One great thing about living on our side of town is that we have access to a few decent Indian restaurants. Sure, it’s not India, or London, or even Melbourne, but there are some restaurants that make yummy curries. And that’s all I’m after, yummy food.
We heard from a number sources that Mughal Palace had awesome food, in particular their butter chicken, puri bread, and spinach and cheese naan.
The restaurant itself is massive, but incredibly quiet inside. When we arrived I was a little worried as there weren’t many diners. I soon discovered why – throughout our meal, there was a very steady stream of huge takeaway orders making their way out the door.
We ordered a puri bread – a deep fried flat bread that reminded me of a soft version of the Chinese ham ching peng (which I love). The bread was kind of plain on its own but it was fantastic with a curry – slightly crunchy and great to scoop up a bit of curry gravy. Mmmmmm……
We also ordered a spinach and cheese naan. Now I always order garlic naan, it’s my staple naan and I can happily eat it on its own all day (just don’t come near me afterwards!). Of course I prefer naan that has been baked in a traditional tandoor oven – something I became fascinated with in the Bangladeshi pavilion at the world expo in Japan some years ago, of all places. I knew the naans at this restaurant were no longer baked in a traditional oven, but wanted to try them all the same. Spinach and cheese is a great combination and this naan was delicious! A tad oily, but the cheese was slightly salty, and the spinach nice and wilted. Not soggy at all.
To start we shared a Mughal combination platter ($11.90), which came with chicken tikka, seekh kebab, onion pakora, and aloo bhonda. The chicken tikka was well cooked and tender, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice gave it an extra tangy flavour. The seekh kebab we a lamb mince kebab with a variety of spices. I was expecting a grainy long kebab, however what we got was more of a sausage. It was tinted red with spices and was surprising tasty. That being said I would have preferred the meat to be less processed. I really enjoyed the onion pakora, it was small and slightly spicy. The aloo bhonda (mashed potato and chickpea deep fried balls) were perfectly cooked and had a pleasant spice to it.
For our mains, we stuck with butter chicken ($17.90) – I know it’s a stock standard, almost western dish, but I do love a good butter chicken (if you’re in Melbourne, try the Curry Connection – yum!). This butter chicken was creamy from the cashews and rich in flavour. Although mild, it held a lot of spice and the chicken was well cooked and easy to eat. The puri bread was perfect with this dish.
The second curry we ordered was chicken shahjaha ($17.90). I had not tried this style of curry before, and was curious with the addition of scrambled eggs. The overall flavour reminded me of a mild masala spice mix. While it was pleasant enough, it was too mild in flavour for my taste buds. Perhaps medium spiciness would have suited me better.
Overall my favourite fish was actually the spinach and cheese naan! It was lovely to eat and went very well with the butter chicken gravy. However I think Mughal Palace will go on our take away list. The dishes are more expensive to eat in, and frankly the done in experience is a little odd with so little diners in such a big restaurant.
By the way, we’ve since ordered take away and tried their vegetable kofta balls ($14.90 for take away). I was expecting lovely kofta balls in a rich tomato-y and capsicum sauce, and we didn’t quite get that. It was too mild in flavour and I wish the capsicum flavour was stronger. We’ve also ordered the beef bhuna ghosh ($14.90 for take away). This was a rich beef curry flavoured with fried sweet onions and tomatoes, the gravy was thick and spicy. We loved it!
Overall Mughal Palace is a reasonable place to get take away when you’re not in the mood to cook dinner. We’ve ordered take away a number of times since eating there, and haven’t been disappointed.