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A night out at one of Canberra’s top twenty restaurants


My frequent dinner partner, Jane and I met one evening for a drink before dinner.  I had done my usual and walked into the city to meet her at a local bar/pub.  It was raining all the way into the city but I took an umbrella and must say did enjoy the hour-long walk.  I had been to this bar before with a group of friends where we sat upstairs, but this time we met downstairs just for a glass of wine before walking to the restaurant to meet another friend from interstate.

Bentspoke is a pretty funky bar with options to sit outside with a heater (as it was the middle of winter) or inside..we chose inside.

Image 1Image 2After finishing our drink, we walked over to the restaurant and met our friend Peter.  The restaurant I chose was a new Indian in the local restaurant area.  At Darbar Indian our table was reserved with a small blackboard with my name on it…rather sweet.  But unfortunately within five minutes a large family group arrived; the size of the group is not the problem; it was the parents allowing their two children to run around and scream [a lot].  We were the only two tables in the restaurant and with parents not controlling their children it was pretty annoying.Image 4 Image 5There was plenty of dishes to order from the menu.Image 6I ordered the masala dosai for entree after asking Jane and Peter if they would share with me as the waitress told me it was a pretty big serve.  The dosai is a thin, crisp golden brown rice pancake rolled with spiced potato masala and served with coconut chutney and sambar. It tasted good albeit a little bit spicy.Image 7Peter ordered the chicken chat pat an aged chicken marinated in spices, lemon juice and deep fried. It’s then tossed with curry leaf and fenugreek powder and coriander.  It’s served with a lemon wedge and spanish onion.Image 9Jane ordered the chef’s specialty which was called Jal Pari Hariyali – a marinated Tasmanian salmon fillet with tumeric,cashew paste, cumin and coriander powder with lemon juice and pan friend.Image 10For my main dish I ordered the malia kofta; dumplings made from potato and cheese and tossed in a combination of curry leaves and mustard seeds then simmered in a Moghhlai gravy.  This is a dish I always order at Indian restaurants.  It was nice but not the best I had ever had.  I am not too sure why it wasn’t that delicious, I think it was the sauce – not as creamy as others.Image 11Peter ordered the chicken tikka dish to share with Jane.  It was boneless chicken cubes that have been marinated in yoghurt, spices and smoke roasted. Pretty good they both said.Image 14Jane ordered a goat curry for main course, again to share with Peter.  It came diced and stewed in a medium spice and flavoured with onion, fenugreek seeds and fresh curry leaves.  They both liked this dish too.  Image 12Great company but a little spoilt by screaming children…probably won’t go back.