MEHREY DA DHABA
466 Cleveland St, Surry Hills. Sydney.
Telephone: 02 93196260
This restaurant's menu focuses more on North Indian food, but turn towards the back and they offer a small range of Southern food as well. The night we were there, it was quite crowded, including a few young Indian families.
We weren't that hungry so passed on the bread and just had plain rice.
For starters, we had the masala dosa - a classic Indian dish - rather like a crepe stuffed with potatoes. You then spoon the lentil and coconut chutney on it. Delicious. They had other kinds of dosa with different fillings as well.
For mains we had a whole tandoori fish, whick was moist and full of flavour.
Bhuna lamb curry. I can take hot, but this was quite chilli hot. Nice depth to the curry sauce. A shame the lamb wasn't more tender.
We decided to go for something new. Malu Kofta are potato and cottage cheese dumplings stuffed with cashews and sultanas. Very heavy as you would expect, but broken up with the sweetness of the sultanas.
An authentic place for Indian food and good value as well.
Next door is Maya Masala which serves Southern Indian vegetarian food - so you have your dosa, dals, curries, raita,cucumber salad. There are two "thalis" - one South Indian and one Punjabi - that are trays with 6 or 7 dishes on them plus one or two types of bread - for $12. On weekends they make chaat or "street snack", including traditional desserts. It is strictly self-service and plasma screens around play Bollywood movies giving it a nice vibe. However, many do complain about the slow service (may take 30mins before your food reaches the table, even though it is self-service) and the rude, disinterested staff. Still, it doesn't seem to daunt many Indian families. Definitely not a place to bring a hot date.