Befitting a restaurant named after an Indian emperor, Ashoka at Hutt Street in Adelaide specialises in serving Indian cuisine. A few dishes served here are unique, consisting of lesser known curries and other dishes from Indian cuisine. During our visit, we ordered the Mango Chicken, Beef Korma, Kadahi Chicken, Eggplant Masala, Onion Bhaji, Vegetable Pakora, Plain Naan and Garlic Naan.
The chicken in the Mango Chicken was tender, with the mango pulp giving the dish a distinct sweet flavour that is quite different from the Indian curries we have eaten so far. The various spices which included mustard seeds and curry leaves helped to ensure that the dish was not too sweet. Kadahi Chicken also had tender chicken, with the spices used in the dish giving it a more savoury taste compared to the Mango Chicken.
While the beef in the Beef Korma was cooked just right, we found it to be a bit mild for our taste as we are used to Korma curries being quite spicy though not spicy to the point where it is difficult to eat. If you prefer, the Korma curry can also be made with chicken or lamb. The eggplant in the Eggplant Masala was soft but with still a little bite to it, with the gravy rounding out its flavour. It also had chunks of potato to give it a bit of extra texture.
If you are feeling a bit peckish, you can order from a selection of entrees to start your meal. Both the Onion Bhaji and Vegetable Pakora were fried to golden brown with a wonderful soft texture. The dish is served with your choice of mint or tamarind sauce to dip the Bhaji or Pakora in, the mint sauce adding a refreshing taste while the tamarind sauce gives the dish a slight sour hit.
Much like the other Indian restaurants we have visited, their Naan bread was crisp and fluffy with the plain taste acting as a good contrast to the curries. The Garlic Naan also had a topping of garlic that enhanced its flavour without overpowering it. In addition to those two Naans, Ashoka also a few more variations, some of which featuring the Naan filled with a variety of fillings.
While relatively small in size, Ahsoka still has a good ambience with the tables spaced a good distance apart. Parking is available outside the restaurant, but it is advisable to arrive early as the parking space can fill up quite quickly during the peak dinner hour.