I have been in Melbourne for a couple of months and always wanted to have a fine dining experience. When a friend from India decided to move Melbourne, it called for a celebration. Since I am a student my celebration had to be within my budget; however I was willing to go a bit over my specified budget for a good dinner as I wanted to make my friend feel special and welcomed.
I decided to check some recommendations for a good Indian restaurant and my research was mainly Google and asking friends. During the search for a good restaurant around RMIT City Campus, I found that Carlton Curry House had a bit of a fan following. I visited their site and was surprised to find that if I booked a table in advance I could use a dine-in gift voucher for $30, $50 or $75. Being an Indian, I am well aware of the cuisine and have my favourite dishes, hence I decided to opt for the $75 voucher and my plans were set.
When we walked into the restaurant, the host Peggy welcomed us with a warm smile and gestured us to our table. I was a little confused when she handed us the menu; they had a wide range of options and it was a battle to decide on a few dishes. Before we could decide, we were informed by Peggy that a certain dish was not available that evening and suggested some of the other dishes that we would enjoy.
I and my friend decided we would have two dishes from the entree, the main and two drinks. Since the both of us are self proclaimed foodies, we decided we would pick one dish from each category we liked and would try a new dish for the other. I picked the Nepalese dumpling (chicken) and Paneer Tikka for the entree. The dumplings were delicious with the spicy sauce and the sweet salad dressing. We asked for the Paneer Tikka to be spicy, and enjoyed every bite of the dish as the chef had used just the right amount of chilli and the spice set in slowly. The entrees with my glass of Shiraz are a combination drawing me back to the restaurant.
We picked Chilli fish as one of the mains because Peggy has mentioned earlier that it was a fusion dish with a bit of Indian, Burmese and Nepalese flavours and that intrigued us. The other dish we picked was Mushroom matar, one of our regular choices. To accompany the main dishes, we selected the Garlic Naan and decided to try our luck and ordered a Cheese Garlic Naan which is an all time favourite. What I liked the most was the way the team was accommodating of our requests; they did not have garlic cheese naan on the menu but served us the most garlicky, cheesiest Naan we could have hoped for along with the other dishes as per our choice of mild, medium or hot.
I enjoyed every bite and loved the burst of flavours, something I missed about home. To add to the wonderful meal the service provided by Peggy and her team was exemplary. I had heard somewhere about a term 'five minute friend' and seeing Peggy interact with us and the other customers I know what it meant. It is a good feeling when you see the host take an interest in the customer's needs and ensures everything is in order.
We had walked in to the restaurant to have a good dinner and we walked out with the best evening. The food was worth the prices and the service rendered was an added bonus. On enquiring, I found they have discounts which suit most occasions and they often organize event specials as well. Carlton Curry House most certainly is a place one could go to for an excellent dining experience.