date of visit: Friday 30 April 2010
We were tootling around town doing a bit of after work shopping and decided to grab something to eat. Andy nominated Indian and we headed down to The Village, on Gouger Street (close to Morphett Street).
The decision was driven by the fact that we’ve eaten at The Village once before, with a group of friends and possibly after more than one beer, but the overall impression had been positive.
At The Village there’s no specialisation in one particular area of Indian cuisine and every dish on the menu is annotated with its area of origin. There are plenty of dishes you’ll recognise (such as butter chicken and chicken vindaloo) and others that may be new (chicken 65 – chicken fried with coriander seeds and pepper which was on our list to try but was unavailable).
In typical curry eating style we over ordered …
We started with pappadums, which were served with mint and tamarind chutneys. I always say that I make my mind up about a curry house based on the mint chutney and/or the hot lime pickle. The Village’s mint chutney definitely passed muster.
For entrée, I chose, unimaginatively, the vegetable pakoras while Andy opted for the chutney chicken kebab. We were going to share but I didn’t like the sound of this … Actually, I would have been perfectly happy with the kebab but I did prefer my vegetable pakoras. They had a good heat about them and, laced with the mint chutney, they were absolutely delicious. It was a large serve, of four big patties. If you were expecting individual pieces of battered vegetable (as pakora sometimes appears) you would be disappointed but there were enough distinct pieces of vegetable in the patties to keep me happy.
For main course, with no chicken 65 available, I opted for the lamb dhansak and Andy chose the chicken kadai. The dhansak came on a large tray, with the lentils (dhal makhani) on the side, rice and even a piece of chicken tikka. I accompanied this with a really good paratha – flaky and super buttery. The sauce was tart and spicy. Andy’s kadai sauce was also reasonably spicy and very tomatoey. In both cases, the meat was tender and juicy, well sized and nicely proportioned.
As usual, after stuffing myself on entrée and pappadums, I struggled a little with my main course bit I made sure to finish the paratha!
A standout feature of The Village is the cheerful, attentive service. My water was kept topped up, after our entrées, both our waiter and front of house checked we were enjoying our food, and at no point did we feel either forgotten or suffocated.
At the end of the evening, we left feeling extremely well fed for around $80 (this included a couple of beers). And obviously, we have to go back again to check out that Chicken 65 …
Diverse Indian cuisine on Gouger Street
The Village offers dishes from across India, pairing generous portions with sensible prices and excellent, friendly service.