I’ve lived in the Rockingham area (about 30 minutes south of Perth city) for a couple of years now, and was pleased when popular Subiaco-based Chutney Mary’s announced that it was opening a new restaurant as part of Rockingham Shopping Centre’s “Main Street” Entertainment and Lifestyle precinct.
I’ve never had the opportunity to dine inside the Rockingham Chutney Mary’s, but have ordered takeaway several times. On each occasion, I was advised a certain waiting time on the phone only to arrive and wait at least another 30 minutes. If it’s going to be an hour then tell me – you’re less likely to lose custom by being honest. If you really want to annoy me, make me stand around and wait when I’ve already purchased other hot food for my family that will be stone cold by the time I get home. I’ve never enjoyed their curries enough to put up with this, so after the third time I decided not to go back.
Anyway, it’s been way too long between curries and today I decided I was going to try Penjwenys Indian Restaurant, a new addition to the Rockingham beach front that rather peculiarly specialises in English breakfast as well as Indian meals. For some reason it was closed so I decided to leave them for another day (perhaps a particularly good day that includes breakfast and lunch!) and give Chutney Mary’s another go.
I would imagine its location at the back of a shopping centre doesn’t attract much passing trade on a weekday, hence the introduction of lunch specials starting at $15 per person, including “banquets” (for a minimum of two diners) and a small selection of other meals.
I decided to try the awkwardly named “non-vegetarian curry special”, including chicken madras, rice and naan for $17.50 (note to Chutney Mary’s – update the pricing on your website). It took less than 10 minutes to arrive – although I was the only diner in the restaurant – and the portion size was ample for a lunchtime serve. Most couples could share an entree and one of these specials for a reasonable lunch. The curry was as I’d come to expect – the word “bland” springs to mind, but that’s a little harsh. Just a little.
So will I be going back? I have no complaints about the food, service or price, although no real praise either. The overall experience just didn’t excite, and I’ll try somewhere else the next time I’m out for lunch.