Sample tasty North Indian curries at this Phoenix Marketcity eatery
Call it a 'first world problem' or 'an occupational hazard' but by the end of a week of eating out for both work and pleasure, I am left pretty jaded by North Indian food. That red tomato-based gravy is now all too familiar and the flavour of the more creamy, cashew-based gravy, all too predictable. So it is with a small degree of trepidation that my fellow diner and I head to Amaya Indian Grill & Kitchen at Phoenix Marketcity Kurla, the latest Indian joint to open its doors in the city.
Paneer Ke Dulme and Butter Naan Amaya special
The interiors of the restaurant are elegantly touched up, with brown wooden furniture, red tablemats, elaborately designed, classy mirrors and copper jugs. Pictures of street-side cooking and food and lorries lend the place an unmistakable north Indian air, which we love.
After settling in, we order a glass of Punjabi Chaas (R90). The drink is thoroughly refreshing with hints of ginger, coriander, green chillies and freshly toasted cumin. The drink itself is creamy, yet light, and the perfect concoction to beat the heat. Thoroughly pleased, we place orders for the starters. The dishes here are styled on the 'gharana school of cooking'.
Kitchen and Surmai Tawa Fry
We like the pan-grilled Hara Bhara Kebab (R275), made with spinach, green peas, vegetables and ground spices. At the centre of the kebab is a cashew nut and when you gingerly scoop out the centre, rich and creamy cashew paste oozes out. What's not to like? We are impressed by the Kaju Methi Roll (R295), for its lovely texture. Encrusted with small pieces of cashew, the crunchy kebab is cooked with fenugreek and spiced potato rolls.
The Peshawari Kumbh (R300) is a delight, as button mushrooms are stuffed with spiced cheese. In the non-vegetarian starters, the Surmai Tawa Fry (R400), emerges undisputed winner. The fresh kingfish, marinated with spices, ginger, garlic and lemon juice, is cooked perfectly on a tawa with little oil and seals the flavour of ginger. When you slice the meat open, the aroma is almost intoxicating, as is its flavour.
Interiors of Amaya Indian Grill
From the mains, we like the Paneer Ke Dulme (R325), where pieces of cottage cheese are wrapped in spinach leaves and dunked in tomato-based gravy. The paneer pieces crumble at the slightest touch, only to merge with the gravy, thus making for a delightful combination. The classic Dal Makhani (R250) is delicious while the flavour of spices shines through in the Mutton Rogan Josh (R400), a spicy Kashmiri lamb curry. These are served with the Butter Naan Amaya Special (R75) and the paper-thin Ulte Tawe Ka Paratha (R75) which is one of the best Indian breads we have had so far.
We also sample the Kache Murgh Ki Bhuni Biryani (R325), where spices and mint conspire to bring out the perfect dum biryani. We end our meal with Baked Gulab Jamun with a Rabdi Glaze (R150), Rasmalai (R150) and Kolkatta Meetha Paan Ice Cream (R145). We love the syrupy gulab jamuns and the rabdi – it is the perfect end to our meal. Amaya Indian Grill & Kitchen is worth a shot if you are a fan of North Indian food and want to give the usual fare a miss.
We cannot rate the experience as it was on invitation
At: Phoenix Marketcity, ground floor, Kurla