be more tender but for me, it ticked all the right boxes!  I loved the spices in the meat, the texture was just right and it was yummy with a pinch of spiciness!  The chicken Tikka was OK in my opinion.  I would have liked it to taste a little drier with a Tandoori style texture.  The seasoning was a lot milder than I would have liked it to be too! However, the tenderness in each bite was something worth mentioning!  Unlike its Tandoori counterpart, the chicken Tikka was really tender!


Truth be said, at this point all I wanted was another serve of the entrees! But unfortunately, the appetizers were not refillable! DAMN!!! But that was ok, the mains did not take long to be served.  The first main out was the Rogan Josh which till the end of the dinner was still mistaken for Lamb Korma!


WHY? Because the meat felt totally blend and mild which was definitely not the traits of a typical Rogan Josh! To me, Rogan Josh enjoys the privilege of having the acidity from the tomatoes along with the sweetness that it carries.  The meat in this Rogan Josh was overcooked and not at all soft!  Something quite unexpected from an Indian restaurant which boasts to have served several famous people such as politicians, business people and people from the entertainment industry.  So what happens when a dish is not yummy at all?  Well, it is the only curry that did not require a refill that night!


At that point where I had the Rogan Josh, my hopes to find a jewel in Leederville was at the brink of no hope!!!


that was until I had the Butter Chicken!! Its verdict? WIN!  Tender chicken fillets in a yummy Indian curry butter sauce.  It was good with a controlled level of sweetness.  Not as sweet as the one served in Maya Masala!  Also, the dish with finished with a lash of milk/cream which gave the sauce a creamier consistency!  A really enjoyable dish that night!  It was good with both the rice and the naan.



But that is not all! The Aloo Gobi was an absolute stunner too!  This simple curry vegetable dish was so yummy!  Cauliflower has never tasted to so awesome before! I have to admit that all my life, Indian food has always been good in making me eat vegetables I dislike! Cucumbers in Indian salads are usually yummy; so is the cauliflower in this dish!  It was well received by everyone! It was not too soft and yet, not undercooked. GOOD!  Oh and not to forget, I really liked the Saffron rice too! It carries with it a nice fragrant!  I found it very enjoyable with the curry!  Good chemistry!



We also had a beef Vindaloo which I thought was OK only.  Not bad, but for that price, I do not think it is worth it!  I think the meat was tough!   Wonder what did Kelvin think about it’/?  Now that I think of it again, I feel that the one that Kelvin used to  bring back from his workplace was just as good as this one!


Besides the Vindaloo, little darling also ordered a chicken Biryani which was super pricey but extremely yummy too!  Unfortunately, we do not have a picture of that for some reason ahah!  To wrap things up, I would rate my experience as follows!


It was good with unacceptable flaws.  An Indian restaurant with only 1 out of 3 curry making the mark just does not sounds right!  But with the Aloo Gobi coming into the equation, then we have a 2 out of 4 being good!  Putting in the 2 out of 3 appetizer that we liked, we then have 4 out of 7 being yummy! Finishing things up with the yummy garlic Naan and Saffron rice, the score then becomes 6 out of 9!  Now this does not sounds too bad at all does it not?  And do not forget the Chicken Biryani which give this restaurant a grand total of 7 out of 10!  Hence the thumbs up with that bandage!  And so that all of you know, the little darling accidentally injured her thumb while cutting fruits for herself *emo*!


Some other picture from the night!


Yvonne and my sister!



Happy Couple!



The mates! YiHeng, Jim, and JiaHui



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