If you follow our blog at all, you’ll know we’re pretty mad about Indian food. For those who don’t follow our blog: we’re pretty mad about Indian food. We’ve lost count of how many curries have warmed our bellies over the years…but it’s a sacrifice we make for the greater good of mankind. 😉 So, another curry story begins…
It just so happened a few weeks ago while in the Melbourne suburb of Reservoir, we decided to grab take away for dinner. Privileged Punjab in Preston popped up on my Eat Now app so we ordered, picked up, then drove nearly 30 minutes home before unpacking our dinner. We were so surprised at the quality and flavour (and survival of the naan as being near-perfect after sweating in its little bag for half an hour!) that we decided — for mankind’s sake of course — to try it again the following week. Just to make sure the deliciousness wasn’t a once off. Second take-away order was as good as the first! So third time’s the charm! Last week we decided to make our way down to Preston and dine in.
We saw the “Boss Special” advertised in the window as we walked in – so figured for $20 – it’s worth a try! The special included a serve of lamb Seekh Kebab (which Hubby Bear proclaimed was moist and well spiced) two curries, rice and naan! Given the entree was meat, we decided to round out the meal by ordering an additional two vegetarian entrees. Yes, I know. Our eyes are bigger than our tummies.
Not sure what to pick, we asked our server Jasmine which of the chaat dishes she’d recommend – and she smilingly (and shyly) pointed to the Aloo Tikki Chaat ($7.50). We weren’t expecting what soon appeared: a bowl of yoghurt, topped with red onion, spring onion, and splashes of all sorts of spices – both dry and wet – all covering up three or four flattened potato patties within. Yeah, it may sound a little strange and look a little weird, but it was delicious. For real! The mixture of fresh and ground spices was beautiful – so much so – we wouldn’t let Jasmine take the bowl back because we wanted to scrape out what was left in it!
The Samosas ($5.00/2pcs) were as expected – a tasty spiced potato and pea filling kept moist in a wrapping of fried pastry. We both noted the pastry was thinner than what we’re usually dished up at other Indian restaurants, and both agreed we liked them better for it. We both weren’t fans of the accompanying tamarind dipping sauce, its extreme tang was just a little left of centre for both our palettes. But we still had our bowl of leftover Aloo Tikki Chaat yoghurt, so we dipped our samosas into that!
So let’s get to the serious end of dinner: the curries. Hubby revelled in the Chicken Mushroom Masala, with lovely chunks of chicken and mushrooms doing laps in a hearty masala sauce. My Methi Matar Paneer was a creamy tomato-based curry, packed full of pungent fenugreek leaves dancing around big blocks of paneer cheese. The naan was fresh, puffy, and crunchy in all the right spots. Hmmmm….
At this point, it’s important to reveal what makes these curries stand out from every other curry we’ve had in Melbourne so far.
It’s the fact they make them. What we mean is, you’re probably used to the run-of-the-mill Indian restaurant serving up curries that are tasty – but solid on colour, topped with a splash of cream, coriander or maybe some almonds – with a more singular overall flavour.
Priviliged Punjab’s curries aren’t like that. They’re speckled with fresh spices, dried spices, maybe a chunk of cinnamon bark, perhaps a couple of whole cardamon pods, a handful of fenugreek leaves, still-crunchy chopped onions…all hallmarks of a home made curry. Not one that came out of a pre-mixed, pre-made tub.
Chef Pritpal was kind enough to offer up a taste of lamb to Hubby Bear, just to show him how intense the flavour was in their most basic curry. It was that good that Hubby’s going to try a lamb dish next time around – it was beyond tender and the flavour was indeed bold and robust.
You can see and taste the layers of flavour in these curries. And that’s pretty special. Expect bold and pungent flavours with a hum of spice heat at the back of your throat in everything you get served here. For those who love Indian food, a specific trip to this little restaurant is definitely worth your while.
Locals of Preston, you don’t know what you’ve got!
Address: 50 – 56 High Street, Preston VIC 3074
Tip! If you sneeze, you’ll go straight passed this joint, which sits at the end of chunky building (which also houses a bunch of other shops, including one of our favourite pizza spots, Noi Pizzeria) close to the pointy end of where High Street and Plenty Road meet. So make sure you keep your eyes peeled – there’s plenty of on street parking around, too.