Compared to what you normally expect to see in an Indian restaurant, Milan @ Kew‘s interior fit-out is a bit above average; appearing to be recently renovated, it still has that nice ‘newness’ about it. As we arrived, we were greeted by a friendly host and seated in the front window.
As we looked around we were impressed by the decor, but totally saddened by the addition of one of those tacky ‘breath-o-lizer’ machines hanging on the wall just inside the front door – and in my full view for the entire night. I know there’s a practical purpose for them, but no amount of money or decoration can hide the tackiness of those machines.
Anyway, onto the food. We started off with the Pakoras ($7.90) and the Tandoori Gobi ($10.90). I had such super-high hopes for this place, given the level of care they took in refitting the interior; however, they were quickly dashed once our entrees hit the table. The parkoras were a mix of spinach, potato and onion fritters. The spinach ones were okay, the onion ones’ exteriors were burnt to all get-out, and the potato ones also tasted okay. And although this has no real bearing on the flavour – the potato ones looked like donuts, which made me laugh….so I suppose that’s a plus 🙂
Moving onto the Tandoori Gobi, this experience seemed to be going downhill fast. Overcooked cauliflower (so soft that they were hard to pick up) sat in a dish of oil. Infinitely bummed out because the actual tandoor flavour was lovely. There is so much potential for this dish; if the cauliflower was cooked properly and portioned up onto crispy pappadums (to add some much needed texture to each bite), it could’ve been the star of the show. But none that was to be, so the Bears were giving each other sad faces as the server cleared our entrees away.
Shawn ordered the Beef Mushroom ($18.90) which turned that frown upside down! Talk about a complete turnaround! The depth of flavour was both intense and rich; the meat was soft and mushrooms fresh and delicious. Shawn says it was a total standout and was quickly making its way onto his favourites list! My Shahi Paneer ($16.90) was a velvety smooth combination of tomato and cream, creating a rich sauce for those paneer cubes to dance around in. Being a lover of cheese, I’d have to say, that little dollop of cottage cheese on top made me smile. The dish was a well balanced explosion of flavour….10 out of 10 for both our mains!
|Stars of the show! Shahi Paneer & Beef Mushroom|
As we ate, we looked quizzically at each other, “Was this the same chef who did our starters?” Nah, couldn’t be! There’s far too big a gap in flavour and quality! Regardless, the manager needs to get whoever made those main dishes onto the entrees, pronto! And if it was the same person, then he/she needs to start giving some love to the veg entrees we ordered, because there was no love in them, that’s for sure!
Of course, we ordered a standard Saffron Rice ($7.90) and two serves of Garlic Naan ($3.90ea) to accompany our mains. The rice was, well, just rice and hardly discernible underneath those yummy curries. The garlic naan turned out to be another bummer. This might sound funny, but they were too dense, as though the bread mixture was too heavy, not allowing the naan to breathe so it could create those lovely puffs & pockets of air from the heat of the tandoor. But, they were good enough to eat, and eat them we did.
Oh, and we brought our own bottle of wine; corkage was $2.90 per person.
|Saffron Rice & Garlic Naan|
Out of 6 dishes, only 2 were delicious (our mains) and all the others below average. And for a total of $76.10, I’m just not sure it was worth it. Granted, the host was very nice, service was good, and decor relatively impressive (minus the breathe-o-lizer) … but getting 2 out of 6 isn’t a good score in our book, especially given the number of exceptional Indian eateries in Melbourne.
Please remember though, our mains were indeed brilliant – but just not sure that’s strong enough for me to go back again. If you decide to go to Milan @ Kew, hopefully you fare better than we did 🙂