In search of a taste of Southern Asia, Ellie Dyer and photographer Conor Wall head to Indian Delight.
As a die-hard fan of Indian eatery Sher-e-Punjab, the prospect of entering a new curry house seemed a leap into the blue. But after a good recommendation, I was spurred to take the plunge.
At first glance, Indian Delight on Sisowath Quay is an unassuming restaurant. Clean yet somewhat spartan, it features tables topped in gold and red set within a modest, functional space facing Titanic Restaurant. A closer look reveals some unusual touches, including a range of curious knick knacks, such as a shelf of tiny flags of the world and a small wooden guitar.
There are also intriguing hints of Nepalese roots. Photographs of mountainous lands and the historic town of Bhakatapur, in Kathmandu valley, look down from its walls. A page of the menu offers regional fare including momo — a Nepalese dumpling — and Nepali-style chicken with rice. As momo have to be made two hours in advance, with at least three plates ordered, we plumped for the Indian food detailed on a large menu featuring a range of curries, tandoori dishes and snacks.
The fried onion bhajis ($3.50) arrived first. Despite a generous serving of around 10 small pieces, their texture was chewy rather than crisp, and contained an overdose of cumin seeds. The next dish, mutton masala ($6.75), proved a better bet. The peppery curry was a deep brown colour, containing a generous helping of flavoursome meat that fell apart on the fork. The sauce was rich, yet had hints of fresh spice that made it less heavy than the norm, though the serving was on the small side considering the relatively high price.
Chicken vindaloo ($5), presented in a simple silver dish, was better value and carried on the light theme, with no hint of ghee floating on the top of its creamy sauce. Though slightly too mild for my taste (we had ordered medium spicy), it benefited from a light touch and seemed healthier than an average gut-busting curry.
The naan ($1) was another case in point. A plate-like single piece of bread was split into three and had a drier, crispier texture than the soft, chewy naan of other restaurants. It was a light accompaniment to the rich curries and also went well with the chunks of potato and cauliflower contained in the aloo gobi ($3.50), a good vegetarian option.
A small niggle in the overall experience was having to pay for water — with bottles placed on the table without us being informed of the price — and having to ask for the pappadums, which I am assured are normally provided. Overall Indian Delight is a good spot for those wanting a curry with a lighter touch. It offers fresh, simple fare in a no-fuss environment, without the indulgence of some stomach-stretching Indian dishes.