Friday, October 2, 2009

Back On The Solids

I had my wisdom tooth out almost two weeks ago which was a bit of pain. I'm not talking about pain of the throbbing and aching type. Rather pain of having to eat soup for three days. It was a case of being souped out rather than souped up.

So as soon I could start eating solids again, I couldn't wait to get out and about.

My first experience back in the world of solids was a visit to an establishment down a back alley laneway of Chinatown in Melbourne's CBD. Now I know it may not sound like the kind of area where one would choose to go on their first foray back into the restaurant world. But it was definitely the kind of place that I needed to fulfill my hunger pangs.

Entering the restaurant was like being transported back to the 1980s.  Guests are greeted with a yellow and red welcome sign hanging from a white decorative grille archway.   From the glass ceiling hang a mix of disco balls and chandeliers. Various carpet framed pictures adorn the walls. The while linen table cloths and red velvet chairs are typical for this type of restaurant. A touch of kitsch with 1980s decor. Ladies and gentleman, I give you, 'Gaylord' Indian Tandoori restaurant.

The chicken tikka (from the tandoori oven) starter came out sizzling with a lemon wedge and a little shredded iceburg lettuce salad on the side. The chicken was juicy and the drizzled juice from the tangy lemon over the chicken provided a lovely fresh flavour.

For the mains, the baigan bhartha (mashed eggplant cooked with spices, peas and tomato) had the kind of kick I was looking for. It had just the right amount of spice and tasted sublime. The butter chicken was also extremely tasty and the sauce was a beautiful deep red orange in colour. Although the two dishes didn't look over generous in size, they were more than adequate for two people. For the sides, the garlic pilau rice was beautifully subtle in flavour and the plain naan (cooked in a clay oven) was warm, soft and crispy in all the right places.

Baigan Bhartha

Butter Chicken Curry

The staff are polite and courteous, although a little slow at times. There were two big groups of tables being served as we arrived and all the waiters seemed to be constantly bringing out drinks and food to those tables. Once seated, it was a case of having to flag down a waiter to ask for menus which was a little frustrating, considering how hungry I was. Nevertheless, once the waiter took our order, we didn't have to wait too long for our starter. By the time we were into our mains, we had forgotten about the slightly slow service.

My stomach was satisfied, my tastebuds delighted and yes, I would definitely go back for more.

Gaylord Indian Tandoori Restaurant
4 Tattersalls Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9663 3980

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