North Carlton VIC 3054
Ph: (03) 9347 3054
Website: Indya Bistro
Indian food and wine. Oxymorons right? That's what I thought. But apparently Indian food can be matched with wine. That's what Indya Bistro set out to do at their Six Wines Six Dishes night. Cellarhand’s director and sommelier, Patrick Walsh worked with Indya’s Head Chef, Wilson Gomes to produce a six course dinner that highlighted the match between wine and Indian food.
Indya Bistro is located on the middle stretch of Rathdowne which comprises quite a few small eateries. It markets itself as Modern Indian Cuisine. The restaurant definitely looks modern, with full floor to ceiling mirrors covering one side of a light and bright space. I attended the dinner with Sarah, Sandra and Ling. We were seated at the furthest table so had a great view of the room.
In terms of the food, it was generally good, but I'm not sure if it's entirely modern. The dishes seemed to be fairly standard Indian dishes, with some highlights. The spinach and paneer was matched best to the wine in my opinion. The fresh palate of the brut worked well with the spinach and paneer. The Stir Fried Prawns, Chicken Chettinad and Marinated Lamb were all good. However, the massive highlight, as Cindy wrote about, were the Honey Garlic Gobi Florettes, deliciously addictive. I just couldn't get enough of it. I could have eaten 3 more serves of what they gave me. The one disappointment of the meal was the Pondicherry Fish Curry, which was quite salty, a bit dry and didn't have the fresh taste that I want in fish. The meal as a whole, was a success in proving that you definitely can match wines with Indian food. The wines you choose generally has to be more crisp and citrusy to cut through the rich Indian food.
Left: Spinach Paneer Delight with NV Stefano Lubiana Brut, Granton, Tasmania
Right: Spicy Stir-Fried Prawns with 2008 Dr Loosen Riesling, Mosel, Germany
Left:Chicken Chettinad with 2009 Hunky Dory Tangle, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Marlborough, New Zealand
Right: Honey Galic Gobi Florettes with 2009 Pittnauer Blaufränkisch Rosé, Burgenland, Austria
Left:Pondicherry Fish curry with 2008 Villa Wolf Gewürztraminer, Pfalz, Germany
Right:Marinated Lamb with 2008 Delta Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand
I would go back to Indya Bistro, if only for their Honey Garlic Gobi Florettes alone. However, I do find it funny if the comments on Cindy's second post, as well as my initial are in any way linked to Indya. The comments do sound a bit spam-my, as people usually don't go to so much details as mentioning that you can win 6 bottles of wine by joining the Facebook group of the restaurant. If the comments are from Indya, it would tarnish their image a little in my eyes. Why don't they just come out and defend their food or accept any constructive criticism. If they aren't related to Indya, then the restaurant definitely has some passionate customers, which must be a good sign.
EDIT: Following a comment from Jim Best and being contacted by the owner of Indya himself, I have been assured that Jim Best is not in any way linked to Indya, but merely a loyal customer. To have such a loyal customer base is surely a confirmation of Indya's good food, so go and check it out for yourself. Make sure you order the gobi florettes, you won't regret it.
Thanh and Ling dined as guests of Fiona Brook from Harvey Publicity and Indya Bistro.