After eleven successful years of serving delicious South Indian cuisine in Darlinghurst, Chef/Owner Mohammed Sali has moved his Malabar Cuisine Restaurant several doors along Victoria Street. Featuring some of the best curries in Sydney, Malabar Cuisine Restaurant is now located on the corner of Victoria & Craigend Streets, Darlinghurst, just opposite the Fire Station.
Malabar’s larger and more elegant new premises have been professionally renovated, giving a feeling of spaciousness. Natural light fills the restaurant from the glass frontage, allowing diners a view of the ever changing passing parade.
The white linen clad tables are spaced a comfortable distance apart, so diners can enjoy their conversation without disturbing people at adjacent tables. Diners’ comfort is also enhanced due to the low level of noise in the restaurant, as the floor has carpet instead of the current trend for bare floorboards. Adding to the atmosphere are large black and white murals, showing scenes of Indian life from early last century.
The evening we dined at Malabar, we decided to start by sharing a selection of Dosai which included the Kheema of lamb mince with fenugreek, ginger and cinnamon, the Bangalore made of potatoes sprinkled with chilli, sesame seeds and coconut flakes plus the Prawn consisting of spicy king prawns with green tomatoes and chunky capsicum in a tangy dry masala. Hard to choose a favourite, but I think the Kheema Dosai did it for me, with the Prawn coming a close second.
We also chose to share several selections from the large choice of mains
The Duck Moilee, served on the bone and simmered in coconut milk with chilli, coriander and fennel was a taste sensation as was the Chicken Chettinad with onions, star anise, peppercorns and curry leaves. For variety we tried Dal Makhani, one of the vegetarian options, consisting of slow cooked lentils in a garam masala bouquet garni. Absolutely delicious.
The crispy pappadams and the garlic naan were sensational.
Naturally we could not leave without trying a selection of desserts. The Kesar Pista Kulfi, an Indian ice cream of pistachio nuts flavoured with cardamom and saffron was a real winner. The Mango Kulfi, another Indian ice cream made with mango was also not to be missed, but the meal would not have been complete without the Gulab Jamun, cardamom flavoured milk based dumplings in a saffron flavoured syrup, in a word spectacular.
Malabar is licensed, with an extensive wine list, however BYO wine is an option. Open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 2.30 p.m. and dinner Monday to Sunday from 5.30 p.m. onwards. http://www.malabarcuisine.com.au
Sandra Tiltman Photos: John Pond