Now that Indian food has a firm place in the Australian palate, Indian restaurants and takeaway establishments seem to be popping up all over the place. I noticed the Rockingham store of local franchise Grand Indian Flavours preparing to open a few weeks ago, and tonight I took the plunge.
I’ve been particularly keen on this store opening as it’s a few doors down from Nick’s Place, definitely the best kebab establishment in the area, and a favourite of my wife’s. I enjoy a good kebab, but would usually rather have a curry or Chinese takeaway. Tonight I was able to please both of us, and that’s never a bad thing.
I’ve always felt there are two kinds of curry you get when eating out: “restaurant” curry and “food hall” curry, the latter being generally served from a bain-marie and distinguishable only by how much they burn your throat, regardless of whether they carry a familiar name or not. Chicken vindaloo is my restaurant-testing dish of choice, and I held high hopes that Grand Indian Flavours would finally be offer something quick and decent.
The store fit out was very well done, clean and colourful. The two gentlemen behind the counter were very friendly, and they informed me that this was their third store in the franchise (the others being Armadale and Riverton). I elected to go for a combination of three curries (chicken vindaloo, beef madras & rogan josh), a garlic naan, a huge meat samosa and some mango chutney for a very reasonable $20.40. The naan was cooked fresh to order and the rest was served up from the bain-marie by a gentleman with an embarrassing spot of yogurt (at least I hope that’s what it was) on his chin. I wish I’d taken a photo of that.
As you can see, the container had a label on the lid, which I thought was a nice touch. There isn’ t a nice way to photograph three curries shoved into a plastic container so I’ll save you the horror of looking at it. My samosa (possibly the world’s largest) collapsed when I took at out of the bag, spewing its mince contents everywhere, so I’ll save you the displeasure of looking at that as well.
Given that I only paid $20 for the whole meal it’s hard to compare it to a more expensive restaurant, but unfortunately it was no better than any other food hall curry or the popular but pedestrian Maya Masala chain moving through our shopping centers. Each curry was dry, and surprisingly lacking in flavour given that I ordered from the hotter end of the menu. The only real way to determine which was which was the texture of the meat. The naan was too thin and crisp, and the samosa generous in size but very difficult to eat and not particularly tasty. I could only ate half of my large combination (three meat curries and rice for $13.90).
In my bag I received a coupon to enter a weekly draw to win a $25 dinner, and a special deal of – wait for it – spend $10 and receive 4 free pappadums. A nice touch, but I’m not rushing back for a couple of pappadums. They offer a vaired selection of curries, both meat and vegetarian, and a large selection of indian desserts if you’re into that kind of thing (I’ve never dared venture into that territory). Meat curries by themselves cost from $7.50 (small) to $13.90 (large), and they offer free home delivery within 5km for orders over $40.
So yes, I was disappointed but then again what could I reasonably expect at the price. The service was good, and I’ll probably give them another go but next time will try some of the milder, “saucier” offerings such as the butter chicken, lamb korma and dhal.
Grand Indian Flavours
Shop 2 / 16 Railway Terrace
Phone: (08) 9591 1222 or (08) 9591 1229